19 Evidence-Based Benefits of Royal Jelly
Table of Contents
- Understanding Royal Jelly
- The Benefits of Royal Jelly v. Honey
- Sources and Dosages for Royal Jelly
- Royal Jelly’s Health Benefits
- Enhances Male and Female Reproductive Health
- Helps Heal Wounds
- Alleviates Allergies
- Helps Control Diabetes
- Controls Infection and Enhances Immune System Strength
- Promotes Healthy Hair and Skin
- Provides Protection for Neurons
- Treats Osteoporosis
- Reduces Side Effects of Cancer Treatment
- Promotes Healthy Lipid Levels
- Could Relieve Dry Eyes
- Can Help Fight Cancer
- Prevents Premature Aging
- Can Lower Blood Pressure
- Enhances Metabolism
- Boosts Mental Health
- Treats Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Treats Anemia
- Protects Liver Function
- Precautions and Interactions
Even in ancient times, healers and herbalists knew of the powerful effects of royal jelly on human health.
We no longer need to rely on anecdotes or folklore.
We can see the difference that this nutritional powerhouse makes, by analyzing the scientific data that supports its use.
Royal jelly contains a high concentration of amino acids, antioxidants and other nutrients that can help treat and prevent a wide range of diseases and conditions.
We discuss how just a small amount of this powerful supplement can improve your health and help you live longer.
With its high concentration of nutrients, royal jelly is an effective treatment that can improve your health and prevent many of today’s common diseases.
Understanding Royal Jelly
You may have heard of royal jelly but don’t really know what it is.
Royal jelly is a substance that is secreted by bees and fed to their larvae.
It contains compounds that signal to the immature bees that they are ready to mature and develop into queens.
Royal jelly is only found in special bee colonies, whose purpose is to provide queens to other groups of bees.
It is royal jelly that determines whether or not a bee larva will develop into a queen (1).
All bee larvae are fed royal for the first three days of their lives.
Once a specific larva is chosen to become a queen, it is then fed this royal jelly for the remainder of its life.
It is full of nutrients and phytochemicals that allow the queen to become bigger and stronger than all the other bees in the hive, thus earning the title of “queen.”
It is this concentration of nutrients and compounds that also makes royal jelly prized among humans.
The ancient Greeks referred to this substance as sent from heaven, and it has been used throughout the ages to improve health, preserve youth and as a food for royalty and important people in many different cultures.
The makeup of royal jelly may seem simple.
It is nearly at least three-fifths water, with the remaining macronutrients coming from sugars, proteins, and lipids.
The micronutrients within this substance that make it prized because they contain many essential B vitamins and an assortment of polyphenols, which are antioxidants.
Each sample of royal jelly will differ in its chemical makeup based on the region, flowers, season and weather that affect the bees from which it was harvested.
All of these affect the health of the bees, their food sources and the plant compounds that are available to these animals.
Among the fatty acids and peptides found in royal jelly are royalizing and jellies, which have powerful antibacterial properties (2).
This bee product also contains at least 185 active plant compounds, including hormones, flavonoids, and antioxidants (3).
The Benefits of Royal Jelly v. Honey
Several other bee products have health benefits, including bee pollen and honey.
Honey is often touted as a miracle substance.
Therefore, how does it compare to royal jelly?
Both products have been used for centuries to treat health problems, but each has always been used for different purposes.
Honey, like royal jelly, also has antimicrobial properties which make it great for helping to heal wounds and keep skin healthy and smooth.
While it has these properties, they are most commonly used in topical treatments and to treat infections on the outside of the body, not on the inside.
Because honey is naturally sweet, its use as a food and sweetener has been its primary influence on the world.
While it can help with weight loss and blood sugar regulation, the effects of royal jelly are stronger in these areas.
Honey, like royal jelly, can also reduce inflammation and help to treat allergies.
It also has antioxidants that are different from those found in royal jelly.
While honey is an excellent way to treat skin problems, it is less effective at treating other diseases than royal jelly.
