Royal jelly is a milky secretion produced by worker honeybees. It typically contains about 60% to 70% water, 12% to 15% proteins, 10% to 16% sugar, 3% to 6% fats, and 2% to 3% vitamins, salts, and amino acids. Its composition varies depending on geography and climate.
This product gets its name from the fact that bees use it to nurture queen bees. Some people use royal jelly as medicine. Don’t confuse royal jelly with bee pollen, beeswax, bee venom, or propolis.
Royal jelly is used for symptoms of menopause. It is also used for diabetes, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), obesity, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
Potential Health Benefits of Royal Jelly.
1. Contains a Variety of Nutrients.
Royal jelly is comprised of water, carbs, protein and fat .The full chemical makeup of royal jelly is unknown, but its positive effects on health are thought to stem from its unique proteins and fatty acids .These include nine glycoproteins collectively known as major royal jelly proteins (MRJPs) and two fatty acids, trans-10-Hydroxy-2-decenoic acid and 10-Hydroxydecanoic acid .
Royal jelly also contains several B vitamins and trace minerals.
However, nutrient composition varies considerably between sources of royal jelly .Some of the vitamins typically present in royal jelly include:
▪️Pantothenic acid (B5).
▪️Folic acid (B9).
2. May Provide Antioxidant and.
Anti-Inflammatory EffectsRoyal jelly is widely claimed to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.
In multiple test-tube and animal studies, specific amino acids, fatty acids and phenolic compounds found in royal jelly appear to have potent antioxidant effects .
Additionally, several test-tube studies show reduced levels of pro-inflammatory chemicals released from immune cells treated with royal jelly .
3. May Reduce Heart Disease Risk by Impacting Cholesterol Levels.
Both animal and human studies demonstrate that royal jelly may positively impact cholesterol levels and thereby reduce heart disease risk.Though the exact mechanism remains unclear, specific proteins in royal jelly may help lower cholesterol .
One 12-week study found that rabbits supplemented with royal jelly significantly reduced their total and “bad” LDL cholesterol levels by 28% and 23%, respectively .
Similarly, a one-month human study saw an 11% and 4% reduction in total and “bad” LDL cholesterol levels in people taking about 3 grams of royal jelly daily .
Conversely, another small human study determined no significant differences in cholesterol levels between participants treated with royal jelly and those on a placebo.
4. May Aid Wound Healing and Skin Repair.
Royal jelly — both used orally and topically — may support wound healing and other inflammatory skin conditions.
It’s known to have an antibacterial effect, which can keep wounds clean and free from infection .
One animal study revealed an increase in collagen production in rats given royal jelly extract. Collagen is a structural protein vital for skin repair .
A test-tube study showed significantly enhanced tissue repair capacity in human cells treated with royal jelly .
Conversely, a more recent human study did not notice any difference in wound healing between a control group and participants treating diabetic foot ulcers topically with royal jelly.
5. Specific Proteins May Lower Blood Pressure.
Royal jelly may protect your heart and circulatory system by reducing blood pressure.
Several test-tube studies indicate that specific proteins in royal jelly relax smooth muscle cells in your veins and arteries, thereby lowering blood pressure .
A recent animal study examined a supplement combining royal jelly with other bee-derived substances and found a significant reduction in blood pressure. However, the exact role royal jelly played in this supplement is unclear.
6. Regulates Blood Sugar by Reducing.
Oxidative Stress and InflammationRoyal jelly may also improve blood sugar control and insulin sensitivity by reducing oxidative stress and inflammation.
Multiple animal studies showed increased insulin sensitivity and an apparent protective effect on pancreatic, liver and reproductive tissue in obese, diabetic rats treated with royal jelly .
One small six-month human study demonstrated a 20% reduction in fasting blood sugar in healthy people who supplemented daily with royal jelly.
7. Antioxidant Properties May Support Healthy Brain Function.
Royal jelly may boost brain function.One study revealed that stress-induced mice treated with royal jelly had lower levels of stress hormones and a more robust central nervous system than the control group .
