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Natural Standard - Royal jelly

Royal jelly
Natural Standard Professional Monograph, Copyright 2014 (www.naturalstandard.com).

Synonyms/Common Names/Related Substances


10-Hydroxy-2-decenoic acid, amino acids, apilak, apisin, B vitamins, bee royal jelly, bee saliva, bee spit, bidro, biotin, carbohydrates,
dipeptide YY, DNA, enzymes, flavonoids, gele royale (French), gelatin, glycoprotein, honey bee milk, honey bee's milk, honeybee
royal jelly, honeybee royal jelly-derived collagen production-promoting factor, honeybees (Apis mellifera), hormones, inositol, jalea
real (Spanish), jelleines, lait des abeilles (French), lipids, lyophilized royal mletsitse, major royal jelly protein 3, MEL 174 (final water
extract of RJ), MEL 247 (dry powder of RJ), minerals, natural royal jelly. neopterin, organic acid glycosides (monoglucosides of 10hydroxy-2E-decenoic and 10-hydroxydecanoic acids), peptides, protein, RNA, royal bee jelly, royalisin, sterols (including (24Z)stigmasta-5,24(28)-dien-3beta-ol-7-one, (24Z)-stigmasta-5,24(28)-diene-3beta,7beta-diol, (24Z)-stigmasta-5,24(28)-diene-3beta,7alphadiol, and (24Z)-stigmast-24(28)-ene-3beta,5alpha,6beta-triol), vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E.
Combination Products: Pedyphar (natural royal jelly and panthenol in an ointment base) (1), Melbrosia (pollen, perga [fermented
pollen], hydroxypropylmethyl cellulose, lyophilized royal mletsitse [royal jelly], acerola extract), Lady 4 (evening primrose oil,
damiana, ginseng, royal jelly).

Clinical Bottom Line/Effectiveness


Brief Background
According to secondary sources, royal jelly is a gelatinous secretion from hypopharyngeal and mandibular glands of young nurse
worker bees (Apis mellifera). The secretion is used as food for the queen bee, resulting in an increased life span over other bees.
Royal jelly is a milky-white liquid high in carbohydrates, protein, lipids, vitamins, minerals, antibiotic compounds, and enzymes.
Royal jelly is used commonly in general health maintenance. It is also used for gastrointestinal and hormonal uses, as well as to
reduce signs and symptoms of aging, and to improve mood, inflammation, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. It is occasionally
used in cosmetic products for skin problems.
There is insufficient clinical evidence supporting the use of royal jelly.
Due to a high risk of allergic potential and increased respiratory symptoms, royal jelly should be avoided in individuals with any
existing allergies, as well in as those with asthma.
Scientific evidence for Common/Studied Uses
Indication

Grade

Diabetic foot ulcers

Exercise performance

Hyperlipidemia

Male infertility

Menopause

Hay fever

Historical or Theoretical Uses That Lack Sufficient Evidence


Adrenal gland stimulation, aging (2), Alzheimer's disease (3), antibiotic (4;5;6), anemia, antioxidant (7;8), antiviral (9), anxiety,
appetite stimulant, arrhythmia (10), arthritis, asthma (11), bone fractures, burns, cancer (12;13;14), cardiovascular disease (15),
chronic fatigue syndrome (16), cognitive enhancement, cosmetic uses (17), depression, diabetes (18), endocrine disorders, general
health maintenance (mibyou) (19), growth (13), hair tonic (gray hair, growth), hepatoprotection, high blood pressure (20;18),
immunomodulation (21;22;23;24;25), infections, inflammation, insomnia, kidney disease, malnutrition, mood (26), neuroprotection
(18), ocular disorders (27), osteoporosis, pancreatitis, Parkinson's disease (3), premenstrual syndrome, quality of life (26), reducing
side effects of chemotherapy or radiotherapy (28), respiratory tract infections (29), shivering (feeling cold) (30), skin problems,
strength (asthenia), stress, systemic lupus erythematosus, ulcers, vasodilator (31), warts (32), weight loss, wound healing (33;34).
Expert Opinion & Historic/Folkloric Precedent
According to a review, when royal jelly is used as a food, filtering is lacking and particles are present; however, in wound care, royal
jelly is passed through fine filters in order to remove pollen and other allergenic impurities (35).
Melbrosia, a combination product containing royal jelly, was a frequently used herbal medication by surgery patients (36). The
consumption habits of bee products, such as royal jelly, were examined in the elderly in Spain (37). Further details are lacking.
Various reviews on royal jelly have been published (details are lacking) (38;39;40).
Royal Jelly herb is not on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) list.
Brief Safety Summary
Possibly Safe: When used by otherwise healthy adults at commonly used doses.
Possibly Unsafe: When used in individuals with cardiovascular disease or blood coagulation disorders or those using hypotensives,
antilipemics, or anticoagulant or antiplatelet agents, due to case reports of angioedema related to an anaphylactic reaction (41),
decreased blood pressure in animal models (20;42;18), increased triglycerides following use of a combination product containing royal
jelly (43), hemorrhagic colitis (including abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea) (44), hematuria and an elevated international normalized

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ratio (INR) in a man on stable warfarin (45), reduced arrhythmia in animal research (10), and heart palpitations, according to
secondary sources. When used in individuals with skin disorders, due to case reports of urticaria (41;46), facial pruritus and
erythema, generalized pruritus, and wheals (47); facial edema and facial erythema (48); exacerbation of dermatitis (49); eczema (46);
and skin irritations, according to secondary sources. When used in individuals with diabetes or those using agents that modulate
blood sugar levels, due to a report in a diabetic animal model suggesting that there was a reduction in serum levels of insulin and the
homeostasis model assessment ratio (18;50), and in human research, royal jelly resulted in an increased insulinogenic index (26).
When used in individuals with gastrointestinal disorders, due to case reports of hemorrhagic colitis, including abdominal pain and
bloody diarrhea (44), eosinophilic gastroenteritis (51), and gastrointestinal discomfort, according to secondary sources. When used in
individuals with neurological disorders, due to a report of vertigo, numbness in fingers, and impaired consciousness related to
anaphylaxis (47), as well as side effects related to the central nervous system symptoms and insomnia, according to secondary
sources. When used in individuals with eye disorders, due to a report of congestion of the conjunctivae related to anaphylaxis (48).
When used in individuals with psychiatric disorders, due to reports of agitation and anxiety, according to secondary sources. When
used in individuals with hormonal imbalances or those using hormonal agents, according to in vitro research suggesting that royal
jelly activated estrogen receptors (52) and inhibited the bisphenol A-induced proliferation of MCF-7 cancer cells (14), and in human
research, royal jelly resulted in increased testosterone (26); however, effects on hormone levels were lacking in other human research
(53), and use of herbal combination products containing royal jelly reduced menopausal symptoms (54;43;53;55). When used in
individuals with immune disorders or those using immunomodulating agents, as immunological effects have been shown in both
animal and in vitro research, such as delayed onset of systemic autoimmunity and decreased interleukin (IL)-10, as well as
autoantibodies against ssDNA, dsDNA, and erythrocytes, and the number of splenic autoreactive B cells (21); induced proliferation of
lymphocytes and alterations in interferon (IFN)-gamma and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha levels (22); and stimulated or inhibited T
cell proliferation and increased or decreased IL-2 production (depending on concentrations) (23). When used in children and pregnant
or lactating women, due to insufficient safety and efficacy information.
Likely Unsafe: When used in individuals with asthma or other respiratory diseases, as well as in individuals with known allergy or
sensitivity to royal jelly, honey, other bee products, bee stings, ragweed, mugwort, wheat or yeast, or conifer or poplar trees, or in
those with any other known previous allergies, due to reports of life-threatening respiratory distress, bronchospasm, wheezing,
dyspnea, and asthma, including a fatal case, as well as many other reports of allergic reactions, and suggestions that the potential
for allergic reactions increases in individuals with a previous known allergy, according to both published and secondary sources
(56;57;58;41;59;60;61;47;48;62;63;46;64;65;49;66;67;68;69). When royal jelly is used that has not been preserved (dried or
encapsulated), as, according to secondary sources, bacterial contamination is possible due to the difficulty of preserving the raw form
of royal jelly.

