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12 Lesser Known Health Benefits Of Royal Jelly

Royal jelly is the secretion produced by honey bees to feed the queen bees and their young. It is a gelatinous substance, with a creamy white colour and high nutritional benefits. It is secreted from the glands in the hypopharynx of nurse bees which help trigger the development of the queen bee. Apart from being the nutritional feed to bee larvae, royal jelly is extremely beneficial for human consumption [1] .

[Source: Liberal dictionary]

Currently, royal jelly is widely used as a dietary supplement and is used for the treatment of various illnesses and chronic diseases. Possessing antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties, it can be consumed orally and applied directly to the skin [2] . Though its name makes it look like the food of royalty, royal jelly is not expensive and is commonly available for use and consumption. It is available in powder and capsule form as well.

From contributing to healthy bone development to boosting your immune system, royal jelly can be the new healthy addition into your diet [3] . Read on to know more about royal jelly, the benefits it possesses and the ways through which it can benefit your body and mind.

Nutritional Information Of Royal Jelly

Comprised of water, protein, carbohydrates and fat - royal jelly contains a wide variety of nutrients. Royal jelly has traces of minerals such as calcium, copper, iron, phosphorous, silicon, sulphur, and potassium. Along with that, it also has B-family vitamins, biotin, inositol, folate, nucleic acids, gamma globulin, thiamine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine and 17 different amino acids. Apart from these, it possesses 8 essential amino acids that the human body cannot make of its own [4] , [5] .

The high nutritional value of royal jelly can be accorded to its unique proteins and fatty acids like nine glycoproteins - known as the major royal jelly proteins (MRJPs) and two fatty acids, trans-10-Hydroxy-2-decanoic acid and 10-Hydroxydecanoic acid [5] .

Health Benefits Of Royal Jelly

The most common advantages of the gelatinous substances are as follows [6] , [7] , [8] , [9] , [10] :

1. Prevents cancer

Rich in antioxidants, royal jelly has been known to possess the ability to prevent the onset of cancerous cells in your body. Studies have revealed that royal jelly has the ability to stop the development of bisphenol A - an environmental oestrogen that can trigger breast cancer.

2. Treats infertility

The royalactin in royal jelly is asserted to be beneficial in the treatment of infertility issues in men. Although there is a lack of clarity on the specific role of the protein, it has been proven to increase fertility and sperm motility in men.

3. Regulates blood pressure

The protein hydrolysate in royal jelly is revealed to have an effective role in impacting the blood pressure levels. The combination of potassium and the protein help reduce the stress on blood vessels and the heart; mainly because potassium acts as a vasodilator and help prevent the onset of cardiovascular issues.

4. Treats diabetes

Various studies have been conducted on understanding the impact of royal jelly on individuals suffering from diabetes. Although it did not have any immediate effects, royal jelly was able to positively impact the glucose levels; especially in individuals with type 2 diabetes.

5. Treats osteoporosis

According to a study conducted by the Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Medical Faculty of Erciyes University in Turkey, royal jelly has been proven to improve your bone mineral density and restrict the bone loss caused as a result of osteoporosis.

6. Manages menopausal and post-menopausal symptoms

A combination of royal jelly with that of evening primrose oil, damiana and ginseng have been shown to have a positive impact of easing the symptoms. It helps reduce the menopausal symptoms and improve the overall feeling and mental state of women going through menopause.

7. Boosts immune system

The presence of histamine in royal jelly can help improve your bodily functions by improving your immunity, thereby preventing your body from bacterial and other toxin attacks. Histamine help suppress the allergens and help relieve the symptoms of diseases.

8. Improves metabolism

One of the major benefits of royal jelly is that it contains eight necessary amino acids that humans cannot produce themselves. These amino acids are extremely beneficial in the development of proteins in your body, which in turn keeps the metabolism functioning well. Royal jelly help boost muscle development and growth, increase bone strength and cellular regeneration, all resulting in the improved functioning of your body.

9. Aids weight loss

The presence of lecithin in royal jelly contributes toward this health benefit. Lecithin helps lower one's cholesterol levels, promote healthy digestion and help improve the liver function. All these are critical factors that help prevent unnecessary weight gain and promote weight loss, in a healthy manner.

10. Prevents premature ageing

The antioxidants found in royal jelly help eliminate the free radicals that cause early ageing, resulting in your skin developing wrinkles, black spots, blemishes etc. Consumption of royal jelly help give a healthy shine to your skin and prevent macular degeneration. It also helps prevent the onset of chronic diseases, thereby improving one's life expectancy as well [11] .

11. Reduces inflammation

Royal jelly has anti-inflammatory properties, due to the presence of vitamins and active enzymes. Topical application of royal jelly can help reduce the swelling and provide relief from the pain caused by the inflammation.