A separate study resulted in improved memory and reduced symptoms of depression in postmenopausal rats given royal jelly .
Another animal study showed that rats treated with royal jelly were better able to remove certain chemical deposits in the brain associated with Alzheimer’s disease .
Most of these studies attribute the protective effect on brain and nervous tissue to royal jelly’s antioxidant capacity.
8. May Increase Tear Secretion And Treat Chronic Dry Eyes.
Royal jelly may treat dry eyes when taken orally.
One animal and one small human study showed improvements in chronic dry eyes for those treated orally with royal jelly. The results indicate that this bee-derived substance may increase tear secretion from lacrimal glands within your eyes .
No adverse effects were reported from the human study. Thus, royal jelly could serve as a low-risk solution for chronic dry eyes.
9. May Provide Anti-Aging Effects Through Various Means.
Royal jelly may slow the aging process in several ways.
A few studies show increased lifespan and improved cognitive performance in rats treated orally with royal jelly .
Royal jelly is sometimes included in topical skin care products to support maintenance of healthy, younger-looking skin.
Animal research indicates that royal jelly may support increased collagen production and protection from skin damage associated with UV radiation exposure.
10. May Support a Healthy Immune System.
Royal jelly may enhance your body’s natural immune response to foreign bacteria and viruses .
MRJPs and fatty acids in royal jelly are known to promote antibacterial activity, which can reduce incidence of infection and support immune function .
11. Reduces Side Effects of Cancer Treatment.
Chemotherapy and other cancer treatments come with significant negative side effects, including heart failure, inflammation and gastrointestinal (GI) issues.
Royal jelly may reduce some of the negative side effects associated with certain cancer treatments.
One study revealed a significant reduction in chemotherapy-induced heart damage in rats supplemented with royal jelly .
One very small human study indicated that topically applied royal jelly may prevent mucositis, a cancer treatment side effect that causes painful ulcerations in your digestive tract.
12. May Treat Certain Symptoms of Menopause.
Royal jelly may also treat symptoms associated with menopause.
Menopause causes a reduction in circulating hormones that is associated with physical and mental side effects, such as pain, impaired memory, depression and anxiety.
One study found royal jelly effective at reducing depression and improving memory in postmenopausal rats .
Another study in 42 postmenopausal women noticed that supplementing daily with 800 mg of royal jelly for 12 weeks was effective in reducing back pain and anxiety .
Note: To date, many of the health claims associated with royal jelly remain unproven. The bulk of available research is limited to animal and test-tube or very small human studies.
Possible Side Effects.
Despite the FDA’s concerns, royal jelly is generally considered safe and well-tolerated when used appropriately. Studies have shown that royal jelly may be taken in daily doses of up to 1,000 mg for three months with no notable side effects.
With that said, royal jelly has been known to cause allergic reactions in some people, ranging from mild nasal symptoms to life-threatening anaphylaxis. This may be in response to royal jelly itself or to ingredients commonly added to supplements, including bee pollen and flower pollen.
Royal jelly may slow blood clotting and intensify the effects of blood thinners like warfarin, leading to easy bruising and bleeding. If you use royal jelly on an ongoing basis, be sure to stop treatment two weeks before a scheduled surgery to prevent excessive bleeding.
Royal jelly may also interact with antihypertensive drugs used to treat high blood pressure, causing an abnormal drop in blood pressure (hypotension). To avoid interactions, advise your healthcare provider if you are planning to use royal jelly and include a list of all of the other drugs you are taking, whether they are prescription or over-the-counter.
“ROYAL JELLY”, www.webmd.com, Retrieved 6-4-2020
Ansley Hill (3-10-2018), “12 Potential Health Benefits of Royal Jelly”، www.healthline.com
Cathy Wong (26-8-2019), “The Health Benefits of Royal Jelly”، www.verywellhealth.com