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Matthew Rogers
Matthew Rogers

Royal Jelly


Royal jelly is a honey bee secretion that is used in the nutrition of larvae and adult queens.[1] It is secreted from the glands in the hypopharynx of nurse bees, and fed to all larvae in the colony, regardless of sex or caste.[2]




Royal Jelly


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During the process of creating new queens, the workers construct special queen cells. The larvae in these cells are fed with copious amounts of royal jelly. This type of feeding triggers the development of queen morphology, including the fully developed ovaries needed to lay eggs.[3]


Royal jelly is sometimes used in alternative medicine under the category apitherapy. It is often sold as a dietary supplement for humans, but the European Food Safety Authority has concluded that current evidence does not support the claim that consuming royal jelly offers health benefits to humans.[4] In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration has taken legal action against companies that have marketed royal jelly products using unfounded claims of health benefits.[5][6]


Royal jelly is secreted from the glands in the heads of worker bees and is fed to all bee larvae, whether they are destined to become drones (males), workers (sterile females), or queens (fertile females). After three days, the drone and worker larvae are no longer fed with royal jelly, but queen larvae continue to be fed this special substance throughout their development.[citation needed]


Royal jelly is 67% water, 12.5% protein, 11% simple sugars (monosaccharides), 6% fatty acids and 3.5% 10-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid (10-HDA). It also contains trace minerals, 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 or K.[7]


Royal jelly is harvested by stimulating colonies with movable frame hives to produce queen bees. Royal jelly is collected from each individual queen cell (honeycomb) when the queen larvae are about four days old. These are the only cells in which large amounts are deposited. This is because when royal jelly is fed to worker larvae, it is fed directly to them, and they consume it as it is produced, while the cells of queen larvae are "stocked" with royal jelly much faster than the larvae can consume it. Therefore, only in queen cells is the harvest of royal jelly practical.


Royal jelly may cause allergic reactions in humans, ranging from hives, asthma, to even fatal anaphylaxis.[13][14][15][16][17][18] The incidence of allergic side effects in people who consume royal jelly is unknown. The risk of having an allergy to royal jelly is higher in people who have other allergies.[13]


A recent animal study examined a supplement combining royal jelly with other bee-derived substances and found a significant reduction in blood pressure. However, the exact role royal jelly played in this supplement is unclear (16).


Multiple animal studies showed increased insulin sensitivity and an apparent protective effect on pancreatic, liver and reproductive tissue in obese, diabetic rats treated with royal jelly (17, 18, 19).


One animal and one small human study showed improvements in chronic dry eyes for those treated orally with royal jelly. The results indicate that this bee-derived substance may increase tear secretion from lacrimal glands within your eyes (22, 23).


Evidence on royal jelly in humans is limited, with no clear benefit for conditions like diabetes or heart disease.Royal jelly is a viscous substance secreted by worker bees that makes up the essential food for queen bees and their larvae. It is consumed as a health food around the world. Preclinical studies suggest royal jelly may reduce blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and inflammation. However, studies in humans are quite limited and do not provide adequate evidence of benefit.


Royal jelly is a viscous substance secreted by worker bees and constitutes the essential food for queen bees and their larvae. It is consumed as a health food around the world. Preclinical studies suggest vasodilatory, hypotensive, antihypercholesterolemic, anti-inflammatory, and estrogenic effects (1) (3) (9), although its affinity for estrogen receptors is weaker compared with diethylstilbestrol (3). Royal jelly appeared to increase cytotoxic activity of temozolomide (28), but has also shown both inhibitory (7) and proliferative (3) effects. Animal studies suggest it may be helpful for colitis (10) (22) or to improve testosterone levels (19).


A combination supplement that contained royal jelly appeared to benefit patients with mild cognitive impairment (27). Other studies suggest that royal jelly supplementation may improve premenstrual (26) and menopausal (6) symptoms. It may also help preserve bone mineral density in postmenopausal women (36).


Only a few studies have been conducted in cancer patients. Royal jelly swished, then swallowed, along with standard mouthwash therapy improved symptoms of oral mucositis and healing time in patients receiving radiotherapy and chemotherapy (29). Another small study suggests benefit with topical royal jelly ointment in head and neck cancer patients (30).


