BEE VENOM VS. MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS
The treatment of MS has raised attention in the recent years. The biggest study has been carried out by Ludyanski who report a very good or good improvement of 175 out of 210 cases (improvement rate was 83
%). Two studies, by Hauser et al. and by Castro et al. report improvement rates between 50 to 60 % 11, 31. A
recent study by showed no significant effect of BV against MS, but the authors did not follow the protocol suggested by BV specialists92. There is molecular basis for the action of BV for this action. Evidence of specific biologic effects of the BV component apamin in brain, that might be linked to MS, has been shown
24, 78, 88 . Individual reports on positive effects in dementia and Alzheimer have been reported by Ludyanski15 Specific brain effects of BV in Alzheimer patients have been elucidated35 .
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system that leads to substantial disability through deficits of sensation and of motor, autonomic, and neuro-cognitive function.
Many clinical and pathological features of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) show close similarity to MS. Bee venom (BV) has been used in the practice of oriental medicine and evidence from the literature indicates that BV plays an anti-inflammatory or anti-nociceptive role against inflammatory reactions associated with arthritis and other inflammatory diseases. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether BV could suppress immune cell differentiation and infiltration into spinal cord on EAE mice commonly used as a model for MS. BV treatment increased the population of CD4(+)CD25(+)Foxp3(+) T cells and inhibited CD4(+) T-cell proliferation in vitro. In vivo, BV treatment increased the population of CD4(+)CD25(+)Foxp3(+) T cells. Furthermore, BV administration reduced the severity of EAE while concurrently decreasing INF-gamma producing CD4(+) T cells, IL-17A producing CD4(+) T cells and inflammatory cytokine production including INF-gamma, IL-17A, TNF and IL-6. BVtreated animals exhibited less infiltration and preserved morphology compared to saline-treated animals.
Interestingly, the therapeutic effects of BV on EAE disappeared when CD4(+)CD25(+)Foxp3(+) T cells were depleted by using anti-CD25 antibody. Our research suggests that BV could be a potential therapeutic agent for anti-inflammatory effects in an animal model of EAE
For centuries, honey, bee pollen, and bee venom have been used to treat a number of ailments that vary between chronic pain to skin conditions. Apitherapy, or the medical use of honeybee products that range from royal jelly to bee venom, was used by the ancient Egyptians as a homeopathic remedy for arthritis. Today, bee venom therapy, or bee sting therapy, has captured the attention of medical science as a potential homeopathic remedy for multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms.
Bee venom therapy (BVT), or apitherapy, uses the stings of live bees to relieve symptoms of MS such as pain, loss of coordination, and muscle weakness. Stinging is not limited to any specific area of the body, as stings in different places seem to produce different results. Apitherapy researchers suggest that certain compounds in bee venom, namely melittin and adolapin, help reduce inflammation and pain, and that the combination of all the "ingredients" in bee venom somehow helps the body to release natural healing compounds in its own defense.
Given the fact that no major studies on BVT have been done so far, it is estimated that only about 50 U.S. physicians use it to treat MS or other diseases. And the evidence that BVT helps MS patients, although encouraging, remains anecdotal. Despite this, of the more than 250,000 cases of multiple sclerosis nationwide, thousands of patients are said to use bee venom as an alternative approach to the interferon, corticosteroids, and other drugs typically used. Word on BVT has spread to where the American Apitherapy Society says there are about 10,000 people providing this therapy - apitherapists, beekeepers, and acupuncturists, as well as those with no health background. Some patients even treat themselves. But the lack of medical training among most practitioners and the risk of dangerous allergic reactions to the treatment have raised concerns about BVT among the medical establishment.
Nonetheless, bee venom therapy has generated enough "buzz" that Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., has begun a one-year preliminary study, funded by the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America, to research apitherapy as a potential treatment.
The treatment of MS has raised attention in the recent years. The biggest study has been carried out by Ludyanski who report a very good or good improvement of 175 out of 210 cases (improvement rate was 83%). Two studies, by Hauser et al. and by Castro et al. report improvement rates between 50 to 60 % 11, 31.
Arecent study by showed no significant effect of BV against MS, but the authors did not follow the protocol suggested by BV specialists92.