Multiple sclerosis (MS) affects the spinal cord and brain.
It is an autoimmune disease. Multiple sclerosis usually affects people between 20-40 years although anyone at any age can get it.
Women get affected by multiple sclerosis more than men. MS damages the myelin sheath that protects the nerve cells. When this protective sheath gets damaged, the nerves suffer from loss or slowing down of impulses.
This damage is caused by inflammation resulting from an attack on the nervous system by the immune cells of the body.
This kind of continuous inflammatory attacks occurs in any part of the optic nerve, brain or spinal cord. There is still no known reason why such inflammatory conditions start.
Some theories suggest that it could be the result of a genetic defect or a viral attack or an amalgamation of both factors.
The environment could also increase the risk of people contracting MS. Sometimes those with a family history could be more at risk.
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Bee pollen is got from honeybees (Apis mellifera). When these worker bees go about gathering honey, pollen from the plants they visit gets stuck on their hairy legs.
With this pollen and other debris, the bees return to their hives. The bees make them into tiny pellets using bee saliva and plant nectar. This is often used as food for male drones.
Here the pollen falls off as the bees walk around the hive. Beekeepers set special traps at the base of each hive by making an entrance portal that is blocked partly by a wire mesh.
This trap has a tray attached to it. When the pollen and debris get scraped off the legs, it falls into the traps and the beekeepers collect it when full, clean it and sell the fresh, natural bee pollen.
With the increased popularity of bee pollen as a nutritional supplement, beekeepers try to increase their supply by collecting this material directly from inside the hives.
Bee pollen use has increased since the 1970s. It is rich in proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, trace vitamins, amino acids, and enzymes.
The ingredients found in bee pollen vary drastically for a lot depends on the geographic areas the bees cover, the environment, the climatic conditions and the plants they visit.
Bee pollen benefits for multiple sclerosis
A study published in 1990 in a Russian journal has stated that bee pollen could be used with other MS medications like Proper-Myl and prednisolone.
It is said to benefit MS patients by strengthening the immune system.
Apitherapy refers to the medical use of bee products like bee venom and bee pollen to treat various ailments.
Today it is considered to be a homeopathic remedy for multiple sclerosis symptoms. However, there is no substantial evidence about its benefits and people are advised not to seek help for MS from apitherapists, acupuncturists and beekeepers who practice this form of treatment.
Bee pollen is said to help the body build up resistance to allergies. This could help multiple sclerosis patients manage their condition better for it helps the immune system learn better ways to fight allergens and irritants to the body.
Bee pollen could trigger an immune system response against allergens. As the immune system is busy fighting this threat, it does not try to damage the myelin sheath – which causes MS.
This can help slowing down and worsening of symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Bee pollen is also believed to help repair damaged myelin sheath. Lecithin found in bee pollen is said to help the myelin sheath synthesize itself.
Precautions while using bee pollen
Those who are prone to allergies must be careful when ingesting bee pollen products for it can aggravate allergic symptoms. In fact if patients with such conditions are hyposensitized using bee pollen, it could have the opposite effect and cause acute chronic reactions or anaphylaxis.
There have been some cases of patients developing photosensitivity and acute hepatitis after taking bee pollen.
Much more studies are required to really establish the benefits of bee pollen for multiple sclerosis.
Multiple sclerosis is a serious condition and people need to get proper medical attention for this condition and not rely only on herbal treatments.