Royal jelly is a potentially powerful enhancer of health, longevity, and fitness. Although we don’t understand all of its mechanisms of action, its benefits appear to include enhancing cardiovascular health, controlling stress, and nourishing the skin.
Royal jelly is a creamy fluid made when nurse bees digest bee pollen and secret it from glands in their heads. Collection is time consuming and requires vacuuming the royal jelly from hive cells, where it is stored, and straining out the larva.
Athletes interested in maximizing performance may want to take a hint from queen bees. They are bigger, more productive, and longer lived than worker bees, which some experts suggest is due to their diet of royal jelly. In humans, evidence is mounting that royal jelly may also help boost performance and increase lifespan.
No deficiency conditions are known to exist.
Research indicates that Royal Jelly may be useful in the treatment of:
Although the human research is fairly new, numerous scientists suggest royal jelly has diverse benefits — from supporting cardiovascular health to helping our bodies resist infection to promoting skin health to, perhaps most prominently, extending both the quantity and quality of our lives.
A strong cardiovascular system is crucial for top performance, and royal jelly has been shown to help by lowering both total serum lipids (fats in the blood) and cholesterol levels, normalizing HDL and LDL, and helping slow the development of atherosclerosis or the build-up of plaque in blood vessels. Royal jelly contains phytosterols (mainly beta-sitosterol), enzymes, acetylcholine, and hormones, including estradiol, that all may help lower cholesterol. It also contains a rich array of other vital nutrients in its natural whole form.
According to animal and test-tube studies, royal jelly appears to be strongly antibiotic; meaning, it may help the body fight off infections. A new, potent antibacterial protein found in royal jelly, called royalisin, helps the honeybee defend against bacteria and appears to aid wound healing in humans. Other compounds in royal jelly have been shown to control inflammation. Royal jelly is also high in the B vitamin pantothenic acid, which is important for controlling stress levels.
Royal jelly contains 2 to 6.4 percent, by weight, trans-10-hydroxy delta-2-decenoic acid (HAD), which is a monounsaturated fatty acid with a hydroxyl group, called a hydroxy fatty acid. Hydroxy fatty acids protect skin from dehydration. Royal jelly also contains collagen, lecithin, and Vitamins A, C, D, and E — all of which nourish the skin.
Royal jelly is claimed to maintain youthfulness in humans, but research is limited. The hint that royal jelly may improve performance and lifespan comes from the bees who consume it. Worker bees make royal jelly, which is then fed to the queen. Larvae are also fed royal jelly until they begin to mature, but only the queen consumes it throughout her life. Queen bees are born from the exact same eggs as worker bees but, largely due to their diet of royal jelly, are on average 42 percent larger and live 40 to 50 times longer than worker bees, while producing more than 2.5 times their own bodyweight of eggs each day.
While scientific evidence for some of its uses is still emerging, royal jelly has a loyal following among many users and seems particularly effective for fighting infections on both the skin and internally. Stay tuned for more information on the many potential benefits of this supplement.
Fifty to 100 mg per day has been used in most studies. Often capsules sold contain up to 1,000 mg.
Royal jelly is best taken with meals for maximal absorption.
Price is usually a good indicator of quality with this nutrient: the higher the price, the more likely the supplement is of the highest quality.
Royal jelly is available in capsules or in its natural state mixed with honey and propolis. Since we don’t know all of the chemicals that work in royal jelly to promote health, consuming it in its whole state is typically preferred.
No synergists have been noted.
Occasionally, royal jelly can provoke an allergic reaction in individuals with a history of allergies.
If you are pregnant or nursing, royal jelly is not recommended.
No known toxicity.