The larvae of bees grow into super-fertile, strong queen bees when fed Royal Jelly. And Royal Jelly has a somewhat similar effect on humans too, according to studies like the Japanese one about to be published in Nutrition Journal. The Japanese gave Royal Jelly to adults aged between 42 and 83 for a number of months and observed that their testosterone levels and red blood cell synthesis increased.
The dose the researchers tried was on the high side. The thirty test subjects drank a daily 100 ml of fluid in which 3 g Royal Jelly had been dissolved [RJ]. A control group drank 100 ml of fluid without active ingredients [Control]. The fluid was administered for 6 months.
To start with the researchers watched for allergic reactions. Although the Japanese still regard Royal Jelly as a ‘causative allergen’ they observed no side effects in their subjects.
What the researchers noticed was a rise in testosterone levels. The Japanese speculate that this is a result of an increased conversion of DHEA into testosterone, but to be honest we don’t buy this.
Secondly the researchers observed a slight increase in the Royal Jelly subjects’ red blood count [RBC], combined with a concomitant rise in the blood haematocrit count [Ht]. Both effects are an indirect result of the increased testosterone level, according to the researchers.
The insulinogenic index [IGI] also increased as a result of supplementation. That means that the subjects started to make more insulin when they were given glucose: their insulin sensitivity increased. The researchers also ascribe this effect to the rise in testosterone level.
Effect of royal jelly ingestion for six months on healthy volunteers.
Royal jelly is a widely ingested supplement for health, but its effects on humans are not well known. The objective was to evaluate the effects of long-term royal jelly ingestion on humans.
We conducted a randomized placebo-controlled, double-blind trial. A total of 61 healthy volunteers aged 42-83 years were enrolled and were randomly divided into a royal jelly group (n = 31) and a control group (n = 30). Three thousand mg of royal jelly (RJ) or a placebo in 100 ml liquid/day were ingested for 6 months. The primary outcomes were changes in anthropometric measurements and biochemical indexes from baseline to 6 months after intervention.
Thirty subjects in the RJ group and 26 in the control group were included in the analysis of endpoints. In an adjusted mean change of the variables from the baseline, significant differences between the two groups could be found in red blood cell counts (+0.16×10?/?L for the RJ group vs. -0.01×10?/?L for the control group, P = 0.0134), hematocrit (+0.9% vs. -0.8%, P = 0.0251), log (fasting plasma glucose) (+0.01 ± 0.01 log mg/dL vs. +0.05 ± 0.01 log mg/dL, P = 0.0297), log (insulinogenic index) (+0.25 vs. -0.13, P = 0.0319), log dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S) (+0.08 log ?g/dL vs. +0.20 log ?g/dL, P = 0.0483), log testosterone (T) (+0.12 ± 0.04 log ng/mL vs. -0.02 ± 0.05 log ng/mL, P = 0.0416), log T/DHEA-S ratio (+0.05 ± 0.05 vs. -0.23 ± 0.59, P = 0.0015), and in one of the SF-36 subscale scores, mental health (MH) (+4 vs. -7, P = 0.0276).
Six-month ingestion of RJ in humans improved erythropoiesis, glucose tolerance and mental health. Acceleration of conversion from DHEA-S to T by RJ may have been observed among these favorable effects.
PMID: 22995464 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE] PMCID: PMC3499288