July 06, 2009, (Sawf News) - New Zealand's Nelson Honey & Marketing is seeking EU approval to market Actiflex, a product containing honey with traces of bee venom that is claimed to ease pain in people with arthritis.
Actiflex is made by blending honey derived from the native Manuka tree with dried venom collected from the Apis mellifera honeybee using electrical milking machines that send impulses to stimulate worker bees to sting through a latex film onto a glass collector plate.
Actiflex has been in the New Zealand market for 13 years. The company has applied to UK's Food Standards Agency for an EU approval to launch its product in the market. The agency said it would be considering the application in the coming months.
Bee venom therapy for relieving arthritis pain is not a new concept. Traditionally it involved letting a bee sting a patient's arthritis affected area to reduce symptoms. The venom is believed to act as an analgesic for arthritis sufferers.
According to the product website, Bee venom is a complex mix of a variety of peptides and proteins, some of which have strong neurotoxin and immunogenic effects.
The venom's anti inflammatory effect is attributed to its major component, Melittin, which is claimed to stimulate the pituitary gland into releasing a hormone that causes the adrenal gland to produce cortisol, one of the body's major anti-inflammatory agents!
The anti-inflammatory properties of Melittin were also confirmed by a study conducted by researchers in South Korea. “The potency of Melittin in the inhibition of the inflammatory response may be of great benefit in degenerative and inflammatory diseases such as RA,” says Dr. Jin Tae Hong, M.D., Ph.D and one of the researchers from Korea.
“The extent of inhibitory effects of Melittin in most parameters determined in the present study is similar to or greater than bee venom itself, suggesting that Melittin may be a major causative component in the pharmacologic effects of bee venom.”…