12. Manages chemotherapy effects

An individual undergoing chemotherapy is subjected to various side effects such as nausea, inflammation, heart failure etc. Royal jelly can be applied for getting relief from chemotherapy conducted for prostate, breast, lung, ovarian, bladder, melanoma, oesophageal, and many other types of cancers [12] .

Dosage Of Royal Jelly

It is available in powder, capsule and fresh forms. Recent studies point out that 300 to 6,000 mg per day is the optimum dosage [13] .

For menopausal symptoms (orally): 150 mg of royal jelly, taken daily for 3 months, or one or two capsules for 12 weeks.

Side Effects Of Royal Jelly

  • Individuals who are allergic to bee products, bee sting or pollen should not consume royal jelly [14] .
  • Do not use royal jelly if you are suffering from asthma, as in some cases it can even result in death.
  • Consuming royal jelly can worsen dermatitis or inflamed skin.
  • Individuals who have low blood pressure should avoid royal jelly as it can reduce your blood pressure further.

Some of the other side effects of royal jelly are mentioned below. If you experience any of the following, consult a doctor immediately [15] , [16] .

  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness or confusion
  • Excessive itching
  • Wheezing or other breathing problems
  • Hives
  • Digestive issues, such as abdominal pain or diarrhoea
  • Nausea
View Article References
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  2. [2] Nagai, T., Sakai, M., Inoue, R., Inoue, H., & Suzuki, N. (2001). Antioxidative activities of some commercially honeys, royal jelly, and propolis.Food chemistry,75(2), 237-240.
  3. [3] Fujiwara, S., Imai, J., Fujiwara, M., Yaeshima, T., Kawashima, T., & Kobayashi, K. (1990). A potent antibacterial protein in royal jelly. Purification and determination of the primary structure of royalisin.Journal of biological chemistry,265(19), 11333-11337.
  4. [4] Blum, M. S., Novak, A. F., & Taber, S. (1959). 10-hydroxy-Δ2-decenoic acid, an antibiotic found in royal jelly.Science,130(3373), 452-453.
  5. [5] Maori, E., Navarro, I. C., Boncristiani, H., Seilly, D. J., Rudolph, K. L. M., Sapetschnig, A., ... & Miska, E. A. (2019). A Secreted RNA Binding Protein Forms RNA-Stabilizing Granules in the Honeybee Royal Jelly.Molecular Cell.
  6. [6] Fratini, F., Cilia, G., Mancini, S., & Felicioli, A. (2016). Royal Jelly: An ancient remedy with remarkable antibacterial properties.Microbiological research,192, 130-141.
  7. [7] Pasupuleti, V. R., Sammugam, L., Ramesh, N., & Gan, S. H. (2017). Honey, propolis, and royal jelly: a comprehensive review of their biological actions and health benefits.Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity,2017.
  8. [8] Martínez-Domínguez, G., Romero-González, R., & Frenich, A. G. (2016). Multi-class methodology to determine pesticides and mycotoxins in green tea and royal jelly supplements by liquid chromatography coupled to Orbitrap high resolution mass spectrometry.Food chemistry,197, 907-915.
  9. [9] Tian, W., Li, M., Guo, H., Peng, W., Xue, X., Hu, Y., ... & Li, X. (2018). Architecture of the native major royal jelly protein 1 oligomer.Nature communications,9(1), 3373.
  10. [10] Oo, W. M. (2018). Pharmacological effects of Royal Jelly on Human Skin.Pharmacological and Pharmaceutical Reports,1(2), 20-23.
  11. [11] Buttstedt, A., Mureşan, C. I., Lilie, H., Hause, G., Ihling, C. H., Schulze, S. H., ... & Moritz, R. F. (2018). How honeybees defy gravity with royal jelly to raise queens.Current Biology,28(7), 1095-1100.
  12. [12] Ibrahim, S. E. M., & Kosba, A. A. (2018). Royal jelly supplementation reduces skeletal muscle lipotoxicity and insulin resistance in aged obese rats.Pathophysiology,25(4), 307-315.
  13. [13] Wang, Y., Ma, L., Zhang, W., Cui, X., Wang, H., & Xu, B. (2016). Comparison of the nutrient composition of royal jelly and worker jelly of honey bees (Apis mellifera).Apidologie,47(1), 48-56.
  14. [14] Ghanbari, E., Nejati, V., & Khazaei, M. (2016). Antioxidant and protective effects of Royal jelly on histopathological changes in testis of diabetic rats.International Journal of Reproductive BioMedicine,14(8), 519.
  15. [15] Shorter, J. R., Geisz, M., Özsoy, E., Magwire, M. M., Carbone, M. A., & Mackay, T. F. (2015). The effects of royal jelly on fitness traits and gene expression in Drosophila melanogaster.PloS one,10(7), e0134612.
  16. [16] Pirk, C. W. (2018). Honeybee evolution: royal jelly proteins help queen larvae to stay on top.Current Biology,28(8), R350-R351.
Story first published: Monday, May 6, 2019, 16:30 [IST]