Dosing/Toxicology
General
Doses may be based on those most commonly used in available trials, or on historical practice. However, with natural products it is
often not clear what the optimal doses are to balance efficacy and safety. Preparation of products may vary from manufacturer to
manufacturer, and from batch to batch within one manufacturer. Because it is often not clear what the active component(s) of a
product is, standardization may not be possible, and the clinical effects of different brands may not be comparable.
Standardization
There is no well-known standardization for royal jelly. According to secondary sources, royal jelly may contain 60-66% water, with
reduced water levels increasing the quality of the product. The authors also suggested that royal jelly is sensitive to oxidation and
sudden temperature changes; consumption as a capsule is preferred, as the difficulty of preserving the raw form may result in
bacterial contamination.
According to secondary sources, royal jelly is available in various forms, including its pure state, in honey, in freeze-dried form in
capsules or tablets, as a liquid, or as an ingredient in ointments, salves, or other cosmetic or skin care products. According to
secondary sources, pure-state royal jelly must be kept refrigerated. According to secondary sources, freeze-dried products maintain
their nutrient value. According to secondary sources, clinical benefits of synthetic royal jelly are lacking.
Adults (age 18)
Oral:
General: According to secondary sources, a small spoonful of royal jelly may be taken fresh daily (further details are lacking) (70).
Hyperlipidemia: 30-150mg of royal jelly was taken daily for 4-6 weeks orally or 30mg of royal jelly was given sublingually daily for an
unclear duration (71;15). 10g of refrigerated royal jelly was taken daily each evening for 14 days (72).
Topical:
Insufficient available evidence.
Intravenous/Intramuscular:
Hyperlipidemia: 10-100mg of royal jelly was injected daily for 3-11 weeks (further details are lacking) (71).
Children (age < 18)
Oral:
Hay fever: 150mg of royal jelly was taken as capsules twice daily for 3-6 months during pollen season (73).
Toxicology
A fatal case of royal jelly-induced asthma has been reported (58). Anaphylactic reactions to royal jelly have been reported. Symptoms
have included local angioedema, generalized urticaria, dysphonia and bronchospasm (41); severe facial pruritus and erythema,
followed by vertigo, numbness in the fingers, generalized pruritus, wheals, dyspnea, wheezing, and impaired consciousness (47); and
dyspnea, severe facial edema and erythema, and congestion of the conjunctivae (48). Khoury et al. reported on the investigation into
the death of an Australian woman with a history of asthma (74). It was concluded that the cause of death was acute anaphylaxis due
to royal jelly ingestion.
In humans, life-threatening respiratory distress, bronchospasm, wheezing, dyspnea, and asthma, including a fatal case, have been
related to royal jelly use (56;57;58;41;59;60;61;47;48;62;63;46). Allergic reactions to royal jelly were mentioned in a five-year
toxicology study of traditional and herbal remedies and dietary supplements (64).

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Anaphylactic treatments have included antihistamines, corticosteroids, and fluid therapy (41;47).
The Australian government ordered a review of goods containing royal jelly following the death of a woman after consuming such a
product (75).
According to secondary sources, due to difficulty preserving the raw form of royal jelly, bacterial contamination is possible (76).
However, according to Fleche, the natural bacterial environment of royal jelly, as well as its physical and chemical properties, results
in little bacterial or chemical contamination (77).

Precautions/Contraindications
Allergy
Avoid with known allergy or sensitivity to royal jelly, honey, or other bee products. According to secondary sources, royal jelly may
also be harmful for individuals allergic to bee stings, honey, or ragweed pollen (present in bee pollen). According to secondary
sources, oral royal jelly should be avoided by those allergic to bee pollen, honey, or conifer and poplar trees.
In humans, respiratory distress, bronchospasm, wheezing, dyspnea, and asthma, including a fatal case, have been related to royal
jelly use (56;57;58;41;59;60;61;47;48;62;63;46).
Khoury et al. reported on the investigation into the death of an Australian woman with a history of asthma (74). It was concluded that
the cause of death was acute anaphylaxis due to royal jelly ingestion.
An anaphylactic reaction to royal jelly in a 15 year-old girl included local angioedema, generalized urticaria, dysphonia, and
bronchospasm (41). The patient was treated with antihistamines and corticosteroids. A non-commercially prepared specific IgE to
royal jelly was positive (0.8 KU/l) (further details are lacking). In other patients with asthma following ingestion of royal jelly IgE,
antibodies to 18 royal jelly proteins (including a 55kDa protein) were detected in the sera (60;63). These authors also suggested that
a direct relationship was lacking between IgE antibody reactivity to bee venom allergens and to royal jelly proteins; however, IgE
antibody reactivity to royal jelly proteins was detected in about half of the subjects tested with allergies to inhalant and/or food
allergens. In a Japanese man, symptoms of anaphylaxis included severe facial pruritus and erythema, followed by vertigo, numbness
in his fingers, generalized pruritus, wheals, dyspnea, wheezing, and impaired consciousness (47). The patient was treated with
corticosteroid and fluid therapy; he tested positive in an allergy test to royal jelly. A 26 year-old Japanese woman who developed
anaphylaxis after drinking a beverage of crude royal jelly and honey tested positive to royal jelly on a prick test (65). The major royal
jelly protein 3 was suggested as the possible allergen in a case report of royal jelly-induced anaphylaxis in a 26 year-old woman (48).
She presented with dyspnea, severe facial edema and facial erythema, and congestion of the conjunctivae.
According to the results of a questionnaire, 461 of 1,472 subjects had used royal jelly in the past; of those, nine subjects reported 14
adverse reactions (46). The adverse reactions included urticaria, eczema, rhinitis, and acute asthma. Thirteen of 176 subjects and 23
out of 300 consecutive asthma clinic attendees skin-tested positive to pure royal jelly. Of these 36 subjects in total who tested
positive to royal jelly, 35 were also atopic to other common allergens. The authors determined that there were positive associations
between a positive royal jelly skin test and atopy and between adverse reactions to royal jelly and a history of clinical allergy. An
association between royal jelly symptoms and previous royal jelly intake was lacking.
In a case report, a woman with previous exposure to royal jelly as a nutrient tested positive on patch testing following exacerbation of
dermatitis; two of 10 control subjects also tested positive to royal jelly (49).
Royal jelly allergy has been presented in other case reports (66). One of these patients was also allergic to mugwort. Harwood et al.
determined that there was a link between allergies to royal jelly and to mugwort (67). Baldo et al. suggested a between ingestion and
inhalation for allergies to wheat, yeast, and royal jelly (68).
In a separate study, severe anaphylaxis to royal jelly was attributed to cefonicid (69).
Allergic reactions to royal jelly were also mentioned in a five-year toxicology study of traditional and herbal remedies and dietary
supplements (64). According to secondary sources, the risk of allergy to royal jelly increases in individuals with a known previous
allergy.
Adverse Effects/Post-Market Surveillance
General: The most common adverse reactions to royal jelly include allergic reactions, mainly respiratory symptoms associated with
anaphylactic symptoms (56;57;58;41;59;60;61;47;48;62;63). Other adverse effects are mainly dermatological or gastrointestinal in
nature. In a clinical trial, adverse effects that occurred more often in the royal jelly group included difficulty or inability to swallow the
capsules (N=2 from the placebo group; N=4 from the treatment group); other adverse effects were equal between groups or were more
common in the placebo group (73).
Cardiovascular: An anaphylactic reaction to royal jelly in a 15 year-old girl included local angioedema (41). In animal research,
peptides from royal jelly decreased blood pressure in a hypertensive model (20;42). In a diabetic animal model, there was a tendency
to decrease blood pressure (18). According to secondary sources, side effects included heart palpitations. Use of Melbrosia, a
combination product containing royal jelly, reduced total and LDL cholesterol and increased HDL cholesterol and triglycerides (43).
Dermatologic: An anaphylactic reaction to royal jelly in a 15 year-old girl included generalized urticaria (41) which was also reported
elsewhere (46). In a Japanese man, symptoms of anaphylaxis included severe facial pruritus and erythema, generalized pruritus, and
wheals (47). An anaphylactic woman presented with severe facial edema and facial erythema (48). In a case report of a woman who
had ingested royal jelly as a nutrient, there was an exacerbation of dermatitis when it was applied to her feet and she was found to
test positive to royal jelly upon patch testing (49). According to secondary sources, skin irritations have been caused by topical use
of royal jelly. According to a questionnaire, adverse effects related to royal jelly allergy included eczema (46).
Endocrine: In a diabetic animal model, there was a reduction in serum levels of insulin and the homeostasis model assessment ratio
(used to quantify insulin resistance) (18;50).
Gastrointestinal: In a case report, royal jelly intake was associated with hemorrhagic colitis, including abdominal pain and bloody
diarrhea (44). A case of eosinophilic gastroenteritis induced by royal jelly was discussed; however, further details are lacking (51).
According to secondary sources, adverse effects include gastrointestinal discomfort.
Hematologic: In a case report, royal jelly intake was associated with hemorrhagic colitis, including abdominal pain and bloody
diarrhea (44). Hematuria and an elevated INR occurred in an 87 year-old African-American man on stable warfarin for three months
who had started taking royal jelly (45).
Neurologic/CNS: In a Japanese man, symptoms of anaphylaxis included vertigo, numbness in his fingers, and impaired
consciousness (47). According to secondary sources, side effects include central nervous system symptoms and insomnia.
Ocular/Otic: An anaphylactic woman presented with congestion of the conjunctivae (48).
Psychiatric: According to secondary sources, side effects include agitation and anxiety.
Pulmonary/Respiratory: In humans, respiratory distress, bronchospasm, wheezing, dyspnea, and asthma, including a fatal case,
have been related to royal jelly use (56;57;58;41;59;60;61;47;48;62;63;46). In a Japanese man, symptoms of anaphylaxis included

