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EmmaG
27th September 2017, 17:42
Has anyone any information on bee venom therapy. Either tried it or know if it is effective for als. There seems to be positive information about ms therapy and some trials for als.

Ellie
27th September 2017, 20:06
Hi Emma,

Do you have the link for the trials in ALS you referred to? I'd be interested in reading them.

There were studies done in animal models; ALS Untangled analysis below - note that scaling up the dose of bee venom for the average human adult would mean taking the equivalent of 70,000 bee stings 2x week! That's something!

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.3109/17482968.2011.625168

Ellie.

MNDConnect
28th September 2017, 12:07
Hi Emma,

I have just spoken to our research team to see if they have any information about bee venom and their response is below:

ALS Untangled (http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.3109/17482968.2011.625168) as they have done a report on this unproven treatment (this was in 2011). To summarise, there are a few compounds that may have neuro-protective effect against glutamate toxicity, which is probably why it was chosen as a potential ALS/MND treatment. Results from two animal studies concluded that bee venom had some effect on motor performance and muscle weakness in mice, but inconclusive on overall survival. However, these studies have a few confounds (ie small sample size, no randomisation etc.). While the group acknowledges that Bee Venom might have biological effects that could potentially be useful in ALS, they also comment that in order to have some effect on humans, a large amount of bee stings would need to be applied (70,000 bee stings twice a week). They suggest more animal studies to be done before they would go any further.

Also, it has advertised mainly for Multiple Sclerosis (https://www.mstrust.org.uk/a-z/bee-venom-therapy) and so I went on their website. This is what they concluded:

Therapy with bee venom involves receiving up to 40 stings in a session. Ice is used to numb the skin and to reduce pain. There may be more than one session per week. The theory behind the treatment is that bee stings cause inflammation. This leads to an anti-inflammatory response by the immune system. It is suggested that this benefits people with a range of conditions including MS.

There has been very little medical research to support bee venom therapy. In 2005 a small clinical trial compared people having the therapy every week with a group that had no treatment. Results were measured using MRI scans, relapse rate, disability, fatigue and quality of life scales. After 24 weeks, no difference was found between the two groups on any of these measures.

As there is not enough evidence to show that it helps in MS and no human studies have been conducted for MND it would be described as an unproven therapy.

I hope that this helpful

Adele

EmmaG
28th September 2017, 13:43
Thank you. A French friend suggested I look into it. I don't fancy 70,000 bee stings in a week. We have plenty of hornets here in France as it is!

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