Royal Jelly: Is It Good For You?
Royal jelly is a substance that is secreted by nurse bees in a colony to feed larvae and the queen bee. Because of its potency, royal jelly is touted as a dietary supplement and alternative treatment for everything from menopause to skin conditions.
Royal jelly is harvested from the queen cells of beehives and sold as a supplement or in skin creams to enhance collagen production, ease premenstrual and postmenopausal symptoms, and improve overall health.
However, while modern science has lent some support to these and other traditional medicine claims about royal jelly, much more research is needed.
Potential Health Benefits of Royal Jelly
Royal jelly carries many potential health benefits that are supported by research. However, royal jelly can also create complications for people with certain medical conditions or allergies.
Research has found a number of potential health benefits to royal jelly:
Royal jelly has demonstrated antibacterial properties against a range of bacteria. The evidence suggests that royal jelly may be a valuable ingredient in developing future antibacterial remedies.
In addition to its antibacterial properties, royal jelly also shows efficacy against viruses, including the herpes simplex virus. One study found that royal jelly inhibited the growth of the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and decreased viral load, suggesting that royal jelly may be used as an alternative treatment to antiviral medication.
In a systematic review, royal jelly was shown to be an effective treatment for diabetes mellitus. It demonstrated efficacy in improving glycemic status, lipid profiles, and oxidative stress.
Royal jelly may help to relieve many of the symptoms associated with menopause. In a randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial, women who took 1,000 mg of royal jelly daily over eight weeks saw improvement in symptoms.
Another study showed that vaginal application of royal jelly helped to increase lubrication and reduce vaginal atrophy for women experiencing menopausal symptoms.
Royal jelly is a popular ingredient in skin creams, and the research supports its use as collagen enhancer. By boosting collagen production in the skin, royal jelly also helps to protect skin against the effects of ultraviolet radiation.
Potential Risks of Royal Jelly
Because royal jelly is so potent, you should consult with your doctor before taking it or any other supplement. Consider the following before using royal jelly:
Royal jelly can cause a range of allergic reactions, from contact dermatitis to anaphylaxis. Use caution when introducing royal jelly and discontinue use if you experience an allergic reaction.
The effects of royal jelly on someone who is pregnant or breast-feeding are unclear. If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding a baby, it is best to look for an alternative.
Royal jelly may interact with other medications you are taking. Consult your healthcare provider before adding royal jelly to your diet in order to rule out any potential interactions.