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dyspnea and wheezing (47). An anaphylactic woman presented with dyspnea (48). According to a questionnaire, adverse effects
related to royal jelly allergy included rhinitis (46).
Other: An anaphylactic reaction to royal jelly in a 15 year-old girl included dysphonia (41). According to secondary sources, adverse
effects include anecdotal weight gain.
Precautions/Warnings/Contraindications
Use cautiously in individuals with cardiovascular disease or blood coagulation disorders or those using hypotensives, antilipemics, or
anticoagulant or antiplatelet agents, due to case reports of angioedema related to an anaphylactic reaction (41), decreased blood
pressure in animal models (20;42;18), increased triglycerides following use of a combination product containing royal jelly (43),
hemorrhagic colitis (including abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea) (44), hematuria and an elevated international normalized ratio (INR)
in a man on stable warfarin (45), reduced arrhythmia in animal research (10), and heart palpitations, according to secondary sources.
Use cautiously in individuals with skin disorders, due to case reports of urticaria (41;46); facial pruritus and erythema, generalized
pruritus, and wheals (47); facial edema and facial erythema (48); exacerbation of dermatitis (49); eczema (46); and skin irritations,
according to secondary sources.
Use cautiously in individuals with diabetes or those using agents that modulate blood sugar levels, due to a report in a diabetic animal
model suggesting that there was a reduction in serum levels of insulin and the homeostasis model assessment ratio (18;50), and in
human research, royal jelly resulted in an increased insulinogenic index (26).
Use cautiously in individuals with gastrointestinal disorders, due to case reports of hemorrhagic colitis, including abdominal pain and
bloody diarrhea (44), eosinophilic gastroenteritis (51), and gastrointestinal discomfort, according to secondary sources.
Use cautiously in individuals with neurological disorders, due to a report of vertigo, numbness in fingers, and impaired consciousness
related to anaphylaxis (47), as well as side effects related to the central nervous system symptoms and insomnia, according to
secondary sources.
Use cautiously in individuals with eye disorders, due to a report of congestion of the conjunctivae related to anaphylaxis (48).
Use cautiously in individuals with psychiatric disorders, due to reports of agitation and anxiety, according to secondary sources.
Use cautiously in individuals with hormonal imbalances or those using hormonal agents, according to in vitro research suggesting
that royal jelly activated estrogen receptors (52) and inhibited the bisphenol A-induced proliferation of MCF-7 cancer cells (14), and in
human research, royal jelly resulted in increased testosterone (26); however, effects on hormone levels were lacking in other human
research (53), and use of herbal combination products containing royal jelly reduced symptoms of menopause (54;43;53;55).
Use cautiously in individuals with immune disorders or those using immunomodulating agents, as immunological effects have been
shown in both animal and in vitro research, such as delayed onset of systemic autoimmunity and decreased IL-10, production of
autoantibodies against single- and double-strand DNA, and erythrocytes, and the number of splenic autoreactive B cells (21);
induction of proliferation of lymphocytes and alterations in IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha levels (22); and stimulation or inhibition of T cell
proliferation and increased or decreased IL-2 production (depending on concentrations) (23).
Use cautiously in children and pregnant or lactating women, due to insufficient safety and efficacy information.
Avoid use in individuals with asthma or other respiratory diseases, as well as in individuals with known allergy or sensitivity to royal
jelly, honey, other bee products, bee stings, ragweed, mugwort, wheat or yeast, or conifer or poplar trees, or in those with any other
known previous allergies, due to reports of life-threatening respiratory distress, bronchospasm, wheezing, dyspnea, and asthma
(including a fatal case), as well as many other reports of allergic reactions, and suggestions that the potential for allergic reactions
increases in individuals with a previous known allergy, according to both published and secondary sources
(56;57;58;41;59;60;61;47;48;62;63;46;64;65;49;66;67;68;69).
Avoid consumption of royal jelly that has not been preserved by drying or encapsulation, as, according to secondary sources, there is
difficulty preserving the raw form of royal jelly, and therefore there is a potential for bacterial contamination.
Pregnancy & Lactation
Not recommended due to a lack of sufficient data.
Information on royal jelly's effects on lactation is lacking in the National Institute of Health's Lactation and Toxicology Database
(LactMed).

Interactions
Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The
interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read
product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are tak ing other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified
healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.
Royal jelly/Drug Interactions
Antiallergy agents: In animal research, royal jelly had antiallergic effects in a mouse model of immediate hypersensitivity (78).
However, anaphylaxis and other allergic reactions to royal jelly have been shown in numerous human case reports and other reports
(56;57;58;41;59;60;61;47;48;62;63;65;49;66;67;68;69;64).
Antiarrhythmic agents: In animal research, royal jelly protected against and reduced adrenaline induced arrhythmia (10).
Antibiotics: In vitro, royalisin, a protein in royal jelly, had antibacterial activity against Gram-positive bacteria, but not Gram-negative
bacteria (4;79). In vitro, the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of royal jelly against Pseudomonas aeruginosa was 4% (5), and
royal jelly blocked the fucose>fructose/mannose-binding lectin (PA-IIL) (involved in biofilm formation and animal cell adhesion) of
Pseudomonas aeruginosa (6). In vitro, jelleines-I-III had antimicrobial effects (80).
Anticoagulants and antiplatelets: In a case report, royal jelly intake was associated with hemorrhagic colitis, including abdominal
pain and bloody diarrhea (44). Hematuria and an elevated INR occurred in an 87 year-old African-American man on stable warfarin for
three months who had started taking royal jelly (45).
Antidiabetic agents: In a diabetic animal model, there was a reduction in serum levels of insulin and the homeostasis model
assessment ratio (18;50). In human research, royal jelly resulted in an increased insulinogenic index (26).
Antihypertensives: In animal research, peptides from royal jelly decreased blood pressure in a hypertensive model (20;42). In a
diabetic animal model, there was a tendency to decrease blood pressure (18).
Anti inflammatory agents: In vitro, royal jelly inhibited the production of proinflammatory cytokines by activated macrophages (81).
Antilipemic agents: In human research, royal jelly decreased levels of total cholesterol and increased levels of serum phospholipids,
resulting in a reduction of the ratio of cholesterol to phospholipids (71). In healthy adults, royal jelly decreased total and low-density
lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, perhaps by decreasing levels of very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) (82). Effects on high-density

