(NaturalNews) Royal jelly is a thick and milky substance made by worker bees as food for the queen bee. They do this by mixing honey, bee pollen and enzymes from their throat glands. Because the queen bee is larger, stronger, has more stamina and lives longer than the other bees, royal jelly is believed to be a healthful supplement.
Royal jelly is nutritionally rich, containing good amounts of B-vitamins, including high levels of vitamin B5 and vitamin B6, and amino acids, including all eight essential amino acids. Further, it contains many other nutrients, including iron, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E.
Specific health benefits
Broadly speaking, royal jelly is useful for energy support as well as to help deal with fatigue and stress. Studies have shown that this substance could help to boost the immune system and speed up the healing of wounds. Research also suggests that royal jelly has anti-inflammatory properties.
A small Japanese study which was published in Nutrition Journal in 2012 found that royal jelly consumption helped to improve red blood cell production (erythropoiesis), glucose tolerance as well as mental health. In that study, 3000 mg of royal jelly in 100 ml of liquid per day was taken for six months and compared to a placebo.
Other health benefits of royal jelly include:
• Lowering cholesterol - Research has shown that royal jelly can help to lower cholesterol levels. Specific studies had revealed that 50-100 mg of royal jelly each day helped to lower total cholesterol levels by about 14 percent in persons who had moderately high cholesterol levels.
• Fighting cancer - In-vitro research has suggested that royal jelly could help to prevent cancer. For example, it was found that royal jelly blocked the growth-promoting effects of bisphenol A (BPA), an environmental estrogen, on human breast cancer MCF-7 cells. Other research also suggested that royal jelly could help suppress blood supply to tumors.
• Fighting pathogens - A study published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry found that a protein present in royal jelly had antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.
• Improving sexual health - Royal jelly boosts estrogen production and helps to stabilize female menstrual cycles, improve male sperm morphology as well as generally enhance sex drive.
• Helping osteoporosis - In one study, royal jelly helped to stimulate the production of type 1 collagen plus other actions needed for bone formation; this took place through its action on osteoblasts. This makes royal jelly potentially useful for osteoporosis.
• Improving skin health - Royal jelly is often found in skincare products, and that's because it contains compounds which exhibit anti-aging and invigorating properties.
• Relieving menopausal symptoms - Studies carried out on a mixture containing royal jelly, flower pollen and fermented bee pollen found that it helped to alleviate menopausal symptoms in about 33 percent of the study subjects. Such symptoms included headache, low energy, vaginal dryness and urinary incontinence.
Points to note
Royal jelly is typically consumed in tablets, capsules or liquid form.
Individuals allergic to honey, bee pollen or other bee products should refrain from consuming royal jelly. Allergic reactions are the main side effect associated with royal jelly intake and can include mild ones such as slight gastrointestinal upsets to more serious ones like asthma, intestinal bleeding and shock. For individuals who are very allergic to bee products, taking royal jelly could even have fatal consequences. Persons allergic to conifer and poplar trees may also want to avoid consuming royal jelly.
There were also reports of some persons suffering skin irritations when they used royal jelly topically.
Read more about royal jelly's health benefits here.
Sources for this article include:
Balch, James F., MD, and Stengler, Mark, ND. Prescription for Natural Cures: A Self-Care Guide for Treating Health Problems with Natural Remedies Including Diet and Nutrition, Nutritional Supplements, Bodywork, and More. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 2004. Print.
Gaby, Alan R., MD. The Natural Pharmacy: Complete A-Z Reference to Natural Treatments for Common Health Conditions. 3rd ed. New York, NY: Three Rivers Press, 2006. Print.