When they are used in combination with each other, their effects are both multiplied, making it an excellent choice when trying to manage skin infections or decrease the signs of aging.
Sources and Dosages for Royal Jelly
Royal jelly is often described as having a strong taste and smell.
Most people consider the taste to be bitter or acidic, with some calling it “spicy.”
It does not resemble the taste of honey, another bee product, in any way.
This shocks some people.
If you want to eat royal jelly in its natural form, you will need to learn to appreciate this distinct flavor.
However, not all royal jelly tastes the same.
The flavor is influenced by the area where it was produced.
Differences in temperature, flowers, and rain can all influence the taste and texture of royal jelly.
You should not expect different batches from the same area (or even the same hive) to be the same.
Undissolved particles in the royal jelly also influence the texture.
Many people describe royal jelly as having a strong aftertaste, which can leave a tingling feeling on the tongue or throat.
This sensation is similar to what is felt when you are stung by a bee.
This is why people with severe allergic reactions to bee stings should not use royal jelly.
The venom in bee stings is the same compound that produces this mild numbing of the mouth.
Royal jelly is highly concentrated.
Only very small amounts are needed each day to enjoy the many health benefits of this substance.
Depending on the form you consume, your dosage will vary.
Therefore, always read the label.
Royal jelly is available in its pure, raw form. It can be eaten alone or added to other foods, including tea, or spread on toast.
You can also purchase freeze-dried royal jelly, which remains shelf-stable much longer.
Other forms of royal jelly that are commonly available include powders, tablets, liquid extracts, tinctures, and capsules.
You should always read the label carefully and avoid products with added fillers and ingredients.
Depending on the processing method, the royal jelly may lose some of its potency or health benefits.
Some skin care products also contain royal jelly.
This includes serums, creams, and ointments.
You can apply raw jelly directly to your skin, or mix it with herbs, oils or honey.
Most people choose to take royal jelly as a capsule since it tastes better than in raw forms.
Capsules will differ in their dosages, so read the label and try to take between 100 and 1,000 milligrams each day.
Royal Jelly’s Health Benefits
Among the many, scientifically studied benefits of royal jelly are its ability to support the immune system, protect against infections, enhance the health of several vital organs and provide support for hormones, bones, digestion, and fertility.
Evidence also suggests that this substance can help fight cancer, provide energy, keep skin healthy and treat various diseases.
In the following section, we discuss the latest scientific research that explains how royal jelly can benefit your health.
Enhances Male and Female Reproductive Health
Royal jelly supplements can help to regulate hormones in both men and women.
This can boost fertility, while also improving overall reproductive health.
In a 2012 study, royal jelly was found to increase levels of testosterone in both male and female participants (4).
These subjects also saw improvements in red blood cell counts and blood glucose levels.
In animal trials, similar increases in testosterone levels were noted in male subjects, leading to increased sperm production, as well as better motility and overall health of sperm cells (5).
Women’s reproductive health can also be enhanced by royal jelly.
For example, postmenopausal women often experience vaginal dryness, sexual dysfunction and a reduction in their outlook or overall quality of life due to changes in hormone levels.
Royal jelly was shown to alleviate these symptoms in one study (6).
Younger women may also experience fewer symptoms of PMS when using this supplement (7).
The aging process has a significant impact on reproduction, reducing your fertility as you age.
Compounds found in royal jelly inhibit oxidative stress, which causes aging.
It can also enhance the synthesis of various ovulation hormones (8).
These same compounds prevent the depletion of ovarian follicles due to age, which boosts hormone regulation and increases fertility.
Helps Heal Wounds
The nutrients in royal jelly are perfect for protecting and healing your skin.
In addition to helping your skin fight free radicals and the signs of aging, the compounds in royal jelly also boost collagen production (9).
This can help wounds to heal faster.
In addition to the collagen increase, royal jelly also is effective at killing Staphylococcus aureus.
These are bacteria that can often affect wound healing and delay wound closure (10).