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lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and triglycerides were lacking. In separate human research, nonsignificant decreases in blood lipids
occurred (15), or changes were limited (details are lacking) (72). Use of Melbrosia, a combination product containing royal jelly,
reduced total and LDL cholesterol and increased HDL cholesterol and triglycerides (43).
Antineoplastic agents: According to secondary sources, anticancer effects of royal jelly have been shown in animal models. In vitro,
protein fractions of royal jelly were cytotoxic to cancer cells (13). In vitro, royal jelly inhibited the bisphenol A-induced proliferation of
MCF-7 cancer cells; however, it was without effect in the absence of bisphenol A (14). In animal research, royal jelly protected
against the mutagenic effects of Adriamycin (doxorubicin) and/or cobalt gamma radiation (28).
Antipsychotic agents: According to secondary sources, side effects include agitation and anxiety.
Cardiovascular agents: In human research, nonsignificant decreases in fibrinolytic activity occurred (15).
Corticosteroids: The effect of royal jelly on the exertion of corticoids has been discussed (83). Further details are lacking.
Dermatologic agents: In animal research, royal jelly inhibited the development of atopic dermatitis-like skin lesions (84). In animal
research, royal jelly lacked benefit on healing following tympanic membrane perforation; however, use of royal jelly increased the
thickness of the membranes by increasing the organization of the connective tissue (33). A component originally labeled honeybee
royal jelly-derived collagen production-promoting factor (HRJ-CPF) was found to be 10-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid; 10-hydroxy-2decenoic acid increased collagen production in vitro (34). However, allergic reactions to royal jelly have resulted in generalized
urticaria (41); severe facial pruritus and erythema, generalized pruritus, and wheals (47); severe facial edema and facial erythema (48);
and an exacerbation of dermatitis (49). According to secondary sources, skin irritations and eczema have also been reported.
Exercise performance agents: In animal research, a protein from royal jelly reduced fatigue and accumulation of serum lactate and
ammonia associated with a forced swim (85). In human research, a combination product containing royal jelly improved exercise
performance (86;87).
Gastrointestinal agents: In a case report, royal jelly intake was associated with hemorrhagic colitis, including abdominal pain and
bloody diarrhea (44). A case of eosinophilic gastroenteritis induced by royal jelly was discussed; however, further details are lacking
(51). According to secondary sources, adverse effects include gastrointestinal discomfort.
Growth hormone: In vitro, protein fractions of royal jelly stimulated the growth of insect cells (13).
Hepatoprotective agents: In animal research, royal jelly protected against acetaminophen-induced liver damage (88).
Hormonal agents: In vitro, royal jelly activated estrogen receptors (52) and inhibited the bisphenol A-induced proliferation of MCF-7
cancer cells; however, it was without effect in the absence of bisphenol A (14). The estrogenic activities of royal jelly and its fatty acid
and sterol constituents have been the topic of discussion (89;19;90). In human research, royal jelly resulted in increased testosterone
(26); however, effects on hormone levels were lacking in other human research (53). The influence of royal jelly on the excretion of
gonadotropins in healthy males has been discussed (91).
Immune agents: Immunological effects have been shown in both animal and in vitro research, such as delayed onset of systemic
autoimmunity and decreased IL-10, as well as autoantibodies against ssDNA, dsDNA, and erythrocytes, and the number of splenic
autoreactive B cells (21); induced proliferation of lymphocytes and alterations in IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha levels (22); and
stimulated or inhibited T cell proliferation and increased or decreased IL-2 production (depending on concentrations) (23).
Menopausal agents: Use of herbal combination products containing royal jelly reduced symptoms of menopause (54;43;53;55). The
effect of royal jelly alone is not clear.
Neurologic agents: In isolated and perfused mesenteric vascular beds of a diabetic animal model, royal jelly reduced the
sympathetic nerve-mediated vasoconstrictor response to periarterial nerve stimulation, as well as the potentiation of the calcitonin
gene-related peptide nerve-mediated vasodilator response to periarterial nerve stimulation (18). Also, in vitro, royal jelly and 10hydroxy-trans-2-decenoic acid increased the generation of neurons and decreased the generation of astrocytes from neural
stem/progenitor cells (92). However, in a Japanese man, symptoms of anaphylaxis included vertigo, numbness in his fingers, and
impaired consciousness (47), and according to secondary sources, side effects include central nervous system symptoms and
insomnia.
Ophthalmic agents: An anaphylactic woman presented with congestion of the conjunctivae (48).
Radioprotective drugs: In animal research, royal jelly protected against the mutagenic effects of Adriamycin (doxorubicin) and/or
cobalt gamma radiation (28).
Respiratory agents: In humans, respiratory distress, bronchospasm, wheezing, dyspnea, and asthma, including a fatal case, have
been related to royal jelly use (56;57;58;41;59;60;61;47;48;62;63). In a Japanese man, symptoms of anaphylaxis included dyspnea
and wheezing (47). An anaphylactic woman presented with dyspnea (48). According to secondary sources, adverse reactions to royal
jelly have included rhinitis.
Vasodilators: In animal research, a water-soluble fraction of royal jelly had vasodilating effects on dog femoral artery (31).
Warfarin: In a case report, royal jelly intake was associated with hemorrhagic colitis, including abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea
(44). Hematuria and an elevated INR occurred in an 87 year-old African-American man on stable warfarin for three months who had
started taking royal jelly (45).
Wound healing agents: In animal research, royal jelly lacked benefit on healing following tympanic membrane perforation; however,
use of royal jelly increased the thickness of the membranes by increasing the organization of the connective tissue (33). A
component originally labeled honeybee royal jelly-derived collagen production-promoting factor (HRJ-CPF) was found to be 10hydroxy-2-decenoic acid; 10-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid increased collagen production in vitro (34).
Royal jelly/Herb/Supplement Interactions
Antiallergy agents: In animal research, royal jelly had antiallergic effects in a mouse model of immediate hypersensitivity (78).
However, anaphylaxis and other allergic reactions to royal jelly have been shown in numerous human case reports and other reports
(56;57;58;41;59;60;61;47;48;62;63;65;49;66;67;68;69;64).
Antiarrhythmics: In animal research, royal jelly protected against and reduced adrenaline induced arrhythmia (10).
Antibacterials: In vitro, royalisin, a protein in royal jelly had antibacterial activity against Gram-positive bacteria, but not Gramnegative bacteria (4;79). In vitro, the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of royal jelly against Pseudomonas aeruginosa was 4%
(5), and royal jelly blocked the fucose>fructose/mannose-binding lectin (PA-IIL) (involved in biofilm formation and animal cell adhesion)
of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (6). In vitro, jelleines-I-III had antimicrobial effects (80).
Anticoagulants and antiplatelets: In a case report, royal jelly intake was associated with hemorrhagic colitis, including abdominal
pain and bloody diarrhea (44). Hematuria and an elevated INR occurred in an 87 year-old African-American man on using an
anticoagulant for three months who had started taking royal jelly (45).
Hypoglycemics: In a diabetic animal model, there was a reduction in serum levels of insulin and the homeostasis model assessment
ratio (18;50). In human research, royal jelly resulted in increased insulinogenic index (26).
Anti-inflammatory herbs and supplements: In vitro, royal jelly inhibited the production of proinflammatory cytokines by activated
macrophages (81).

