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Royal Jelly

Royal jelly is a nutritious jelly with a composition similar to pollen, created by worker bees. It is being researched for its effects on testosterone and longevity.

Our evidence-based analysis on royal jelly features 54 unique references to scientific papers.

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Summary of Royal Jelly

Primary information, health benefits, side effects, usage, and other important details

Royal jelly is a nutritious jelly produced by worker bees. It is fed to larvae worker bees and drones for the first three days of their lives to stimulate growth. Larvae that are fed royal jelly for a prolonged period of time grow up to be queen bees. In fact, the queen eats exclusively royal jelly throughout her life.

Royal jelly is a food product. It contains calories due to its protein, carbohydrate, and fatty acid content.

Supplementing royal jelly is claimed to promote longevity. This claim is not fully supported. It does, however, protect the heart by lowering triglyceride and lipoprotein levels.

Supplementing royal jelly can enhance testicular testosterone production. Animal research suggests it is able to increase estrogen in post-menopausal animals. Royal jelly may also reduce the effects of estrogen in youth. These hormonal effects are unreliable and difficult to predict.

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How to Take

Medical Disclaimer

Recommended dosage, active amounts, other details

More research is needed to determine an optimal dosage for royal jelly. Researchers have observed benefits when using 50-300mg doses. A 6g daily dose has also been shown to provide benefits.

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Human Effect Matrix

The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies (it excludes animal and in vitro studies) to tell you what effects royal jelly has on your body, and how strong these effects are.
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
Notes
grade-b Minor Very High See 2 studies
A decrease in total cholesterol is noted in the range of 10% associated with 50-100mg of Royal Jelly daily; the evidence this conclusion was drawn from (via a meta-analysis) is a bit lacklustre
grade-c Minor Very High See 2 studies
May slightly reduce blood glucose in otherwise healthy older persons, but not to a remarkable degree
grade-c Minor - See study
At least one study has noted an increase in red blood cell count following ingestion of Royal Jelly
grade-c Minor - See study
A small increase in testosterone has been noted with 3g Royal Jelly for 6 months in older men and women, no studies in youth currently and practical significance of such a small increase unknown
grade-c - - See study
No detectable benefit to hay fever or pollen allergies in youth
grade-c - - See study
No significant alterations in blood pressure observed over long term supplementation with Royal Jelly
grade-c - - See study
No significant alterations in estrogen seen with Royal Jelly
grade-c - Very High See all 3 studies
No significant influences on HDL-C detectable
grade-c - - See study
No significant alterations in HbA1c levels following Royal Jelly ingestion for 6 months
grade-c - - See study
Despite a slight reduction in blood glucose, no significant influence on insulin sensitivity noted
grade-c - Very High See all 3 studies
Although a reduction in LDL-C cannot be ruled out (due to the reduction in total cholesterol), the best evidence currently suggest no effect while uncontrolled studies confirm a reduction of minor magnitude
grade-c - Very High See all 3 studies
Although there may be a reduction in triglycerides associated with Royal Jelly, currently the best evidence suggests no such change
grade-c - - See study
No significant alterations in weight over the long term with Royal Jelly supplementation
grade-d Notable - See study
One study found a notable reduction with 1000 mg, but it needs replication.
grade-d Minor - See study
Reduction in irritability noted with Royal Jelly may be secondary to reducing symptoms associated with menopause
grade-d Minor - See study
Decrease in irritability seen with Royal Jelly may be secondary to reducing the symptoms of menopause
grade-d Minor - See study
A decrease in symptoms related to menopause have been noted with Royal Jelly ingestion
grade-d - - See study
No significant alterations in serum C-rp levels
grade-d - - See study
No significant alterations in VCAM-1 levels in menopausal women, although a trend towards reduction was noted
grade-d - - See study
In safety testing, supplemental Royal Jelly does not appear to increase liver enzymes

Studies Excluded from Consideration

  • Omitted from Rubric[1] due to being confounded with 3 other nutrients

  • Omitted due to lack of information on sampling and results, as well as language/access barrier[2]

  • Omitted as it was a letter to the editor outlining an experiment, and not a peer-reviewed transcript[3]

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Click here to see all 54 references.