The use of royal jelly is more and more popular. However, not everyone can use this source of nutrition.
The following article will help you better understand the benefits as well as who should not use royal jelly.
What is Royal Jelly?
Royal jelly is a milky white secretion secreted by worker bees. It typically contains about 60% to 70% water, 12% to 15% protein, 10% to 16% sugar, 3% to 6% fat, 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 nourish the queen bee. Some people use royal jelly as a medicine. Do not confuse royal jelly with beeswax, beeswax, bee venom or propolis. There is very little scientific information about the effects of royal jelly on humans. In animals, royal jelly seems to have some activity against tumors and the development of “hardening of the arteries.”
Royal jelly is mainly water, sugar, fatty acids and some unique proteins, one of which is called royalactin. Many of the health benefits mentioned are based on royalactin’s effect on larval development. When a queen bee dies, worker bees deliver large quantities of royal jelly to a selected female larva, consuming them altering the insect’s DNA and turning it into a queen.
Proteins derived from bees, along with a number of antioxidants and antibacterial compounds, are believed to have health benefits in humans.
A 2016 study in the Canadian Journal of Diabetes found that royal jelly can regulate blood sugar levels. According to the study, 50 people with type 2 diabetes were given either a placebo or 1,000 mg of royal jelly three times daily. At the end of the eight-week trial, the group taking the food had a significant reduction in their blood sugar, while those given a placebo had a slight increase.
Despite the positive results, a 2019 review in the World Journal of Diabetes showed only a minimal benefit to consuming this food. Based on a review of 18 clinical studies, the researchers concluded that the quality of evidence supporting their use in diabetes was low to very low.
Hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol) is a disorder associated with atherosclerosis (“hardening of the arteries”), heart attack, and stroke. In a small study published in the journal Gynecological Endocrinology, 36 postmenopausal women given 150 mg of royal jelly per day experienced a 7.7% increase in “good” HDL cholesterol as well as a 4.1% decrease in LDL cholesterol. “bad” and reduced total cholesterol by 3.1%.
Similar results were obtained in a 2017 study in the journal Pharmaceutical Biology in which 40 adults with mild hypercholesterolemia were given a placebo or 350 mg per day. After three months, LDL and total cholesterol levels were reduced in the royal jelly group. On the other hand, there were no changes in HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, body weight, waist size or body fat compared with the placebo group.
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
Preliminary research shows benefit for the treatment of symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). In a 2014 study published in the Journal of Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 110 female college students with premenstrual syndrome were given either 1,000 mg of royal jelly or a placebo. Treatment begins on the first day of menstruation and continues for two menstrual cycles. After two cycles, women in the use group had a more than 50% reduction in their PMS symptom scores, while women in the placebo group had a less than 5% reduction.
May aid in wound healing and skin recovery
Royal jelly – both taken orally and applied topically – can aid in wound healing and other inflammatory skin conditions. It is known to have antibacterial effects, which can keep wounds clean and free of infection.
An animal study showed an increase in collagen production in rats given royal jelly extract. Collagen is an important structural protein for skin repair. An in vitro study showed significantly enhanced tissue repair in human cells treated with royal jelly.
In contrast, a recent human study did not find any difference in wound healing between a control group and participants treated for topical diabetic foot ulcers. More research is needed on their effects on wound healing and tissue repair.
Depending on the purpose of use, you can choose liquid or capsule, tablet form
Antioxidant properties may support healthy brain function
One study revealed that stressed rats treated with royal jelly had lower levels of stress hormones and a stronger central nervous system than a control group. A separate study resulted in improved memory and reduced depressive symptoms in postmenopausal rats given royal jelly. Another animal study found that rats treated with this food were better able to clear certain brain chemicals associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Most of these studies attributed the protective effects to the brain and nervous tissue to its antioxidant capacity.
Can increase tear production and treat chronic dry eye
Royal jelly can treat dry eyes when taken orally. One animal and one human study showed improvement in chronic dry eye condition in those treated orally. The results indicate that this bee-derived substance can increase tear secretion from the lacrimal glands in your eyes.
No side effects have been reported from human studies. Therefore, royal jelly can be considered as a low-risk solution for chronic dry eye disease. Note, however, that this very small sample of data does not indicate that they can treat most people’s dry eye.
