Royal Jelly Benefits – What This Bee Substance Does to Humans?

A few people have submitted questions about Royal Jelly benefits. Does it really improve erection, make your skin look better and even lower cholesterol levels? Here is a quick review of Royal Jelly benefits.

What is Royal Jelly?

royal jelly comes from bees
Royal jelly comes from bees

Royal Jelly is honey bee secretion that is fed to “chosen” bee larvae making it to turn on the queen bee genes, growing larger and living longer than a regular worker bee.

Of course marketers thought that this substance does same things to human as it does to bees and started pushing Royal Jelly with wild claims.

Royal Jelly is apparently used to reduce menopausal symptoms, boosting the immune system, aphrodisiac, testosterone booster, anti-aging, skin health and so on, the list is endless.

Here are some of the advertised benefits of Royal Jelly:
– Improved skin health
– Helps with fertility
– Increased libido & testosterone
– Protect liver
– Reduce inflammation
– Boost immune system

It really makes you think, is this bee secretion really an amazing thing that would be worth investing in?

I was skeptical and I began to investigate whether Royal Jelly is as good as what the marketers are expecting.

Let’s take a look at what Royal Jelly actually contains and is there actual evidence of these benefits…

Royal Jelly nutrition

Royal Jelly is a nutrient powerhouse, containing different trace minerals, enzymes, vitamins, and even antibacterial components. You could easily classify Royal Jelly as “nature made multivitamin” like Chlorella.

According to Wikipedia Royal Jelly contains:

“Royal jelly is composed of 67% water, 12.5% crude protein, including small amounts of many different amino acids, and 11% simple sugars (monosaccharides), also including a relatively high amount (5%) of fatty acids. The main acid is the 10-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid (10-HDA) (about 2 – 3%). It also contains many trace minerals, some enzymes, antibacterial and antibiotic components, pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine ( vitamin B6) and trace amounts of vitamin C,[2] but none of the fat-soluble vitamins, A, D, E, and K.”- Source

The queen bee acid called 10-HDA is one of the main bioactive components in Royal Jelly. 10-HDA has been shown to have interesting benefits in animal and in-vitro studies.

“RJ has been demonstrated to possess many pharmacological activities in experimental animals, including antitumor, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-allergic, anti-aging and antihypertensive properties.” – Source

But does these components actually provide benefits in the human body?

Royal Jelly benefits (evidence based)

Royal Jelly is being touted for its miraculous benefits, but are there actually any evidence of these benefits?

Royal Jelly is not as well studied like other bee products, honey, propolis and bee pollen. Most of the benefits of Royal Jelly are based on results from animal studies. However, there are some human clinical trials where Royal Jelly has shown benefits.

Royal Jelly benefits based on studies:

Royal Jelly for testosterone and erection?

Traditionally one of the most popular uses for Royal Jelly is to improve sexual function, testosterone, libido, and erection. Royal Jelly itself contain small amounts of testosterone.

Is there any real scientific evidence showing that Royal Jelly increases testosterone and libido?

Answer: Currently there is only one study in healthy humans which has shown increase in testosterone levels. However, there is also one study made with infertile men that showed up to 22% increase in testosterone levels. In addition, there is a lot of animal experiments where Royal Jelly has improved sexual functions.

This six-month trial, healthy volunteers were given 3000mg of Royal Jelly or placebo in liquid form. After 6 months results were analyzed and it was discovered that testosterone levels and the DHEA-S ratio were significantly higher in RJ group. Researched concluded: “Six-month ingestion of RJ in humans improved erythropoiesis, glucose tolerance and mental health. Acceleration of conversion from DHEA-S to T by RJ may have been observed among these favorable effects.” 1

In this study published in Thi-Qar Medical Journal, 83 infertile men received Royal Jelly with different dosages 100mg, 50mg, 25mg and pure honey for control. After 3 months of treatment with Royal Jelly improved testosterone levels by 19,80-22,01%, while honey raised testosterone level only by 8,33%. Also, serum FSH and LH levels were improved in Royal Jelly groups. Researchers also noted improved sperm quality and sexual desire (by intercourse’s per week).2

In this study, Royal Jelly significantly boosted testosterone levels, increased ejaculated volume, improved sperm motility, increase sperm total output on heat stressed rabbits. It was concluded that Royal Jelly counteract rabbit’s “summer infertility” and improved physiological status. 3

In this animal study made with diabetic rats, Royal Jelly improved increased testicular weight, sperm count and serum testosterone.4

Royal Jelly might protect sperm parameters and testosterone levels in mice treated with oxymetholone (orally active anabolic-androgenic steroid).5

This rat study showed that Royal Jelly might have protective effects against testicular damage.6

Another rat study showing that Royal Jelly might have protective effect on reproductive system.7

