The products of hive contain unsuspected health virtues. Royal jelly can be an interesting ally to relieve menopausal disorders.
What is royal jelly?
Royal jelly is a milky substance secreted by the feeding bee’s glands. It’s used to feed the larvae of bees at the beginning of their development. It’s an interesting food choice in the hive since the queen bee feeds itself exclusively throughout her life. This is what would explain in part the queen bee lives much longer than her congeners.
Royal jelly composition
The royal jelly is for more than half composed of water. It also contains:
- 15% carbohydrates, predominantly fructose and glucose
- 13% to 18% protein
- 3% to 6% lipids (including stearic and palmitic acids)
- 1.5% minerals (calcium, silica, magnesium, sulfur, potassium, phosphorus, copper, iron)
- Vitamins, including group B
- Amino acids
What can royal jelly do for you?
Relieving menopause-related disorders
The royal jelly contains substances interacting with estrogen receptors. This estrogenic effect highlighted by in vitro studies (1-2) prompted researchers to question whether royal jelly could have an interest in the treatment of menopause-related disorders.
In a study published in 2004, Bulgarian researchers tested the effects of a preparation containing royal jelly, pollen and vitamin C (Melbrosia) with 55 menopausal women and observed an improvement in menopause symptoms (3). This same preparation had already been tested in a study published in 1994 and menopausal women reported an improvement in fatigue and headaches related to menopause (4).
Improve your blood lipids
Japanese researchers tested the effects of royal jelly on lipid metabolism. As part of this small study, 15 volunteers were divided into two groups, half of which took six grams of royal jelly per day for 4 weeks. The researchers observed a decrease in total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol among volunteers who received royal jelly (5). A 2009 study concluded royal jelly increased the level of “good” HDL-cholesterol but only among the older ones (6).
Boost your immunity
Royal jelly could help you boost your immune system. Numerous studies conducted in vitro shown royal jelly has an immunostimulant (7-8) and immunomodulatory (9) activity. In practice, Danish researchers tested the effect of royal jelly on children suffering from allergic rhinitis (10). 18 children with hay fever received either royal jelly or placebo for a period of 6 months prior to the pollen-exposure season. However, the researchers could not prove the efficiency of the royal jelly and the children who had received it did not show any significant reduction in their allergic symptoms.
Reduce fatigue among athletes
Royal jelly may be useful for athletes to reduce fatigue following physical exercise. For the time being, only a small study on mice has brought evidence (11). Japanese researchers have made up different groups of mice receiving royal jelly or not. They then subjected them to a swimming test before measuring fatigue indicators. They then found that mice’s which had received royal jelly were more enduring than their congeners. In addition, they showed a lower accumulation of lactate and ammonia and improved retention of muscle glycogen after exertion.
How to take royal jelly?
The royal jelly occurs either in fresh form or in freeze-dried form. The fresh form should be kept in the refrigerator and you can take 300 mg to 750 mg per day on a 4 to 6 week cure. In freeze-dried form you can take 100 mg to 250 mg of royal jelly per day.
1. Estrogenic activities of Fatty acids and a sterol isolated from royal jelly. Suzuki KM, Isohama Y, et al. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2008 Sep;5(3):295-302.
2. Georgiev DB, Metka M, et al. Effects of an herbal medication containing bee products on menopausal symptoms and cardiovascular risk markers: results of a pilot open-uncontrolled trial.MedGenMed. 2004 Dec 16;6(4):46.
3. Szanto E, Gruber D, et al. [Placebo-controlled study of melbrosia in treatment of climacteric symptoms. Wien Med Wochenschr. 1994;144(7):130-3.
4. Guo H, Saiga A, et al. Royal jelly supplementation improves lipoprotein metabolism in humans. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2007 Aug;53(4):345-8.
5. Münstedt K, Henschel M, et al. Royal jelly increases high density lipoprotein levels but in older patients only. J Altern Complement Med. 2009 Apr;15(4):329-30.
6. Majtan J, Kovacova E, et al. The immunostimulatory effect of the recombinant apalbumin 1-major honeybee royal jelly protein-on TNFalpha release. Int Immunopharmacol. 2006 Feb;6(2):269-78.
7. Simuth J, Bilikova K, et al. Immunochemical approach to detection of adulteration in honey: physiologically active royal jelly protein stimulating TNF-alpha release is a regular component of honey. J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Apr 21;52(8):2154-8
8. Mishima S, Suzuki KM, et al. Royal jelly has estrogenic effects in vitro and in vivo. J Ethnopharmacol. 2005 Oct 3;101(1-3):215-20.
9. Gasic S, Vucevic D, et al. Evaluation of the immunomodulatory activities of royal jelly components in vitro. Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 2007;29(3-4):521-36.
10. Andersen AH, Mortensen S, et al. Double-blind randomized trial of the effect of Bidro on hay fever in children Ugeskr Laeger. 2005 Sep 19;167(38):3591-4. Danish. 7.
11. Kamakura M, Mitani N, Fukuda T, Fukushima M. Antifatigue effect of fresh royal jelly in mice. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2001 Dec;47(6):394-401.