Could bee venom halt arthritis?

A jab made from bee venom could help millions of arthritis sufferers.

Scientists have developed tiny nanoparticles that can be injected straight into painful knees, using a peptide found in the insects’ poison. The peptide, called melittin, has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect that halts the destruction of cartilage, the body’s built-in ‘shock absorber’.

Experts who tested the jab on mice think the sooner it is given after a sporting injury or accident, the less likely it is the joint will later be affected by osteoarthritis. But they are also hopeful the bee venom particles will help those who have suffered the painful condition for years.

An estimated nine million people in Britain have some degree of osteoarthritis.
As the body ages, major joints like the hips, knees and wrists suffer wear and tear. But other risk factors include being overweight, having a family history of the condition and suffering sports-related injuries. Cartilage soaks up the impact from walking, running or lifting, so that bones do not rub together and disintegrate.

Source  - Daily Mail

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