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Antineoplastics: According to secondary sources, anticancer effects of royal jelly have been shown in animal models. In vitro,
protein fractions of royal jelly were cytotoxic to cancer cells (13). In vitro, royal jelly inhibited the bisphenol A-induced proliferation of
MCF-7 cancer cells; however, it was without effect in the absence of bisphenol A (14). In animal research, royal jelly protected
against the mutagenic effects of Adriamycin (doxorubicin) and/or cobalt gamma radiation (28).
Antioxidants: Enzymatic hydrolysates of royal jelly had antioxidant effects in vitro (7). In vivo and in vitro, peptides from royal jelly
inhibited lipid peroxidation (8). Further details are lacking.
Antipsychotics: According to secondary sources, side effects include agitation and anxiety.
Cardiovascular herbs and supplements: In human research, nonsignificant decreases in fibrinolytic activity occurred (15).
Dermatologic agents: In animal research, royal jelly inhibited the development of atopic dermatitis-like skin lesions (84). In animal
research, royal jelly lacked benefit on healing following tympanic membrane perforation; however, use of royal jelly increased the
thickness of the membranes by increasing the organization of the connective tissue (33). A component originally labeled honeybee
royal jelly-derived collagen production-promoting factor (HRJ-CPF) was found to be 10-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid; 10-hydroxy-2decenoic acid increased collagen production in vitro (34). However, allergic reactions to royal jelly have resulted in generalized
urticaria (41); severe facial pruritus and erythema, generalized pruritus, and wheals (47); severe facial edema and facial erythema (48);
and an exacerbation of dermatitis (49). According to secondary sources, skin irritations and eczema have also been reported.
Exercise performance agents: In animal research, a protein from royal jelly reduced fatigue and accumulation of serum lactate and
ammonia associated with a forced swim (85). In human research, a combination product containing royal jelly improved exercise
performance (86;87).
Gastrointestinal herbs and supplements: In a case report, royal jelly intake was associated with hemorrhagic colitis, including
abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea (44). A case of eosinophilic gastroenteritis induced by royal jelly was discussed; however, further
details are lacking (51). According to secondary sources, adverse effects include gastrointestinal discomfort.
Ginseng: Zhang et al. published the analysis of ginseng royal jelly with respect to constituents specific to ginseng, as well as 10hydroxy-2-decenoic acid (93). According to secondary sources, royal jelly and ginseng may be used in combination.
Growth agents: In vitro, protein fractions of royal jelly stimulated the growth of insect cells (13).
Hepatoprotective agents: In animal research, royal jelly protected against acetaminophen-induced liver damage (88).
Honey: In vitro, honey increased the antibacterial effects of royal jelly against Pseudomonas aeruginosa (5). According to secondary
sources, royal jelly and honey may be used in combination.
Hormonal herbs and supplements: In vitro, royal jelly activated estrogen receptors (52) and inhibited the bisphenol A-induced
proliferation of MCF-7 cancer cells; however, it was without effect in the absence of bisphenol A (14). The estrogenic activities of royal
jelly and its fatty acid and sterol constituents have been the topic of discussion (89;19;90). In human research, royal jelly resulted in
increased testosterone (26); however, effects on hormone levels were lacking in other human research (53). The influence of royal jelly
on the excretion of gonadotropins in healthy males has been discussed (91).
Antilipemics: In human research, royal jelly decreased levels of total cholesterol and increased levels of serum phospholipids,
resulting in a reduction of the ratio of cholesterol to phospholipids (71). In healthy adults, royal jelly decreased total and low-density
lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, perhaps by decreasing levels of very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) (82). Effects on high-density
lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and triglycerides were lacking. In separate human research, nonsignificant decreases in blood lipids
occurred (15), or changes were limited (details are lacking) (72). Use of Melbrosia, a combination product containing royal jelly,
reduced total and LDL cholesterol and increased HDL cholesterol and triglycerides (43).
Hypotensives: In animal research, peptides from royal jelly decreased blood pressure in a hypertensive model (20;42). In a diabetic
animal model, there was a tendency to decrease blood pressure (18).
Immunomodulators: Immunological effects have been shown in both animal and in vitro research, such as delayed onset of
systemic autoimmunity and decreased IL-10, as well as autoantibodies against ssDNA, dsDNA, and erythrocytes, and the number of
splenic autoreactive B cells (21); induced proliferation of lymphocytes and alterations in IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha levels (22); and
stimulated or inhibited T cell proliferation and increased or decreased IL-2 production (depending on concentrations) (23).
Menopausal agents: Use of herbal combination products containing royal jelly reduced symptoms of menopause (54;43;53;55). The
effect of royal jelly alone is not clear.
Neurologic herbs and supplements: In isolated and perfused mesenteric vascular beds of a diabetic animal model, royal jelly
reduced the sympathetic nerve-mediated vasoconstrictor response to periarterial nerve stimulation, as well as the potentiation of the
calcitonin gene-related peptide nerve-mediated vasodilator response to periarterial nerve stimulation (18). Also, in vitro, royal jelly and
its 10-hydroxy-trans-2-decenoic acid increased the generation of neurons and decreased the generation of astrocytes from neural
stem/progenitor cells (92). However, in a Japanese man, symptoms of anaphylaxis included vertigo, numbness in his fingers, and
impaired consciousness (47), and according to secondary sources, side effects include central nervous system symptoms and
insomnia.
Ocular agents: An anaphylactic woman presented with congestion of the conjunctivae (48).
Radioprotective agents: In animal research, royal jelly protected against the mutagenic effects of Adriamycin (doxorubicin) and/or
cobalt gamma radiation (28).
Respiratory agents: In humans, respiratory distress, bronchospasm, wheezing, dyspnea, and asthma, including a fatal case, have
been related to royal jelly use (56;57;58;41;59;60;61;47;48;62;63). In a Japanese man, symptoms of anaphylaxis included dyspnea
and wheezing (47). An anaphylactic woman presented with dyspnea (48). According to secondary sources, adverse reactions to royal
jelly have included rhinitis.
Vasodilator herbs and supplements: In animal research, a water-soluble fraction of royal jelly had vasodilating effects on dog
femoral artery (31).
Wound-healing agents: In animal research, royal jelly lacked benefit on healing following tympanic membrane perforation; however,
use of royal jelly increased the thickness of the membranes by increasing the organization of the connective tissue (33). A
component originally labeled honeybee royal jelly-derived collagen production-promoting factor (HRJ-CPF) was found to be 10hydroxy-2-decenoic acid; 10-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid increased collagen production in vitro (34).
Royal jelly/Food Interactions
Honey: In vitro, honey increased the antibacterial effects of royal jelly against Pseudomonas aeruginosa (5). According to secondary
sources, royal jelly and honey may be used in combination.
Royal jelly/Lab Interactions
Blood lipids: In human research, royal jelly decreased levels of total cholesterol and increased levels of serum phospholipids,
resulting in a reduction of the ratio of cholesterol to phospholipids (71). In healthy adults, royal jelly decreased total and low-density
lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, perhaps by decreasing levels of very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) (82). Effects on high-density

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lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and triglycerides were lacking. In separate human research, nonsignificant decreases in blood lipids
occurred (15), or changes were limited (details are lacking) (72). Use of Melbrosia, a combination product containing royal jelly,
reduced total and LDL cholesterol and increased HDL cholesterol and triglycerides (43).
Blood pressure: In animal research, peptides from royal jelly decreased blood pressure in a hypertensive model (20;42). In a diabetic
animal model, there was a tendency to decrease blood pressure (18).
Coagulation parameters: In a case report, royal jelly intake was associated with hemorrhagic colitis, including abdominal pain and
bloody diarrhea (44). Hematuria and an elevated INR occurred in an 87 year-old African-American man on stable warfarin for three
months who had started taking royal jelly (45).
Fibrinolytic activity: In human research, nonsignificant decreases in fibrinolytic activity occurred (15).
Hormones: In human research, royal jelly resulted in increased testosterone (26); however, effects on hormone levels were lacking in
other human research (53). The influence of royal jelly on the excretion of gonadotropins in healthy males has been discussed (91).
Further details are lacking. In human research, royal jelly resulted in increased testosterone (26).
Immune parameters: Immunological effects have been shown in both animal and in vitro research, such as delayed onset of
systemic autoimmunity and decreased IL-10, as well as autoantibodies against ssDNA, dsDNA, and erythrocytes, and the number of
splenic autoreactive B cells (21); induced proliferation of lymphocytes and alterations in IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha levels (22); and
stimulated or inhibited T cell proliferation and increased or decreased IL-2 production (depending on concentrations) (23). In animal
research, royal jelly had antiallergic effects in a mouse model of immediate hypersensitivity, and the major royal jelly protein 3
(MRJP3) was found to suppress IL-4 production, IL-2, and IFN-gamma by T cells (78).
Inflammatory parameters: In vitro, royal jelly inhibited the production of proinflammatory cytokines by activated macrophages (81).
Insulin: In a diabetic animal model, there was a reduction in serum levels of insulin and the homeostasis model assessment ratio
(18;50).
Red blood cells: In human research, royal jelly resulted in increased red blood cell counts and hematocrit (26).
Serum ammonia: In animal research, a protein from royal jelly reduced fatigue and accumulation of serum lactate and ammonia
associated with a forced swim (85).
Serum lactate: In animal research, a protein from royal jelly reduced fatigue and accumulation of serum lactate and ammonia
associated with a forced swim (85).
Royal jelly/Nutrient Depletion
Cholesterol: In human research, royal jelly decreased levels of total cholesterol (71;82). In separate human research, nonsignificant
decreases in blood lipids occurred (15), or changes were limited (details are lacking) (72). Use of Melbrosia, a combination product
containing royal jelly, reduced total cholesterol and increased triglycerides (43).