This microbe is also often resistant to drugs, which makes royal jelly an excellent treatment option for certain injuries.
Your immune system releases cytokines to control the inflammatory response it needs to respond to various diseases, conditions and forces that can damage your body’s tissues.
Th1 cytokines are known to be more pro-inflammatory, while Th2 cytokines are more anti-inflammatory.
A dominance of Th1 responses is associated with autoimmune disorders, including allergies and sensitivities.
When your body has a better balance between Th1 and Th2 cytokines, you are better able to handle immune challenges and deal with unknown invaders to your system, such as allergens.
The compounds found in royal jelly can influence the immune system and balance the cytokine responses, shifting allergic reactions from a Th1 dominance to Th2.
This can make you less likely to experience the symptoms associated with allergies, including airborne allergens or food sensitivities (11, 12).
Researchers believe that the royalisin found in this supplement is responsible for this immune-balancing effect.
When combined with bee pollen, another supplement that comes from bees, royal jelly can reduce Th1 dominance and the allergic response significantly (13).
Helps Control Diabetes
When you eat a meal or snack, your body releases insulin to lower blood glucose levels from the foods you eat.
Royal jelly is often used because it has similar effects to insulin, naturally lowering blood sugar levels.
By improving insulin resistance and providing antioxidant support, royal jelly has successfully been used (in several studies) to treat diabetes (14, 15).
Another benefit of royal jelly is its ability to help manage weight, which is essential for people with diabetes.
Carrying excess weight leads to insulin resistance and raised blood sugar levels.
Taking royal jelly supplements can reduce caloric intake and the consumption of carbohydrates, which contribute to elevated glucose levels (16).
Controls Infection and Enhances Immune System Strength
The antioxidants and other compounds in royal jelly have a positive effect on the immune system.
For example, in animal trials, this supplement was shown to improve antibody levels and create improved immune cell growth (17).
Another bee product, propolis, also boosts immunity and improves overall health (18).
Propolis is the sticky material that is used by bees to build their hives.
Royal jelly can actively fight infections, including bacteria and yeasts.
The compounds royalisin and jelleines in this supplement are known to kill at least 18 different pathogens, including several types of fungi and microbes resistant to conventional medications (19, 20).
Promotes Healthy Hair and Skin
The same compounds that improve wound healing are also proven to help keep hair and skin healthy, due to increased collagen production.
Your skin and hair both require collagen for healthy growth and maintenance.
The fatty acids in royal jelly help promote the production of this essential compound (21).
Provides Protection for Neurons
Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia that is the result of neurodegeneration brought on by age, as well as other factors.
It affects memory, cognitive function and the ability to learn.
In animal trials, royal jelly was shown to improve several symptoms of Alzheimer’s, including spatial memory, cognitive function and learning (22).
When combined with other natural supplements that stimulate brain function, like ginseng, royal jelly could have even more significant effects.
In one study, those taking both of these supplements had a less mental decline, despite having Alzheimer’s disease (23).
Patients with osteoporosis are losing bone tissues, as the minerals that make bones strong are depleted from their bodies.
Bone loss due to osteoporosis leads to more fractures and joint problems for those who suffer from this disease.
When subjects take royal jelly combined with bee pollen, researchers found that their bone density was higher, mineral content had improved and their rate of bone loss had decreased during the treatment period (24).
This animal study needs to be confirmed by clinical trials, but this is promising research that could help to treat osteoporosis.
Reduces Side Effects of Cancer Treatment
Cancer treatment can kill disease but also can lead to many adverse reactions, including ulcers in the mouth and pain sores on the skin.
Cancer patients taking royal jelly saw improved healing time for these types of sores, as well as fewer ulcers overall (25).
Promotes Healthy Lipid Levels
By improving the metabolizing of fats by the liver, royal jelly can lower cholesterol levels, including reducing LDL or bad cholesterol markers (26).
Could Relieve Dry Eyes
In preliminary research, royal jelly has shown promise for treating chronic dry eye, which can be caused by a number of conditions.