Royal Jelly improves sexual, urinary function and quality of life in postmenopausal women

In this randomized trial, Royal Jelly was put on test on 90 postmenopausal women. Participants were given Royal Jelly cream, placebo lubricant, or vaginal estrogen. Interestingly Royal Jelly was more effective than vaginal estrogen based on the quality of life questionnaire and laboratory observations. It seems that Royal Jelly has an estrogenic properties that improve life quality in postmenopausal women better than actual estrogen creams.8

Royal Jelly might improve lipid profiles, raise HDL and lower LDL cholesterol

In this study, 36 postmenopausal women took 150 mg of Greek-origin Royal Jelly daily for three months. After 3 months royal jelly remarkable increased HDL cholesterol (the good one), lowered the bad cholesterol (LDL) and total cholesterol.9

One study from Japan noticed that 6 grams of royal jelly per day for 4 weeks significantly decrease total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. However, they did not see rise in HDL levels.10

In this study, 10 grams of Royal Jelly daily for two weeks raised HDL cholesterol levels and lowered LDL in elderly patients.11

The Older review concludes:

“Meta-analysis of the controlled human trials of RJ to reduce hyperlipidemia showed a significant reduction in total serum lipids and cholesterol levels and normalization of HDL and LDL as determined from decrease in beta/alpha lipoproteins. The best available evidence suggests that RJ at approximately 50 to 100 mg per day, decreased total serum cholesterol levels by about 14%, and total serum lipids by about 10% in the group of patients studied.”12

Royal Jelly protect against skin aging and enhance collagen production?

Many cosmetics and soaps use Royal Jelly as one of the ingredients because it’s believed to have anti-aging and skin healing properties. Because of that, many men are rubbing Royal Jelly fortified lotions to their penis to enhance its appearance.But is there any evidence that Royal Jelly improves skin health?

Yes, Royal Jelly has some evidence of improving skin and enhancing collagen production, at least in animal and in-vitro studies.

This study concluded: “RJ may potentially protect the skin from UVB-induced photoaging by enhancing collagen production.”13

Another study made on rats noted that Royal Jelly might protect skin against aging by enhancing collagen production.14

In this study, it was noticed that Royal Jelly alters the levels of various lipids which are involved in wound healing process.15

Other possible benefits of Royal Jelly:

  • Royal jelly inhibits the growth-promoting effect of Bisphenol-A on human breast cancer MCF-7 cells.16
  • Royal Jelly might have some neuroprotective effects based on streptozotocin-induced sporadic Alzheimer’s disease in rats.17
  • Royal Jelly significantly increased the number of dentate gyrus cells and improved the cognitive impairment in trimethyltin poisoned mices.18
  • Royal Jelly decreases the bone loss due to osteoporosis in oophorectomized rats.19
  • Royal Jelly might increase serum total antioxidant capacity and decrease HOMA-IR in type 2 diabetic patients.20
  • Royal Jelly might accelerate recovery from oral mucositis, at least in hamsters.21
  • Royal Jelly increased the average life span of C3H/HeJ mice.22

Royal Jelly studies conclusion
Honestly, I didn’t expect much from Royal Jelly. But indeed, Royal Jelly seems to have some beneficial components that offer benefits to humans. Even small amounts like 25-100mg of Royal Jelly increased testosterone in infertile men. Royal Jelly might also have a positive effect on lipid profiles.

Beware Royal Jelly side-effects

Allergy: Royal jelly comes from bees. If you are allergic to honey or a bee products you should not use royal jelly or any product that contains it. If you are allergic to royal jelly side effects can range from skin irradiation, short of breath or even deathly anaphylactic shock.

Everyone should try Royal Jelly carefully as it might trigger serious reactions if you are allergic to bees. There are actually cases where consuming royal jelly has induced fatal asthma leading to death.23,24

Pregnant: Generally its not recommended to use Royal Jelly during pregnancy, as there are not enough studies to confirm its safety.

Don’t give Royal Jelly to new-born baby
Do not under any circumstances think that your baby will grow faster if you give him royal jelly. Giving royal jelly to children under age of 1 can trigger life-threatening botulism because baby’s gut is not yet developed to fight off bacteria that can lie in royal jelly.

Royal Jelly dosage

Royal Jelly is more potent than honey and other bee products, so you don’t need to use it in large quantities for getting benefits. Generally recommended dose for royal jelly is around a half – full teaspoon per day, but of course, it depends on the product that you are using. In studies, the dosage varies from 150mg to up to 10 grams daily for 3 months.

Royal Jelly recommendations

royal jelly benefits product
Royal jelly combined with Panax Ginseng
If you are interested improving your sex drive and erection with Royal Jelly, this is my favorite product for that deparment.