Mechanism of Action
Pharmacology
Constituents: Biotin was measured in royal jelly (94). According to secondary sources, royal jelly contains B vitamins (including high
levels of B5 and B6), as well as vitamins A, C, D, and E, DNA, minerals, enzymes, hormones, 18 amino acids, and gelatin (95;96).
According to secondary sources, 1g of royal jelly contains the following: vitamin B1: 1.5-7.4mcg; vitamin B2: 5.3-10.0mcg; vitamin
B6: 2.2-10.2mcg; niacin: 91.0-149.0mcg; pantothenic acid: 65.0-200.0mcg; biotin: 0.9-3.7mcg; inositol: 78.0-150.0mcg; folic acid:
0.16-0.50mcg; and vitamin C (trace). Vitamin E was lacking in this report, and vitamins A and D are claimed to be lacking in royal
jelly, according to other secondary sources. According to secondary sources, royal jelly contains antibacterial and antibiotic
components. According to secondary sources, minerals in royal jelly include calcium, copper, iron, phosphorus, potassium, silicon,
and sulfur.
According to secondary sources, royal jelly is 60-70% water, 10-16% carbohydrates, 3-6% lipids, and 12-15% protein.
Components isolated from royal jelly include organic acid glycosides (monoglucosides of 10-hydroxy-2E-decenoic and 10hydroxydecanoic acids) and sterols (including (24Z)-stigmasta-5,24(28)-dien-3beta-ol-7-one, (24Z)-stigmasta-5,24(28)-diene3beta,7beta-diol, (24Z)-stigmasta-5,24(28)-diene-3beta,7alpha-diol, and (24Z)-stigmast-24(28)-ene-3beta,5alpha,6beta-triol) (97).
Both protein and nonprotein nitrous substances have been isolated, including 12 different types of proteins, oligopeptides high in
histidine, and high concentrations of lysine, proline, beta-alanine, and glutamic acid (98).
A component originally labeled honeybee royal jelly-derived collagen production-promoting factor (HRJ-CPF) was found to be 10hydroxy-2-decenoic acid (34).
Royalisin was purified from royal jelly (79). Dipeptide YY was isolated from royal jelly (20). Jelleine-I, jelleine-II, jelleine-III, and jelleineIV were purified from royal jelly (80).
The effects of royal jelly may be related to constituent flavonoids (99).
According to a review, neopterin was found in royal jelly (24). According to secondary sources, royal jelly is rich in nucleic acids,
RNA, and DNA, and contains gelatin.
Zhang et al. published the analysis of ginseng royal jelly with respect to constituents specific to ginseng, as well as 10-hydroxy-2decenoic acid (93).
Kimura et al. analyzed the structures of N-linked sugar chains from 350kDa royal jelly glycoprotein found to stimulate the proliferation
of human monocytes (100). The structures fell into the category of oligomannose-type sugar chains.
Nakajin et al. published the methods involving high-performance liquid chromatography using a reversed-phase stationary phase to
quantify 10-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid in raw royal jelly, and granules and tablets containing royal jelly (101). Feng et al. developed a
thin-layer chromatographic method for the determination of 10-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid in gel preparations (102).
Adipocyte effects: In vitro, protein fractions of royal jelly increased the percent of mature adipocytes in a preadipocyte culture (13).
Antiaging effects: In animal research, royal jelly reduced tissue DNA oxidative damage and increased life span (2).
Antiallergy effects: In animal research, royal jelly had antiallergic effects in a mouse model of immediate hypersensitivity (78). The
major royal jelly protein 3 (MRJP3) was found to suppress IL-4, IL-2, and IFN-gamma production by T cells.
Antiarrhythmic effects: In animal research, royal jelly protected against and reduced adrenaline-induced arrhythmia (10).
Antibacterial effects: In vitro, royalisin, a protein in royal jelly, had antibacterial activity against Gram-positive bacteria, but not
Gram-negative bacteria (4;79). In vitro, the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of royal jelly against Pseudomonas aeruginosa
was 4% (5). The addition of honey increased the antibacterial effects. In vitro, royal jelly blocks the fucose>fructose/mannose-binding
lectin (PA-IIL) (involved in biofilm formation and animal cell adhesion) of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (6). The mannosylated
glycoproteins of royal jelly were thought to play a role. In vitro, jelleines-I-III had antimicrobial effects (80).

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The antibacterial effects of bee products were the scope of a review (35).
Antidiabetic effects: In a diabetic animal model, there was a tendency to decrease blood pressure and a significant reduction in
serum levels of insulin and the homeostasis model assessment ratio (18;50). In isolated and perfused mesenteric vascular beds of
these animals, royal jelly reduced the sympathetic nerve-mediated vasoconstrictor response to periarterial nerve stimulation, as well
as the potentiation of the calcitonin gene-related peptide nerve-mediated vasodilator response to periarterial nerve stimulation. Effects
on norepinephrine-induced vasoconstriction and calcitonin gene-related peptide-induced vasodilation were lacking.
Anti-inflammatory effects: In vitro, royal jelly inhibited the production of proinflammatory cytokines by activated macrophages (81).
Antineoplastic effects: According to secondary sources, anticancer effects of royal jelly have been shown in animal models. In
tumor cells in vitro, royal jelly inhibited N-acetylation and metabolism of 2-aminofluorene (2-AF) (12). In vitro, protein fractions of royal
jelly were cytotoxic to cancer cells (13). In vitro, royal jelly inhibited the bisphenol A-induced proliferation of MCF-7 cancer cells;
however, it was without effect in the absence of bisphenol A (14).
In animal research, the role of 10-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid from royal jelly was investigated on the nude mice solid tumor model NHG1 from human glioma cell line (103). Further details are lacking.
Antioxidant effects: Enzymatic hydrolysates of royal jelly had antioxidant effects in vitro (7). In vivo and in vitro, peptides from royal
jelly inhibited lipid peroxidation (8). Further details are lacking.
Cardiovascular effects: In human research, nonsignificant decreases in fibrinolytic activity occurred (15).
Chemoprotective effects: In animal research, royal jelly protected against the mutagenic effects of Adriamycin (doxorubicin)
and/or cobalt gamma radiation (28). Royal jelly reduced DNA fragmentation and chromosomal aberrations.
Dermatological effects: In animal research, royal jelly inhibited the development of atopic dermatitis-like skin lesions (84).
Exercise performance effects: In animal research, a protein from royal jelly reduced fatigue and accumulation of serum lactate and
ammonia associated with a forced swim (85).
Growth effects: In vitro, protein fractions of royal jelly stimulated the growth of insect cells (13).
Hepatoprotective effects: In animal research, royal jelly protected against acetaminophen-induced liver damage (88).
Hormonal effects: In vitro, royal jelly activated estrogen receptors, resulting in enhanced transcription of a reporter gene through an
estrogen-responsive element and stimulated the expression of mRNA coding for estrogen-responsive pS2 and vascular endothelial
growth factor (VEGF) (52). Tamoxifen blocked the royal jelly-induced enhancement of MCF-7 cell proliferation. In an ovariectomized
rat model, royal jelly restored VEGF expression in the uterus. In vitro, royal jelly inhibited the bisphenol A-induced proliferation of
MCF-7 cancer cells; however, it was without effect in the absence of bisphenol A (14).
The estrogenic activities of both fatty acids and a sterol isolated from royal jelly have been the topic of discussion (89). Further details
are lacking. The estrogenic effects of royal jelly were discussed in a review (19;90). In human research, royal jelly resulted in
increased testosterone (26); however, effects on hormone levels were lacking in other human research (53). The influence of royal jelly
on the excretion of gonadotropins in healthy males has been discussed (91).
In animal research, estrogenic effects of Melbrosia, a combination product containing royal jelly, were lacking (104).
Hypolipidemic effects: In human research, royal jelly decreased levels of total cholesterol and increased levels of serum
phospholipids, resulting in a reduction of the ratio of cholesterol to phospholipids (71). In healthy adults, royal jelly decreased total
and LDL cholesterol, perhaps by decreasing levels of VLDL (82). Effects on HDL cholesterol and triglycerides were lacking. In
separate human research, nonsignificant decreases in blood lipids occurred (15), or changes were limited (details are lacking) (72).
Use of Melbrosia, a combination product containing royal jelly, reduced total and LDL cholesterol and increased HDL cholesterol
and triglycerides (43).
In animal research, royal jelly decreased the gene expression of squalene epoxidase (cholesterol biosynthesis) and sterol regulatory
element-binding protein (SREB)-1, and increased the gene expression of low-density lipoprotein receptor (105).
Hypotensive effects: In vitro, a royal jelly-derived peptide (dipeptide YY) inhibited human renin activity with an inhibition constant (Ki)
of 10mcM when the Km was 0.16mcM (20). In animal research, peptides from royal jelly decreased blood pressure in a hypertensive
model (20;42). In a diabetic animal model, there was a tendency to decrease blood pressure (18).
Immune effects: In animal research, royal jelly delayed the onset of systemic autoimmunity, including decreased proteinuria and
reduced renal symptoms (21). There was a decrease in serum level of IL-10, as well as autoantibodies against ssDNA, dsDNA, and
erythrocytes, and the number of splenic autoreactive B cells.
In vitro, royal jelly induced proliferation of lymphocytes (22). Royal jelly also increased the release of IFN-gamma and decreased TNFalpha. There were also significant differences in the ratios of IFN-gamma/IL-4 and IFN-gamma/IL-10. When lymphocytes from patients
with Graves' disease were used, the T-helper (Th)1:Th2 cytokine ratio was shifted to the side of Th1 cytokine, and there was a
decrease in the TSHR antibody levels in lymphocyte cell culture supernatants.
In vitro, royal jelly stimulated T cell proliferation and increased IL-2 production at lower concentrations (23). Higher concentrations,
however, inhibited T cell proliferation and decreased IL-2 production.
According to a review, neopterin was found in royal jelly, and it has immunological effects (24).
The effect of royal jelly on mitotic activity of lymphocytes has been discussed (106). Further details are lacking.
A synthetic derivative of the royal jelly organic acid 10-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid, 1-(2-methoxyethoxymethyl)2,3-(10-hydroxy2decenoyl)(E) glycerol, was found to induce NF-kappaB translocation following IkappaB-alpha proteolysis, and it also activated
sphingomyelinase (107). The effects of royal jelly, or its natural component itself, are not clear.
Neuroprotective effects: In isolated and perfused mesenteric vascular beds of a diabetic animal model, royal jelly reduced the
sympathetic nerve-mediated vasoconstrictor response to periarterial nerve stimulation, as well as the potentiation of the calcitonin
gene-related peptide nerve-mediated vasodilator response to periarterial nerve stimulation (18). In vitro, royal jelly and its 10-hydroxytrans-2-decenoic acid increased the generation of neurons and decreased the generation of astrocytes from neural stem/progenitor
cells (92).
Radioprotective effects: In animal research, royal jelly protected against the mutagenic effects of Adriamycin and/or cobalt
gamma radiation (28). Royal jelly reduced DNA fragmentation and chromosomal aberrations.
Vasodilating effects: In animal research, a water-soluble fraction of royal jelly had vasodilating effects on dog femoral artery (31).
Wound-healing effects: In animal research, royal jelly lacked benefit on healing following tympanic membrane perforation; however,
use of royal jelly increased the thickness of the membranes by increasing the organization of the connective tissue (33). A
component originally labeled honeybee royal jelly-derived collagen production-promoting factor (HRJ-CPF) was found to be 10hydroxy-2-decenoic acid; 10-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid increased collagen production in vitro by a mechanism using TGF-beta 1(34).
Pharmacodynamics/Kinetics
In vitro, the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of royal jelly against Pseudomonas aeruginosa was 4% (5). The addition of honey

