Bee sting venom 'could provide treatment for arthritis' | world | Hindustan Times
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Bee sting venom 'could provide treatment for arthritis'

world Updated: Jun 28, 2010 02:57 IST

It may appear a bit strange to many, but a new study has claimed that venom from bee stings could actually help to treat arthritis and even prevent the painful joint condition from developing in the first place.

Researchers at the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil have carried out the study and found bee venom can control the harmful inflammation in joints that leads to rheumatoid arthritis.

The study has shown that the venom contains molecules that cause an increase in natural hormones in the body that regulate inflammation, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Lead scientist Dr Suzana Beatriz Veríssimo de Mello said bee venom caused increased levels of anti-inflammatory hormones called glucocorticoids. "Bee venom is complex mixture of substances that are known to induce immune and allergic responses in humans.

"Nevertheless, bee venom has been used to treat rheumatoid arthritis for centuries. However, the placebo effect has been described in studies investigating bee venom anti-inflammatory properties in arthritic patients.

"Our data shows that bee venom prevents the development of induced arthritis in rabbits through the action of glucocorticoids," she said.