Friday, March 6, 2015

Apitherapy as a Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis

Photo By: tracywoolery

By Cheryl Hartzman

Apitherapy is the use of substances created by bees for the treatment of a variety of illnesses.  Bee Venom Therapy (BVT) utilizes the venom of the honeybee.  Physicians have long used bee venom therapy to treat patients worldwide.  There are claims that bee venom can be used to restore movement and mobility to people with multiple sclerosis by strengthening the body's natural defense mechanism, however, scientific studies have been unable to back up those claims.

A study, conducted by the Allegheny University of the Health Science in Philadelphia, on bee venom found that it did not have any positive effects at any dosage on mice with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, the animal model for multiple sclerosis. Additionally many of the animals expressed worse symptoms than those in the placebo groups

The Multiple Sclerosis Aossiation of America (MSAA) funded a study at Georgetown University Medical Center to examine the safety of administering bee venom treatments for the treatment of multiple sclerosis.  Results of the study indicated "there was little evidence to support the use of honeybee venom in the treatment of MS".

The treatment of Multiple Sclerosis with been venom was investigated in another study at the University Medical Center Groningen.  This study used live bees to administer sting therapy to 26 patients over a period of 24 weeks. This was compared to a 24-week period with no treatment. In this trial, it was concluded that treatment with bee venom in patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis did not reduce disease activity, disability, or fatigue and did not improve quality of life.

The latest research on Bee Venom Therapy has not yet proven a conclusive benefit to sufferers of Multiple Sclerosis.  Although, some of the studies were very small.  Perhaps some of the on-going research will yield better results.