Thursday, January 11, 2018

Bee Venom Studied for Treatment of High Blood Pressure, Cancer, Arrhythmias

Lobachevsky University researchers study the effects of bee venom on living organisms

Eureka Alert

Despite a centuries-old history of studies of bee venom as a therapeutic agent, this field of research remains quite relevant today, when the use of synthetic drugs is not always effective and has a great number of side effects. In addition to analgesic properties of bee venom that are well known, a number of other useful properties have been established experimentally such as the ability to reduce blood pressure, antiarrhythmic action, radioprotective and antihypoxic effects, as well as antitumor activity.

Bee venom's high polyfunctionality is based on a unique combination of its components, including some proteins with enzymatic properties, highly active peptides (melittin, apamin, the mast-cell-degranulating (MCD) peptide, adolapin, tertiapin, secapin, minimin, cardiopep), and biogenic amines.

Bee venom peptides have an anti-inflammatory effect, both through direct action and indirectly through the modulation of all other regulatory systems. Thus, the pharmacological activity of small doses of melittin is mediated by the activation of a cascade associated with the synthesis of prostaglandins, which are powerful biological regulators. In addition, melittin has some protective properties, which underlies the radioprotective effects of bee venom. Melittin is also credited with antitumor activity. Its anti-inflammatory activity is associated with the action of the MCD-peptide, while adolapin, a component of bee venom, has an analgesic effect.

As they enter the body, bee venom components cause changes in the neurohumoral regulation of body functions not only through the activation of endogenous neuropeptides, but, possibly, as their direct sources.

Researchers of the UNN Institute of Biology and Biomedicine (IBBM) have established as a result of laboratory tests that bee venom and bee products inhibit the growth of malignant tumors, enhance biological activity of the body, and can also be used to treat diabetes mellitus.

Anna Deryugina, Head of the Department of Physiology and Anatomy of the UNN IBBM explains: "Currently, we are continuing the tests of a chemical compound including chitosan, gold nanoparticles and bee venom, in particular, in relation to the treatment of oncological diseases. We have found out that the compound synthesized by our colleagues at the UNN Faculty of Chemistry inhibits the growth of malignant tumors. Our institute has been testing this compound on rats for several years. This process takes quite a while, as always in medical tests. We look forward to the day in the future when cancer patients will be treated with beekeeping products, but athletes can already use these substances to enhance their performance and set records."...

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