By increasing tear secretion, the compounds in this supplement can alleviate the irritation and other effects of dry eye (27).
For many people, this natural solution is a better alternative than other conventional treatments.
Can Help Fight Cancer
Known carcinogens, such as bisphenol-A or BPA, can increase your risk for developing certain types of cancer.
BPS is commonly found in plastic, so it is difficult to escape exposure to it in the modern world (28).
In one study, royal jelly successfully blocked carcinogens, including BPA, which indicates it has the potential to help prevent cancer (29).
More research is needed to understand this mechanism of action, as well as to apply it to all types of cancers.
Prevents Premature Aging
Antioxidants are the key to longer living and better aging because they fight the effects of free radical damage.
Free radicals are responsible for premature aging, hair loss, wrinkles and cellular degeneration (30).
Can Lower Blood Pressure
Hypertension or high blood pressure is a risk factor for heart disease.
The compounds found in royal jelly are effective at relaxing the smooth muscles of the heart, which can lower blood pressure and improve heart health (31).
Humans require 20 different amino acids.
While we can produce many of these ourselves, there are nine that we must obtain from outside sources to survive.
These are known as essential amino acids.
Royal jelly contains eight of these nine essential compounds (32).
When you have all the essential acids, your body can regulate its metabolism and keep all its functions and systems running smoothly.
If you are unable to get the essential amino acids from your dietary sources, taking royal jelly can help you to keep your cellular metabolism regulated.
Boosts Mental Health
Mental health is an important part of your overall well-being.
Those who took royal jelly during one study reported higher mental health assessment scores at the end of the six-month trial, indicating that this supplement could help boost mental health and improve outlook and mood (33).
Treats Rheumatoid Arthritis
The body’s response to autoimmune disorders, like rheumatoid arthritis, is to increase the inflammatory response.
In this disease, it can damage joint tissues and lead to joint deterioration.
Royalisin, which is found in royal jelly, can reduce this inflammation and stop joint damage due to rheumatoid arthritis (34).
Anemia is a deficiency in red blood cells, which can result in fatigue and several other symptoms.
Over six months, patients in one study took royal jelly and saw improvements in their red blood cell counts (35).
Protects Liver Function
In animal trials, royal jelly has been shown to help protect the liver and prevent damage from anemia.
By restoring red blood cell counts and reducing liver enzyme levels, this supplement can help keep your liver working smoothly (36).
Precautions and Interactions
While most people tolerate it well, royal jelly can result in adverse reactions in some people.
If you are allergic or sensitive to bee stings, you are more likely to respond negatively to this supplement (37).
Those with asthma, are also susceptible to adverse reactions (38).
If you experience any type of allergic reaction to royal jelly, including hives, dizziness, tingling, numbness or facial or tongue swelling, you should discontinue use immediately and see a doctor.
If your immune system is overactive, due to allergies or an autoimmune disorder, you are more likely to have an allergic response to this product.
The most common side effects include nausea, diarrhea, skin irritation, and stomach upset (39).
There has been little research on the effects of royal jelly on small children or women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Royal jelly influences some medications, especially blood thinners, which may lead to internal bleeding.
Talk with your doctor about any medications you take, before starting to use royal jelly.
Royal jelly has been used for centuries due to its restorative and healing powers.
Researchers are now learning even more about the possible health benefits of this bee product.
Its high concentration of fatty acids, B vitamins, and antioxidants have given it a reputation as a fountain of youth.
The 17 different amino acids and the potassium, magnesium, calcium, copper, sulfur, zinc, iron and manganese found in royal jelly make it an excellent nutritional supplement.
They all combine to provide regeneration and rejuvenation for the body.
Royal jelly helps to fight the signs of aging, protects the brain from neurodegeneration and alleviates damage to the body from inflammation and oxidative stress.
Researchers have now identified several key areas where royal jelly can be used to improve health, including as a treatment for wounds, diabetes, allergies, reproductive health, and heart disease risk factors.
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