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04-03-2011
Santé
Propolis, naturelle mais pas sans risques !

Une substance naturelle n'est pas forcément inoffensive. Elle ne constitue pas non plus forcément un produit «bon pour tout». 

Ce rappel serait particulièrement opportun pour la propolis, produit naturel certes mais pas dénué de risques. Souvent mise en avant et parée de multiples vertus, la propolis en fait, serait aussi à l'origine de réactions d'hypersensibilité. Les allergiques ou les personnes présentant des antécédents d'allergies seraient particulièrement concernés.

La propolis est une substance résineuse naturelle, que les abeilles butineuses utilisent pour construire leur habitat. Elle est produite par ces dernières, à partir de pollen et de cire, d'écorces, de feuilles et autres bourgeons. Des bourgeons de peupliers notamment.

En fait la «recette»  des abeilles varie selon les régions du monde, si bien qu'il est souvent difficile de connaître la composition très précise d'un produit à base de propolis.

Cette substance est traditionnellement utilisée dans le traitement des affections ORL et, en applications locales, sur des lésions cutanées et buccales, mais en compilant tous les travaux réalisés sur ce sujet, il s'est avéré qu'il existe des effets indésirables graves liés à l'utilisation de propolis.

Deux cas d'insuffisance rénale aiguë… Réactions allergiques (œdème…), irritations de la peau et des muqueuses… A ce jour, une vingtaine d'effets indésirables ont été relevés dans la littérature scientifique. Tous ont concerné des allergiques. La propolis constitue, par ailleurs, une cause de dermatite professionnelle bien connue parmi les apiculteurs.

Au-delà de cette utilisation, Santé Canada, le ministère canadien de la Santé a également rapporté en 2009 un cas d'insuffisance rénale aiguë chez un enfant de 3 ans qui consommait régulièrement de la propolis. Le petit présentait des antécédents de maladie cœliaque.

Les Canadiens expliquent que la propolis aurait agi sur son taux de créatinine, le principal marqueur de la fonction rénale.

Ce dernier est d'ailleurs revenu à la normale dès que «l'administration de cette substance a cessé».
Un autre cas d'insuffisance rénale aiguë avait été précédemment rapporté. Il concernait «un homme de 59 ans avec des antécédents de cholangiocarcinome», un cancer primitif du foie. Une variété brésilienne de propolis était semble-t-il en cause.

 

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