All About Royal Jelly
Royal Jelly is a creamy white substance synthesized by the common worker bee for the sole nourishment of the Queen bee, and has been shown to provide a host of benefits to human health*.
Royal jelly’s benefits become more apparent once we examine its role in the diet of the Queen bee. The Queen bee is remarkable in her extended longevity and reproductive capability when compared to the common worker bee or drone bee. The Queen lives almost ten times longer then the worker bee. She lives typically for five to six years whereas a six week lifespan is common for the worker bee. The Queen grows to be almost 50% larger than the worker and has exceptional reproductive capabilities, laying almost 2500 eggs in a single day.
So how does the Queen bee achieve this remarkable longevity? –
The Queen is hatched from the same egg as the worker bee but is selected to receive a diet of pure royal jelly, while the common worker bee feeds off honey and other substances around the hive. This remarkable product benefits the Queen bee in many ways and transforms her into a powerful insect, enhancing her physical performance to remarkable levels.
To try and understand more about where the benefits actually come from, let’s take a closer look at the chemical composition of royal jelly: [royal jelly, the queen bee etc]
Royal jelly contains approximately 12% protein, 5-6% lipids and 12-15% carbohydrates. Its B Vitamin content is also quite high, and with 17 amino acids, including all 8 essential amino acids, it is a nutritious hormone-rich substance with a wide spectrum of potential benefits.
It also contains around 15% aspartic acid, which is important for tissue growth, muscle and cell regeneration. Though samples may vary dependent upon source, a typical breakdown of 1 gram of the substance is as follows –
- Vitamin Content?Vitamin B I (Thiamine) 1.5 to 7.4 mcg
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 5.3 to 10.0 mcg
- Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) 2.2 to 10.2 mcg
- Niacin (nicotinic acid) 91.0 to 149.0 mcg
- Pantothenic Acid 65.0 to 200.0 mcg
- Biotin 0.9 to 3.7 mcg
- Inositol 78.0 to 150.0 mcg
- Folic Acid 0.16 to 0.50mcg
- Vitamin C Trace amount
It’s worthy of note that regional variations and the processes used in collecting the product from the hive will impact these numbers, so they’ll vary slightly from source to source and batch to batch.
You can quite easily neutralize any benefits during the collection and subsequent processing of the substance as it’s removed from the hive. So be sure to buy product from reputable sources.
Royal jelly is taken widely to:
- help combat the effects of allergies
- as an energy booster
- may help with the affects of stress and fatigue
- For Hair / Skin / Nails
- Often Taken for longevity
- as a potent anti-aging supplement.
View more specific uses and benefits of royal jelly
Not surprisingly, man has shown much interest in royal jelly and has long sought to unlock the benefits and recreate the substance artificially. Many studies have been performed to try to establish its nutritional content and the effect and benefit of those nutrients on living beings. Many interesting facts have been revealed from studies on royal jelly, for example:
- It is the only natural source of pure acetylcholine.
- It has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties and has been implicated as beneficial in a wide range of health conditions.
- Royal jelly contains an unknown / unidentified component termed ‘royalactin’. Learn more about royalactin here.
Benefits – Many of the benefits of royal jelly are associated with its high concentration of essential amino acids, and we refer you to our chapter on amino acids for more information and more possible benefits to explore – amino acids.
In short, the substance has been noted for its potential benefits on*:
• chronic fatigue
• skin / hair / nails / bones / joints
• hormonal regulation
• sexual vitality / impotence / fertility / libido
• weight regulation
• rejuvenation – recovery from illness
• immune system stimulant
• cholesterol levels
• cardiovascular health
• anti-depressive / anti-anxiety
• high blood pressure
• mental condition / memory
• liver ailments / conditions
• eczema / impetigo / skin disorders
It is associated with benefits to bronchial asthma, insomnia, and many skin problems. It is known to support the immune system and may be of benefit in liver, kidney, and pancreatic diseases as well as stomach ulcers and bone fractures.
Whilst we refrain from making claims as to its benefits, this section will try to help you investigate the many uses for the product and assist you in finding the most appropriate format for your needs.
Looking at Wikipedia as a reference for royal jelly, we found a good deal of positive and useful information on the ailments it is commonly used to treat, including the following information:
Royal jelly has been reported as a possible immunomodulatory agent in Graves’ disease. It has also been reported to stimulate the growth of glial cells and neural stem cells in the brain. To date, there is preliminary evidence that it may have some cholesterol-lowering, anti-inflammatory, wound-healing, and antibiotic effects, though the last three of these effects are unlikely to be realized if ingested (due to the destruction of the substances involved through digestion, or neutralization via changes in PH. Research also suggests that the 10-Hydroxy-2-decenoic acid (10-HDA) found in the substance may inhibit the vascularization of tumors. Royal Jelly is said to improve fertility in both men and women, in men by increasing the quality of their sperm, and in women by increasing the quality of their eggs. More can be read on fertility and libido here.