Y.S. Eco Bee Farms, Royal Jelly is reinforced with the Korean Ginseng (Panax root), which is shown to improve erection and libido (seems to works for women too).25–29

Korean Ginseng is also great for increasing blood flow and endothelial function making it a great add-on for making strong erections.30–32

This Royal Jelly also contains Eleuthero root which has evidence on enhancing endurance capacity and even cardiovascular functions.33,34

How to use and how much?
One serving size has 625mg of  fresh Royal Jelly blended with honey and small amounts of bee pollen & propolis extract. 625mg of Royal Jelly per serving is more than enough for testosterone benefits, so you can definitely even halve the dosage. In above-mentioned study2 infertile men used 25-100mg daily leading to 19,80-22,01% rise in testosterone levels.

I personally use around half teaspoon alongside with “long lasting erection stack“. Mainly to get extra sex minerals, enzymes and vitamins from Royal Jelly and of course the benefits from Korean Ginseng.

I ordered my Royal Jelly from iHerb.com which offers international shipping almost world-wide. There is also regular version of royal jelly without Panax ginseng and Eleuthero root.

Royal Jelly benefits conclusion

Royal jelly definitely is not a just another scam like deer antler velvet. Repeated human and animal studies have found benefits from Royal Jelly supplementation. Of course, more studies are needed to make clear conclusions.

If you are interested any of these benefits, I don’t really see any reason not to try Royal Jelly. Just remember that Royal Jelly is bee product, don’t use it if you allergic to bees.