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increased the antibacterial effects.
In vitro, a royal jelly-derived peptide (dipeptide YY) inhibited human renin activity with an inhibition constant (Ki) of 10mcM when the
Km was 0.16mcM (20).

History
According to secondary sources, royal jelly has been used for centuries in East Asia. Historically, it has only been available to those
that could afford it.
According to a review, bee products such as royal jelly have only recently become the subject of medical research (108).

Evidence Table

Study
Design

Condition

Systematic
Hyperlipidemia review and
meta-analysis

Hay fever

Randomized
controlled trial

Author,
Year

Quality Of
Study
Statistically
0-2=poor
Significant
3-4=good
5=excellent

Magnitude
of Benefit

ARR

NNT

Vittek, 1995

Nine trials

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

Anderson,
2005

80

No

NA

NA

NA

Comments

Overall
improvements
in lipid levels
from mainly
poorly
designed
studies.
Lack of effect
in children.

Evidence Discussion
Diabetic foot ulcers
Summary: Evidence from available combination studies using an ointment containing royal jelly suggest benefits in the healing of
diabetic foot ulcers (1). Further research on royal jelly alone is needed.
Select combination studies (not included in the Evidence Table): Abdelatif et al. conducted a study to examine the
effectiveness and safety of Pedyphar ointment in the treatment of patients with diabetic foot ulcers (N=60) (1). The patients had
limb-threatening diabetic foot infections of Wagner grades 1-5 (full-thickness skin ulcer to gangrenous lesions). The ointment
consisted of royal jelly and panthenol in an ointment base that was applied and covered with dressings following irrigation and
cleansing with normal saline, and surgical debridement if required. Patients were followed up for six months or until full healing
occurred. Insulin treatment for diabetes control was also used. The primary endpoint was clinical response at weeks 3, 9, and 24. The
authors indicated that in patients with grades 1-2 ulcers, 96% responded well, with a complete cure by week 9 (defined by the
authors as a complete closure of the ulcer without signs of underlying bone infection). The more serious patients (grade 5) also all
healed following surgical excision, debridement of necrotic tissue, and conservative treatment with the ointment. The effect of royal
jelly alone is not clear from this study. Limitations included the lack of control and randomization.
Exercise performance
Summary: Information from animal research, a clinical trial involving royal jelly in combination with other agents, and a review
suggests that a potential for improved exercise performance is associated with royal jelly (85;86;87). Further research is needed.
Hyperlipidemia
Summary: Cholesterol reduction was evident based mainly on poorly designed clinical trials included in a systematic review and
meta-analysis (71); however, effects were limited in a more recent study not in the available systematic review (72). Further welldesigned research is necessary in order to draw conclusions.
Systematic review and meta-analysis: Vittek et al. conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the effects of
royal jelly on atherosclerosis (71). The effects of royal jelly on both humans and animals were assessed in this review. However,
results regarding the effects of treatment in animals are excluded from this summary focusing on the effects in humans. Nine studies
included in the review assessed the effects of royal jelly on lipid parameters in humans (109;110;111;15;112;113;114;115;116).
Articles published through 1994 that assessed the effects of royal jelly on the cardiovascular systems of animals and humans were
pooled from MEDLINE. The references of the pooled articles were reviewed to identify additional relevant studies. Nine human studies,
in which subjects presented with either hypercholesterolemia or atherosclerosis, were included in the review. All nine studies were
used to calculate the effect size of treatment, while five of these studies were used for the meta-analysis regarding the effect of royal
jelly on serum lipids and cholesterol. To treat atherosclerosis, participants in some of the included studies were administered 30150mg of royal jelly daily for 4-6 weeks. In one study, sublingual doses of 30mg of royal jelly daily were given, but the duration of the
treatment was unclear. In another study, participants were injected with 10-100mg of royal jelly daily for 3-11 weeks. Information
regarding standardization, allergies, adverse effects, toxic effects, dropouts, and interactions was lacking. Outcome measures
included differences in levels of serum total cholesterol, lipids, phospholipids, and lipoproteins. When all nine studies were used to
determine a pooled-effect size, a significant cholesterol-lowering effect was observed with royal jelly treatment (-30.3mg/dL, 95% CI:
-19.0 to -41.5mg/dL). In addition, when only the five placebo controlled trials were compared, a significant mean decrease in
cholesterol was also observed (-34.0mg/dL, 95% CI: -25.1 to -42.9mg/dL, p<0.001). The mean reduction in the level of serum lipids
was significant as well (-52.00mg/dL, 95% CI: -37.8 to -66.2mg/dL, p<0.05). In two out of four trials where serum phospholipids were
assessed, these levels increased significantly (p<0.05). The ratio of cholesterol to phospholipids decreased in three out of four trials
that assessed this parameter (p<0.05). Lipoprotein levels decreased significantly in three out of four trials (p<0.05). The authors
concluded that royal jelly may decrease serum total cholesterol and lipid levels and may impact other lipid parameters as well.
However, the authors stated that some of the trial designs were lesser quality, the number of subjects and baseline characteristics
(including disease status) of these subjects differed greatly and/or were poorly characterized, different forms and administrations of
royal jelly were used, and some trials lacked a placebo group. Additional trials are needed before conclusions may be made.
Studies of lesser methodological quality (not included in the Evidence Table): Mnstedt et al. conducted a study to examine
the effect of royal jelly on blood lipids in older patients (N=50) (72). Patients in the study had hypercholesterolemia and total
cholesterol >200mg/dL; an absence of diabetes mellitus, endocrine disorders, allergy to royal jelly, or asthma; and consistent

