8 Potential Health Benefits of Royal Jelly

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

The potential health benefits of royal jelly include its ability to lower blood pressure, aid with sexual infertility, lower cholesterol levels, protect the liver, reduce inflammation, heal digestive disorders, prevent premature aging, help in weight loss, and increase circulation.

What is Royal Jelly?

While most people know that honey comes from bees, they don’t know that there is another nutritious type of food that comes from the same insect. Royal jelly is excreted from the top of a bee’s head and is collected in what’s called a queen cell (a special honeycomb). When bee larvae are first born, they are fed royal jelly directly from the workers to get a healthy, nutritious boost so they survive their first few days of life. However, after 3-4 days, larvae no longer consume it. For potential queen bees, this jelly is far more important. Queen larvae are put into these special queen cells and are surrounded by royal jelly. This is what helps them to develop their “queen morphology”.

A small bottle of organic royal jelly with a little spoon on it surrounded by different colorful flowers

Royal jelly is often sold as a dietary supplement. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

There is a single protein, royalactin, that causes the phenotypic change in the queen larvae. It causes them to develop ovaries and grow to a far larger size than normal bees. Furthermore, it has been known to extend the lifespan of a queen more than 20 times than that of a normal bee. Also, since bees are such good workers, a single colony can store up to 500 grams over 5 months. [1]

You can commonly found it in diet or organic food stores or at farmers’ markets. In terms of use, it usually comes in granules or powdered form and is commonly added to salads, smoothies, yogurt, or cold beverages. It is important never to heat royal jelly because it will destroy all of the enzymatic properties and some of the proteins that make it beneficial for human consumption. Although it is not widely known, it is packed with health benefits for those who choose to add it to their diet. It is not a vegan-friendly product. [2] [3]

Nutritional Value

Royal jelly contains a rich variety of nutrients including minerals like calcium, copper, iron, phosphorous, silicon, sulfur, and potassium, as well as a wealth of B-family vitamins, biotin, inositol, folate, nucleic acids, gamma globulin, and 17 different amino acids, including the 8 essential amino acids that the human body cannot produce, and must, therefore, get from their diet. [4]

Health Benefits of Royal Jelly

The health benefits of this form of jelly are as follows; [5]

Regulates Blood Pressure

Research has revealed that some of the proteins found in royal jelly have a direct effect on the blood pressure levels in humans. This protein hydrolysate can have a long-lasting impact on blood pressure. It also contains potassium, which acts as a vasodilator to reduce stress on blood vessels and the heart. [6]

Balances Cholesterol Levels

Although most people associate sweet, delicious food with unhealthy cholesterol, that isn’t the case with royal jelly. Research has shown that consistently adding it to your diet can cause a notable drop in your “bad” cholesterol levels, thereby helping you prevent atherosclerosis and cardiovascular issues like heart attacks and strokes. [7]

May Help With Infertility Issues

Although the exact function of royal jelly in the fertility process is unclear, some suspect that its impact on human fertility is connected to royalactin, the protein that affects the queen’s morphology and helps her become sexually viable. Whatever the reason happens to be, it has been shown to increase fertility and sperm motility in men, thereby increasing their partner’s chances of becoming pregnant. [8]

May Reduce Side Effects of Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy agents no doubt help in reducing the risk of cancer but they also bring along some side effects like inflammation and heart failure. One example is the use of paclitaxel, which is used for lowering the threat of prostate, breast, lung, ovarian, bladder, melanoma, esophageal, and many other types of solid tumors. Research conducted in 2016 suggests that royal jelly can protect you from the negative side effects. [9]

Reduces Inflammation

The impressive vitamins and active enzymes in royal jelly make it a potential anti-inflammatory agent. You can topically apply it to affected areas of the body to relieve the pain of inflammation. [10]

Prevents Premature Aging

Just as royal jelly helps to extend the queen’s lifespan significantly, the antioxidants found in it can also work to eliminate the free radicals that normally cause premature aging. Antioxidants can eliminate wrinkles, maintain a healthy shine to your skin, prevent hair loss, and avoid macular degeneration, while also extending your life by preventing certain chronic diseases. [11]

Weight Loss

Lecithin is one of the components in royal jelly, which can effectively lower cholesterol, improve liver function, and promote healthy digestion. All of these things can help with weight loss. When combined with the improved metabolism and the protein content of this nutrient supplement, it can work as a definite weight loss booster! [12]

Boosts Metabolism

The fact that royal jelly contains all 8 of the necessary amino acids that humans cannot produce themselves, makes it a very important food source. These 8 amino acids can be difficult to acquire but are necessary for forging new proteins in the body and keeping our metabolism running properly. Royal jelly can, therefore, increase cellular regeneration, boost muscle development and growth, increase bone strength, and optimize the hormonal/enzymatic processes in our body. [13]

Word of Caution: Many people are allergic to honey, bee pollen, and royal jelly. The allergic reaction can also be quite severe, even causing rapid anaphylaxis. Before adding royal jelly to your diet, it is a good idea to speak with your doctor or allergist.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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