References

1.
Morita H, Ikeda T, Kajita K, et al. Effect of royal jelly ingestion for six months on healthy volunteers. Nutr J. 2012;11:77. [PMC]
2.
Effect of Royal Jelly on male Infertility. Thi-Qar Medical Journal (TQMJ): Vol( 1); NO( 1); 2007(1-12). http://www.iasj.net/iasj?func=fulltext&aId=47761. Accessed June 11, 2017. [Source]
3.
Elnagar S. Royal jelly counteracts bucks’ “summer infertility”. Anim Reprod Sci. 2010;121(1-2):174-180. [PubMed]
4.
Ghanbari E, Nejati V, Najafi G, Khazaei M, Babaei M. Study on the effect of royal jelly on reproductive parameters in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Int J Fertil Steril. 2015;9(1):113-120. [PubMed]
5.
Zahmatkesh E, Najafi G, Nejati V, Heidari R. Protective effect of royal jelly on the sperm parameters and testosterone level and lipid peroxidation in adult mice treated with oxymetholone. Avicenna J Phytomed. 2014;4(1):43-52. [PMC]
6.
Karaca T, Demirtaş S, Karaboğa İ, Ayvazz S. Protective effects of royal jelly against testicular damage in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Turk J Med Sci. 2015;45(1):27-32. [PubMed]
7.
Amirshahi T, Najafi G, Nejati V. Protective effect of royal jelly on fertility and biochemical parameters in bleomycin-‎induced male rats. Iran J Reprod Med. 2014;12(3):209-216. [PubMed]
8.
Seyyedi F, Rafiean-Kopaei M, Miraj S. Comparison of the Effects of Vaginal Royal Jelly and Vaginal Estrogen on Quality of Life, Sexual and Urinary Function in Postmenopausal Women. J Clin Diagn Res. 2016;10(5):QC01-QC05. [PMC]
9.
Lambrinoudaki I, Augoulea A, Rizos D, et al. Greek-origin royal jelly improves the lipid profile of postmenopausal women. Gynecol Endocrinol. 2016;32(10):835-839. [PubMed]
10.
Guo H, Saiga A, Sato M, et al. Royal jelly supplementation improves lipoprotein metabolism in humans. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2007;53(4):345-348. [PubMed]
11.
Münstedt K, Henschel M, Hauenschild A, von G. Royal jelly increases high density lipoprotein levels but in older patients only. J Altern Complement Med. 2009;15(4):329-330. [PubMed]
12.
Vittek J. Effect of royal jelly on serum lipids in experimental animals and humans with atherosclerosis. Experientia. 1995;51(9-10):927-935. [PubMed]
13.
Park H, Hwang E, Lee K, Han S, Cho Y, Kim S. Royal jelly protects against ultraviolet B-induced photoaging in human skin fibroblasts via enhancing collagen production. J Med Food. 2011;14(9):899-906. [PubMed]
14.
Park H, Cho M, Cho Y, Kim S. Royal jelly increases collagen production in rat skin after ovariectomy. J Med Food. 2012;15(6):568-575. [PubMed]
15.
Kim J, Kim Y, Yun H, et al. Royal jelly enhances migration of human dermal fibroblasts and alters the levels of cholesterol and sphinganine in an in vitro wound healing model. Nutr Res Pract. 2010;4(5):362-368. [PubMed]
16.
Nakaya M, Onda H, Sasaki K, Yukiyoshi A, Tachibana H, Yamada K. Effect of royal jelly on bisphenol A-induced proliferation of human breast cancer cells. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2007;71(1):253-255. [PubMed]
17.
Zamani Z, Reisi P, Alaei H, Pilehvarian A. Effect of Royal Jelly on spatial learning and memory in rat model of streptozotocin-induced sporadic Alzheimer’s disease. Adv Biomed Res. 2012;1:26. [PMC]
18.
Hattori N, Ohta S, Sakamoto T, Mishima S, Furukawa S. Royal Jelly Facilitates Restoration of the Cognitive Ability in Trimethyltin-Intoxicated Mice. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2010;2011:165968. [PMC]
19.
Kafadar I, Güney A, Türk C, Oner M, Silici S. Royal jelly and bee pollen decrease bone loss due to osteoporosis in an oophorectomized rat model. Eklem Hastalik Cerrahisi. 2012;23(2):100-105. [PubMed]
20.
SHIDFAR F, JAZAYERI S, MOUSAVI S, MALEK M, HOSSEINI A, KHOSHPEY B. Does Supplementation with Royal Jelly Improve Oxidative Stress and Insulin Resistance in Type 2 Diabetic Patients? Iran J Public Health. 2015;44(6):797-803. [PMC]
21.
Watanabe S, Suemaru K, Takechi K, Kaji H, Imai K, Araki H. Oral mucosal adhesive films containing royal jelly accelerate recovery from 5-fluorouracil-induced oral mucositis. J Pharmacol Sci. 2013;121(2):110-118. [PubMed]
22.
Inoue S, Koya-Miyata S, Ushio S, Iwaki K, Ikeda M, Kurimoto M. Royal Jelly prolongs the life span of C3H/HeJ mice: correlation with reduced DNA damage. Exp Gerontol. 2003;38(9):965-969. [PubMed]
23.
Reese R, Cebra J. Comparison of the antibody produced by DNCB fed, sensitized and conventionally immunized strain 13 guinea pigs. Immunochemistry. 1976;13(2):103-110. [PubMed]
24.
Bullock R, Rohan A, Straatmans J. Fatal royal jelly-induced asthma. Med J Aust. 1994;160(1):44. [PubMed]
25.
Kim T, Jeon S, Hahn E, et al. Effects of tissue-cultured mountain ginseng (Panax ginseng CA Meyer) extract on male patients with erectile dysfunction. Asian J Androl. 2009;11(3):356-361. [PubMed]
26.
de A, de M, Claro J, et al. Study of the efficacy of Korean Red Ginseng in the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Asian J Androl. 2007;9(2):241-244. [PubMed]
27.
Hong B, Ji Y, Hong J, Nam K, Ahn T. A double-blind crossover study evaluating the efficacy of korean red ginseng in patients with erectile dysfunction: a preliminary report. J Urol. 2002;168(5):2070-2073. [PubMed]
28.
Choi H, Seong D, Rha K. Clinical efficacy of Korean red ginseng for erectile dysfunction. Int J Impot Res. 1995;7(3):181-186. [PubMed]
29.
Oh K, Chae M, Lee H, Hong H, Park K. Effects of Korean red ginseng on sexual arousal in menopausal women: placebo-controlled, double-blind crossover clinical study. J Sex Med. 2010;7(4 Pt 1):1469-1477. [PubMed]
30.
Rhee M, Kim Y, Bae J, et al. Effect of Korean red ginseng on arterial stiffness in subjects with hypertension. J Altern Complement Med. 2011;17(1):45-49. [PubMed]
31.
Ahn C, Hong S, Choi S, Park J, Kim J, Lim D. Red ginseng extract improves coronary flow reserve and increases absolute numbers of various circulating angiogenic cells in patients with first ST-segment elevation acute myocardial infarction. Phytother Res. 2011;25(2):239-249. [PubMed]
32.
Jovanovski E, Jenkins A, Dias A, et al. Effects of Korean red ginseng (Panax ginseng C.A. Mayer) and its isolated ginsenosides and polysaccharides on arterial stiffness in healthy individuals. Am J Hypertens. 2010;23(5):469-472. [PubMed]
33.
Kuo J, Chen K, Cheng I, Tsai P, Lu Y, Lee N. The effect of eight weeks of supplementation with Eleutherococcus senticosus on endurance capacity and metabolism in human. Chin J Physiol. 2010;53(2):105-111. [PubMed]
34.
Asano K, Takahashi T, Miyashita M, et al. Effect of Eleutherococcus senticosus extract on human physical working capacity. Planta Med. 1986;(3):175-177. [PubMed]
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