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medication use for hypercholesterolemia for the previous three months. Patients consumed 10g of refrigerated royal jelly daily each
evening for 14 days. The authors concluded that effects of royal jelly on cholesterol levels in this population were limited. Further
details are lacking.
Male infertility
Summary: Midcycle pericoital vaginal applications of Egyptian bee honey and royal jelly improved pregnancy rates in patients treated
with standard intrauterine insemination for infertility due to asthenozoospermia in the male (117). Further research investigating royal
jelly alone is needed.
Select combination studies (not included in the Evidence Table): Abdelhafiz et al. conducted a crossover study to evaluate the
efficacy of a mixture of Egyptian bee honey and royal jelly for the treatment of infertility due to asthenozoospermia (N=99) (117). In
one group, patients were treated midcycle with pericoital vaginal applications of Egyptian bee honey and royal jelly along with
standard intrauterine insemination for three cycles or until conception. The control group was given standard intrauterine insemination
alone. After a washout period of two months, the groups crossed over if pregnancy had not yet occurred. Pregnancies per cycle were
23 (8.1%) and 7 (2.6%) in the Egyptian bee honey and royal jelly vs. control groups (p<0.001). Further details are lacking. The effect
of royal jelly alone is not clear.
A simple treatment for asthenozoospermia-related subfertility using midcycle pericoital vaginal micronized progesterone, bee honey,
and royal jelly was also discussed (118). Further details are lacking.
Menopause
Summary: Use of herbal combination products containing royal jelly reduced symptoms of menopause (54;43;53;55). Women who
used Melbrosia stated they did so because it helped their climacteric discomfort (119). The effect of royal jelly alone is not clear,
and further research is needed.
Select combination studies (not included in the Evidence Table): Yakoot et al. conducted a study to examine the effectiveness
of an herbal formula in women with menopausal syndromes (N=120) (54). The women were treated with two capsules of Lady 4
(containing evening primrose oil, damiana, ginseng, royal jelly) daily. The main outcome was measurements on the Menopause
Rating Scale II (MRS-II). After two and four weeks of treatment, there was a statistically significant improvement in the MRS-II score
in both groups, with a significantly better improvement in the treatment group (p<0.001), with 86.7% vs. 56.7% indicating that they
were "much improved" or "very much improved." Further details are lacking. The effect of royal jelly alone is not clear.
Georgiev et al. conducted an open uncontrolled study to examine the effect of Melbrosia on menopausal symptoms and
cardiovascular disease risk factors in menopausal women (N=55) (43). Women were treated for three months. Endpoints included
Kupperman score, Zerssen Symptom List, Zung Depression Score, Frankfurt Self-Concept Scale, blood lipid levels, C-reactive
protein, and vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM)-1. There was a statistically significant reduction in Kupperman score, Zerssen
Symptom List, and Zung Depression Score, and significant improvements in the problem-solving score of the Frankfurt Self-Concept
Scale. Total and LDL cholesterol were significantly reduced, and HDL cholesterol and triglycerides were significantly elevated. Other
significant changes were lacking. Further details are lacking. The effect of royal jelly alone is not clear.
Kolarov et al. conducted a study to examine the effect of Melbrosia on menopausal symptoms (N=66) (53). Endpoints included the
Kupperman Menopausal Index and hormone levels. There was a decrease in the Kupperman index, whereas effects on hormones and
lipid parameters were lacking. Further details are lacking. The effect of royal jelly alone is not clear.
Szanto et al. conducted a placebo controlled study to examine the effect of Melbrosia on menopausal symptoms (55). The authors
indicated that biochemical parameters were limited but that menopausal symptoms were reduced (headache, urinary incontinence,
dry vagina, decreasing vitality). Further details are lacking. The effect of royal jelly alone is not clear. This study was commented on
(120).
Hay fever
Summary: In children, use of the royal jelly product Bidro lacked effect on hay fever prevention or treatment (73). Although the study
was well randomized, the methods of blinding were not clear, and only one marketed product was studied. In addition, anaphylaxis
and other allergic reactions to royal jelly have been shown in numerous human case reports and other reports
(56;57;58;41;59;60;61;47;48;62;63;65;49;66;67;68;69;64). Further research is needed; however, until safety is established in this
specific population, royal jelly should be avoided.
Evidence: Andersen et al. conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled parallel-group study to assess the effects of
royal jelly (Bidro) on hay fever symptoms in children with documented rhinoconjunctivitis caused by allergy to birch, grass, or ragweed
pollen (N=80) (73). Participants in this study were children aged 5-16 years who had clinically verified hay fever diagnoses on the
basis of birch, grass, or mugwort pollen allergies. All included participants had been diagnosed at least one year prior to the study.
Participants were excluded from the study if they had a chronic need for antihistamine, cromoglycate, or steroids (nasal or systemic);
if they had received immunotherapy within two years of the study; or if they had nasal abnormalities with displacement of the nasal
septum, polyps, atrophic rhinitis, or chronic infectious sinusitis. Participants were randomized by a computer-generated
randomization schedule to receive 150mg of Bidro or identical placebo capsules twice daily, once in the morning and once in the
evening, for 3-6 months during pollen season. Information on standardization was lacking. Adverse effects that occurred during this
study included deterioration of atopic dermatitis (N=4 for each treatment group), respiratory infections (N=15 from the placebo group;
N=8 from the treatment group), and difficulty or inability to swallow the capsules (N=2 from the placebo group; N=4 from the treatment
group). Information on toxic effects was lacking. Sixteen participants dropped out of the study before completion: four withdrew
consent (N=2 from the placebo group; N=2 from the treatment group), six withdrew due to inability to swallow the capsules (N=2 from
the placebo group; N=4 from the treatment group), three were excluded due to lack of compliance (N=2 from the placebo group; N=1
from the treatment group), two participants from the treatment group withdrew due to deterioration of atopic dermatitis, and one
participant withdrew from the placebo group due to suspicions on the part of the participant's mother. Information regarding
interactions was lacking. The primary outcome measure was the occurrence of rhinoconjunctivitis symptoms during pollen season.
Secondary outcome measures included symptom severity and the need for any medical treatment. Compared to the control group,
treatment with Bidro lacked preventative or curative effects on the occurrence of hay fever symptoms. A statistically significant
difference in symptom severity was lacking between the two study arms (p=0.45). Limitations of this study included a lack of
adequate description of blinding, which may have allowed for the introduction of bias or confounding variables. In addition, there was a
20% dropout rate, which reduced the sample size from 80 to 64.

Products Studied
Brands Used in Clinical Trials
Not applicable.
Brands Reviewed for Claimed Ingredients Through Third-Party Testing

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Natural Standard - Royal jelly


Consumer Lab: Not applicable.
Consumer Reports: Not applicable
Natural Products Association: Not applicable
NSF International: Not applicable
U.S. Pharmacopeia: Not applicable
Selected Patents Outside of the United States
CN102793733 Ginseng royal jelly chewable tablets and preparation method thereof
KR20120108637 Royal jelly convenient to store and dose and method for manufacturing thereof
CN102772345 All-natural bee pollen facial mask paste and production method thereof
KR101227309 Auto-grafting apparatus for the production of royal jelly
United States Patents
20110318293 Hair Preparation Comprising Royal Jelly
EP 1824350 A1 Dietetic product based on royal jelly, particularly for health protection and improving immunity. Prepared royal jelly
with caloric value
20060159834 Refined royal jelly
EP 2437853 A2 Cosmetic cleansing agent containing surfactant and royal jelly
1048222 A2 Royal jelly composition with low calorific value
8,263,157 - Pelletization method for raw royal jelly

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82. Guo, H., Saiga, A., Sato, M., Miyazawa, I., Shibata, M., Takahata, Y., and Morimatsu, F. Royal jelly supplementation improves
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84. Taniguchi et al. Oral administration of Royal Jelly inhibits the development of atopic dermatitis-like skin lesions in NC/Nga mice. Int
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85. Kamakura, M., Mitani, N., Fukuda, T., and Fukushima, M. Antifatigue effect of fresh royal jelly in mice. J.Nutr.Sci.Vitaminol.(Tokyo)
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1988;1(1):13-15.
87. King, D. S., Baskerville, R., Hellsten, Y., Senchina, D. S., Burke, L. M., Stear, S. J., and Castell, L. M. A-Z of nutritional
supplements: dietary supplements, sports nutrition foods and ergogenic aids for health and performance-Part 34. Br.J.Sports Med.
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88. Kanbur, M., Eraslan, G., Beyaz, L., Silici, S., Liman, B. C., Altinordulu, S., and Atasever, A. The effects of royal jelly on liver
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89. Suzuki, K. M., Isohama, Y., Maruyama, H., Yamada, Y., Narita, Y., Ohta, S., Araki, Y., Miyata, T., and Mishima, S. Estrogenic
activities of Fatty acids and a sterol isolated from royal jelly. Evid.Based.Complement Alternat.Med. 2008;5(3):295-302. View
Abstract
90. Miyata, T. Pharmacological basis of traditional medicines and health supplements as curatives. J.Pharmacol.Sci. 2007;103(2):127131. View Abstract
91. Toman, A. and Kreze, M. [Influence of royal jelly on the excretion of gonadotropins in healthy males]. Bratisl.Lek.Listy
1972;57(3):349-352. View Abstract
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