Royal jelly may have a yeast inhibiting function which may prevent conditions such as thrush and athlete’s foot. It has also been used to treat muscular dystrophy, MS and Parkinson’s disease as well as reduce allergic symptoms and help control cholesterol levels.
Also of significance, it has been found to be of potential help in boosting the body’s resistance to the harmful side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. These treatments attack the immune system at its very core, and in many cases the actual treatment delivers a more debilitating blow than the illness itself.
Like the immune system benefits of propolis, it also appears to have anti-tumor properties. A team of Japanese researchers gave the substance to one of two groups of laboratory mice before transplanting different types of cancer cells in them. The royal jelly had dramatic effects on sarcoma cells. The life-span of the mice was extended by about one-fifth and tumor sizes were about half the size, compared with untreated mice, according to a report in the journal Nippon Yakurigaku Zasshji-Folia Pharmacologica Japonica (Feb. 1987;89:73-80).
Along with bee pollen, propolis and honey, royal jelly contains a natural source of essential nutrients which the body needs to maintain good health. Maintaining good health is especially hard in todays increasingly toxic environment as our food supply is often deficient in important nutrients.
Of course caution should be shown when considering royal jelly in supplement form. Firstly, there are many associated potential benefits of this substance and the emphasis should be on ‘potential’. We are certainly not saying this product should be used as a treatment for any disease – if you are sick then seek professional help.
Secondly, a small percentage of people experience a negative side effect when taking royal jelly. The adverse reaction can manifest in a variety of ways but the most common seems to be a reddening of the skin or flushing of the face akin to that experienced when contracting hives. Obviously one should stop using the product immediately if this occurs and seek medical advice if the symptoms persist.
Can Man Recreate Royal Jelly?
No. Studies have uncovered some of the nutritional properties of this substance, but much remains undiscovered.
Dr. Albert Saenz of the Pasteur Institute in Paris wrote:
“Numerous studies demonstrate the existence of fractions in RJ which correspond to 97 percent of the substance, plus an undermined fraction whose very presence could explain the remarkable and mysterious properties of RJ.” He continues, ” Here’s yet another product of the beehive with a touch of the bee’s magic in it. I suppose some day science will figure out what these unidentifiable elements are and some researcher will try to manufacture them. Until then, the only place to get these mystery nutrients is from the bees.”
There’s often much confusion among shoppers when trying to decide what kind of royal jelly to buy.
The most common issue is that surrounding the benefits of freeze dried royal jelly versus fresh liquid royal jelly. Royal Jelly is a liquid containing approximately 67% water, and as such is prone to contamination once it is removed from the sterile environment of the beehive. Once removed from the hive it must be processed quickly to prevent contamination, ideally within two or three hours.
Processing generally involves one or a combination of the following steps:
• Treating the product with a chemical preservative.
• Lyophilizing the product (removing the water, often termed freeze-drying)
• Adding a natural preservative like honey.
• Freezing the substance or attempting to maintain it in a refrigerated state.
Which royal jelly has most benefits, fresh or freeze dried?
The favored process in the industry is lyophilizing or freeze-drying. This removes the water without affecting the nutrient quality of the product. It creates a white powder which can be capsulated for human consumption and is preserved effectively for use as a health supplement. Once in capsulated form the product generally has a shelf life of 3 years and does not require refrigeration, though this may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.
But why do companies still continue to sell it in liquid form? – there’s no reason not to, so long as the company can source liquid royal jelly which hasn’t been previously pasteurized and has the capacity to process it and to still retain its benefits. The downside is that you are essentially producing a product that is mostly water. When you offer this in pill form the pills are going to be very low potency, only 150mg of active substance is typical. So the consumer must take many pills to have an effective daily dose.
We prefer to remove the water, retain the integrity of the product and offer our customers high dosage capsules.
For example, if you do a Google search for ‘royal jelly’, and run through the top 20 or so companies who appear in the results, I know for a fact that over 50% of them use raw ingredients which are pasteurized. That sounds odd when you consider the claims companies make about the ‘freshness’ and integrity of their products and how one might ‘feel the benefits’.
Obviously there is a lot of hype, so tread carefully. Here is an article on the issue of pasteurization – harm caused by pasteurization.
A veritable jewel of nutrition royal jelly is recognized as a potent substance for energy, vitality and a variety of other health benefits.
Royal jelly differs in its nutritional properties from bee pollen and propolis, offering a broad range of amino acids and other nutrients which may be of benefit to your health.
While it may provide benefits it is important to use a substance which has been properly harvested, processed and packaged.