May support a healthy immune system
Royal jelly can enhance your body’s natural immune response against foreign bacteria and viruses. MRJPs and the fatty acids in royal jelly are known to promote antibacterial activity, may reduce infection rates, and support immune function. However, most applicable data are limited to animal and test-tube studies. Therefore, more human studies are needed to confirm these effects.
Reducing side effects of cancer treatment
Chemotherapy and other cancer treatments come with significant negative side effects, including heart failure, inflammation, and gastrointestinal (GI) problems. 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 has shown that topical application can prevent mucositis, a cancer treatment side effect that causes painful sores in your digestive tract.
Note when using
Despite FDA concerns, royal jelly is generally considered safe and well-tolerated when used appropriately. Studies have shown that you can take daily doses of up to 1,000 mg for three months with no noticeable side effects.
Because research is relatively limited, a firm recommended dosage for royal jelly has not been established. When taken as a supplement, royal jelly is available in its natural state – a gel-like substance – or in powder or capsule form. Current research supports possible benefits at 300–6,000 mg per day.
You can also apply it topically. If you have never used royal jelly before, it is best to start with a very small dose to avoid serious allergic reactions and side effects. If left untreated, anaphylaxis can lead to fainting, shock, coma, respiratory or heart failure, and death.
If you are new to use, you should be careful of allergies
Royal jelly may slow blood clotting and enhance the effects of blood thinners such as warfarin, leading to easy bruising and bleeding. If you use it continuously, 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, consult your doctor. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, consult your obstetrician-gynecologist before supplementing with royal jelly.
How to choose and preserve?
Royal jelly can be purchased online or found in pharmacies, health food stores, and some high-end grocery stores. There are different formulations available, including tablets, gel caps, liquids, pastes and fresh, unprocessed royal jelly. Supplements are the easiest to use and dose. The tablets and soft gel are both made with freeze-dried (freeze-dried) royal jelly and can be safely stored at room temperature.
When purchasing royal jelly supplements, choose brands that have been voluntarily tested by an independent certifying body such as the United States Pharmacopeia (USP), NSF International or ConsumerLab. Certification does not mean the product is effective, it simply contains the ingredients listed on the product label.
Always read product labels to see what other ingredients are included. If you don’t know what the ingredients are, ask your pharmacist or doctor. For extra quality and safety, choose an organic brand over a non-organic brand. If you are a vegan or vegetarian, buy only vegan-friendly gel caps to avoid animal-based gelatins.
Unprocessed royal jelly is usually packaged in small, dark glass bottles in dosages ranging from 250 mg to 500 mg. They can be quite bitter and are often mixed with honey to improve the taste. The main downside of unprocessed royal jelly is that it doesn’t keep well, only keeping for two weeks in the refrigerator or several months in the freezer. It is also quite expensive.
The liquid form has a more stable shelf life but often includes stabilizers and preservatives to extend shelf life. Typically, they can be stored for up to six months in the refrigerator or up to three years in the freezer.
If you decide to freeze royal jelly, divide it into smaller portions. After defrosting, never freeze them again. When exposed to air, royal jelly can turn from a creamy yellow to a darker brown. Over time, the gooey texture can also become thick and harder to spoon. Ultimately, color, texture, and flavor are indicative of their freshness. Never use a product past its expiration date or if it has an unpleasant odor and tastes rotten.
While royal jelly has been used in ancient medicinal practices for centuries, it has been largely rejected by Western medical practitioners due to a lack of research. However, this bee product is still commonly used as an alternative treatment for a variety of physical and mental ailments.
To date, many of the health claims associated with royal jelly remain unproven. The vast majority of available studies are limited to animal and test-tube studies or are very small in humans. While current research is promising, more research is still needed to determine how royal jelly can fit into a healthy lifestyle.
first2 Potential Health Benefits of Royal Jelly https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/royal-jelly Accessed date: 12/20/2020
The Health Benefits of Royal Jelly https://www.verywellhealth.com/the-benefits-of-royal-jelly-89507 Accessed date: 12/20/2020
Royal Jelly https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-503/royal-jelly Accessed date: 12/20/2020
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