Because royal jelly has estrogenic effects (3), women with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer should avoid this product. Prostate cancer patients should also use caution as royal jelly increased testosterone levels in animal studies (19).


In animal models, anti-inflammatory effects with royal jelly were likely mediated by CD3-, CD5-, CD8- and CD45-positive T-cell immune responses (22). Protective effects against taxol-induced testicular damage were attributed to improved antioxidant status and E2f1 transcription factor upregulation (31).


Various mechanisms for cholesterol-lowering effects have been posited (5). Royal jelly may decrease reabsorption of cholesterol in the GI tract and increase its excretion in the bile due to the presence of phytosterols, mainly B-sitosterol. Another explanation offered is that royal jelly suppresses hepatic cholesterol synthesis (8).


Effects against oxidative stress are attributed to antioxidant peptides (24). Improved glucose tolerance and erythropoiesis occur from accelerated conversion of DHEA-S to testosterone via activation of 3β-HSD2 and/or 17β-HSD3 (32). In type 2 diabetic women, royal jelly supplementation reduced hemoglobin A1c and fasting blood glucose levels, increased insulin concentrations, and decreased oxidative stress via improvement of malondialdehyde levels, erythrocyte superoxide dismutase, and glutathione peroxidase activities (23).


Royal jelly is a milk-like secretion of honey bees that is used to feed larvae for 3 days for the worker bees and drones and until full development for the queen. Royal jelly has been used widely as a dietary supplement for its purported health prompting properties. Royal jelly is generally well tolerated and has not been linked to serum aminotransferase elevations during therapy or to instances of clinically apparent liver injury.


Liver injury attributable to royal jelly has not been reported. In clinical trials of royal jelly as therapy of various conditions, side effects were rarely mentioned and ALT elevations and hepatotoxicity were not reported. Despite availability and widespread use as an alternative therapy, there have been no published reports of royal jelly induced liver injury.


Propolis differs from royal jelly in the sense that, although it is produced by worker bees, its purpose is much different. Propolis is used to seal and protect the hive from any threats or bacteria. Because of its antibiotic properties, propolis is often added to health products and is commonly used to treat diabetes and cold sores (although additional evidence to confirm its efficacy is still needed).


We already know that royal jelly is incredibly nutritious because of its nutritional composition, but research also suggests that it can have properties that support many of the health benefit claims made by humans. Although there is little evidence that confirms that certain benefits come directly from royal jelly, this substance created by honey bees may have the following properties:


Royal jelly is also used topically by humans for a variety of potential health benefits. Since royal jelly is rich in proteins, lipids, amino acids, minerals, and vitamins, there is a widespread interest in utilizing royal jelly in skincare products. In this sense, royal jelly can be used as an ingredient in skincare products, or used directly on the skin in its purest form. According to some skin experts and dermatologists, royal jelly can promote skin hydration, elasticity, fight inflammation, encourage collagen production, and even speed up the healing of acne or other wounds (among others).


While our knowledge of the benefits of royal jelly is continuing to evolve, so is our current understanding of its impact. According to medical professionals, ingesting or applying royal jelly in safe amounts short-term is possibly safe, but people with allergies or asthma should steer clear as it could cause an allergic reaction via skin irritation or rashes.


Since nurse bees are the only bees that have hypopharyngeal glands and are the only ones that can feed the broods, their role in the developmental phase of new bees is crucial. The other extremely important part of royal jelly production is pollen, as this is the food source nurse bees are feeding on to help develop their hypopharyngeal glands to produce this royal jelly for the brood.


A: Royal jelly is a protein-rich secretion produced by the hypopharyngeal glands of nurse bees in a honey bee hive. that is fed to all larvae for a short period of time during the honey bee life cycle


A: Once produced by nurse bees, royal jelly is then fed to all larvae for a short period of time, and is also fed to the developing queen bee in larger amounts. This highly nutritious substance also helps anchor a queen cell to the hive so it can hang while she develops. 041b061a72


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