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Royal Jelly

Illustration

Royal jelly is a thick, milky substance produced by worker bees to feed the queen bee. The worker bees mix honey and bee pollen with enzymes in the glands of their throats to produce royal jelly.

Where is it found?

Royal jelly is available in liquid form (usually in glass vials), tablets, and capsules.

Royal jelly has been used in connection with the following condition (refer to it for complete information):

Science Ratings Health Concerns
2Stars

High cholesterol

3Stars Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
2Stars Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
1Star For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support and/or minimal health benefit.

Who is likely to be deficient?

Because royal jelly is not an essential nutrient, deficiencies do not occur.

How much is usually taken?

Royal jelly in the amount of 50–100 mg per day has been used in most of the studies on cholesterol lowering.

Are there any side effects or interactions?

Allergic reactions are the most common side effect. Allergic reactions from oral intake of royal jelly can range from very mild (e.g., mild gastrointestinal upset) to more severe reactions, including asthma, anaphylaxis (shock), intestinal bleeding, and even death in people who are extremely allergic to bee products.1 2 3 People who are allergic to bee pollen, honey, or conifer and poplar trees should not use royal jelly orally. Topical use of royal jelly has been reported to cause skin irritations in some people.4

At the time of writing, there were no well-known drug interactions with royal jelly.

References:

1. Thien FCK, Leung R, Baldo BA, et al. Asthma and anaphylaxis induced by royal jelly. Clin Exp Allergy 1996;26:216–22.

2. Leung R, Ho A, Chan J, et al. Royal jelly consumption and hypersensitivity in the community. Clin Exp Allergy 1997;27:333–6.

3. Yonei Y, Shibagaki K, Tsukada N, et al. Case report: haemorrhagic colitis associated with royal jelly intake. J Gastroenterol Hepatol 1997;12:495–9.

4. Takahashi M, Matsuo I, Ohkido M. Contact dermatitis due to honeybee royal jelly. Contact Dermatitis 1983;9:452–5.

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