Royal jelly, also known as jelly royal or RJ, is milky, white, gelatinous substance secreted from two glands of nanny bees to stimulate the growth and development of the queen bees. Without royal jelly, queen bees are the same as other working bees which can live only 7~8 weeks. With this royal jelly, queen bees can live for 5~7 years. It has been proven that the major secret of the longevity of queen bees which is about 20 times longer than the working bees lies within the royal jelly. So many people have trusted the power and rejuvenation of royal jelly since 1952.
Royal jelly is liquid with peculiar fragrance. Its effects are known to be depressed when exposed to the air because the active compounds begin to degenerate.
Royalcin which is a protein included in the royal jelly has antibiotic activity on gram-positive bacteria but not on gram-negative ones. Approximately 11% of the royal jelly is sugar such as fructose and glucose. It is composed of 20~30% of protein, 15% of carbohydrate, 10~15% of fat, and 50~60% of water. Other than that, it has a variety of vitamins. It has rich proteins and fats with only 15% of carbohydrates while approximately 80% of the general honey is carbohydrate. Approximately 0.1∼0.5g of royal jelly is stored in each queen cell where the larvae of queen bee are raised.
Neopterin is a compound separated from the royal jelly and is well known to play an important role in the human immune system. Melbrosia, a mixture of royal jelly and bee pollen, is sometimes used to treat the post-menopausal symptoms of women in menopause.
Royal jelly has diverse activities including detoxification, metabolism stimulation, and excretion of toxicants. Therefore, it improves the allergic status such as asthma or rashes. Also it acts on the autonomic nerve system to improve the nerve disorders from stroke including language disorder, tangled tongue, and spasm of legs. Royal jelly shows superior metabolic activity by adding vitality to the human cells. Therefore, it prevents proteinuria, severe systemic edema by pregnancy toxemia, or nephrosis.
A neurotransmitter substance, acetylcholine, is rich in royal jelly. So it stimulates parasympathetic nerve to help mental stabilization enabling mood refresh, regaining confidence, and sound sleep. Also, acetylcholine enhances concentration to be helpful for students.
Royal jelly is effective in liver damages by not only protecting healthy liver cells but also recovering the function of damaged liver cells.
Royal jelly delays the menopause. Menopause is induced by autonomic nervous abnormality when the ovarian function is degenerated by aging. Royal jelly stimulates the autonomic nerves and maintains its function to prevent the post-menopausal symptoms as well as delaying the menopause itself.
Royal jelly is effective in the treatment of diabetes. Diabetes arises from the lack of insulin which is a hormone secreted from the pancreas leading to the increase in the blood glucose level. This insulin moves the glucose from the liver to the muscles or cells. However, there are surplus sugars in the blood not burned out when the insulin is not secreted enough. Royal jelly stimulates the synthesis of insulin to both prevent and treat the diabetes.
Rich nutrition of royal jelly activates the function of adrenal cortex and stimulates the maturation of premature babies and infants. Parotin included in the royal jelly prevents aging and rejuvenate the body to maintain one’s youth.
Royal jelly stimulates the generation of antibodies and spreads the immune cells to demonstrate anti-inflammatory and wound-healing effects. Also, it reduces the recovery time of patients with peeling skin in the upper body.
10-hydroxy-2-decanoic acid which is one of the components of royal jelly has been reported to have protective effects in the transplantable mouse leukemia.
Positive results in serum lipid profile have been reported in animal and human trials. Royal jelly has reduced the serum lipid level, total lipid and cholesterol in the liver of mice. Also, generation of arterium has been delayed in the aorta of rabbits continuously fed of high-fat diet. In a human clinical trial, total serum lipid, cholesterol, and hyperlipidemia has been decreased and HDL- /LDL- cholesterol level have become normalized by reduced a, b lipoproteins. Daily 50~100mg administration of royal jelly has decreased the total serum cholesterol level by approximately 14% and serum lipid level by approximately 10%.
It is contraindicated to those who are hypersensitive or allergic to the components of royal jelly. Royal jelly supplements should be avoided by pregnant or lactating women. Side effects include eczema, rhinitis, skin rash, and bronchospasm. It was reported by a woman administered of royal jelly for approximately one month to develop hemorrhagic colitis. Also, death has been reported upon acute asthma and hypersensitive symptoms.