Is Royal Jelly a Superfood?

Organic Raw Royal Jelly -

Description of royal jelly

Royal jelly is a white gelatinous substance secreted by certain glands of young nurse bees. It is intended to feed the larvae in the first stage of development and is the exclusive diet of queens throughout their existence. Also called “milk bees”, it contains from 50% to 65% water and many other substances making it the perfect superfood, including:

  • Sugars (15%), mainly fructose and glucose;
  • Proteins (18% to 13%);
  • Fatty (3% to 6%);
  • Minerals (1.5%);
  • Vitamins, especially the B group, especially B1 and B5;
  • Trace elements (inorganic form of traces).

The fact that the Queen, who feeds exclusively, much larger than the other bees, and live 5 or 6 years, while the working life of workers hardly exceeds been partly attributed to the royal jelly 45 days. Some manufacturers and distributors benefit to extol the supposedly miraculous effects of their products, a dubious extrapolation. Indeed, other insects grow very quickly without royal jelly and longevity of insects is not within the same mechanisms as that of humans.

Normally, the amount of royal jelly produced in a hive is barely enough to support growth of larvae and feeding the queen. To obtain the desired quantities, beekeepers remove the queen of the hive. They thus encourage workers to raise several larvae intended to produce queens and therefore produce more royal jelly. Before these techniques are developed, royal jelly remained a rare and relatively unknown.

History of royal jelly

It is said that the rulers of ancient Chinese royal jelly attributed the power to ensure longevity and sexual vigor. This is however only for 70 to 80 years it has become really popular with the Chinese. It is present in many preparations for the treatment of arthritic pain, hypertension, diabetes, chronic hepatitis, menstrual disorders, infertility and fatigue. In traditional Chinese medicine, this substance is considered a tonic in cases of deficiency of Yin.

There is a similar tradition popular in Eastern Europe and Russia, where the royal jelly is considered an adaptogen. An adaptogen is a substance that increases in general and non-specific resistance of the organism to various stresses that reach. While causing minimal side effects, an adaptogen exert nonspecific normalizing action on many organs and physiological functions.

In the early twentieth century, beekeepers have developed techniques for the production of royal jelly on an industrial scale. The industrial production and use of lyophilisation (freeze-drying process) helped popularize royal jelly around the world. In Japan, for example, consumes in Genki, especially popular tonic beverages to office workers. China is the world’s largest producer of royal jelly.

Research on royal jelly

Few rigorous scientific studies on the therapeutic effect of royal jelly in humans have been published. Especially it has in vitro and on animals. The product is used, however, has long been the traditional way to reduce physical and mental fatigue and stress, enhance immunity, support convalescents and treat sexual and menstrual disorders.

Menopause traditional use: According to data in vitro and on animals, royal jelly contains compounds with estrogenic activity, which may partly explain its traditional use for menstrual disorders in women. Two Japanese clinical trials from the 1970s suggest that royal jelly can have a positive effect on the hormonal balance of menopausal women, but there is no detail to assess their methodological quality.

Two more recent preliminary clinical studies, including without placebo, on a preparation containing royal jelly, pollen and vitamin C (Melbrosia®) gave good results in terms of reducing many symptoms of menopause. However, as it is a product containing other ingredients, it is unclear what role the royal jelly has played in these studies.

Traditional use immunity: A number of animal studies and in vitro and found the immunostimulatory immunomodulatory activity of royal jelly. These actions are common to adaptogenic substances and have been granted to certain fatty acids and proteins that royal jelly contains.


Although the treatment of hyperlipidemia is not part of the traditional indications of royal jelly, some researchers have studied this indication. Current scientific evidence is not convincing. A series of studies carried out in Europe in the 1960s have yielded positive results, but their methodological quality leaves much to be desired. Two more recent trials have yielded interesting results on cholesterol levels, but their methodology is also low (no placebo group, etc.).

Royal jelly is used to fight allergies. However, in a study involving 64 children, treatment, taken 3 to 6 months before the pollen season, was not more effective than placebo for changing the incidence and severity of allergic rhinitis (hay fever).

An ointment royal jelly and vitamin B5 (Pedyhar ®), in addition to other customary interventions promoted wound healing in 60 diabetic patients with serious foot ulcers.

In a preliminary test in humans, a single dose of royal jelly has reduced levels of sugar in the blood of healthy subjects.

Several researchers, mainly in Japan, exploring the effects of royal jelly on animals. Some examples: protection against toxicity of ciplastine (an anticancer drug); protective effect on cognitive function of mice exposed to a neurotoxic substance; acceleration of healing of oral inflammation (mucositis); anti-fatigue effect and hypotensive; stimulating effect on the thyroid gland; treatment of colitis.


Some authors argue that we can safely take up to 1.2 g per day of royal jelly and even more. It is important to start with a low dose and gradually increase it to detect possible allergy.

During the years 2000-2009, was detected cases of contamination chloramphenicol (antibiotic toxic in high doses) in Italy, the UK and Australia, particularly in products imported from China. In general, the detected amounts are minimal, but the use of chloramphenicol is banned in animal production in the countries mentioned, and Canada. His presence is not permitted, nor in the imported products.


People allergic to honey, pollen, bee stings and plants of the Compositae family (daisy, echinacea, dandelion, etc..) Could also be royal jelly.

There have been several allergic and anaphylactic reactions jelly royale32-36, among others in subjects with asthma or atopic eczema.

Adverse effects

Topical use, royal jelly may cause or exacerbate dermatitis (skin inflammation).


With plants or supplements: None known to date.

Some products on the market have a standardized content of 10-2 HDA (10-hydroxy-2 decenoic), a lipid active ingredients of royal jelly which also serves as a marker.

Since the late 1990s, the Food and Drug Administration regularly called to order manufacturers and distributors of royal jelly. Indeed, many of them are unfounded allegations about the virtues of their product: treat arthritis, kidney disease and fractures, antibiotic effect, weight loss, to name a few.

Written & Translated by Teddy Nseir

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