Human ingestion of Royal Jelly is reputed to cause severe even fatal allergic reactions in rare cases.
People collect and sell royal jelly as a dietary supplement
, claiming various health benefits because of components like B-complex vitamins
such as pantothenic acid
(vitamin B5) and vitamin B6
(pyridoxine); it can also be found in various beauty products. The overall composition of royal jelly is 67% water, 12.5% crude protein (including small amounts of many different amino acids
), and 11% simple sugars, also including a relatively high amount (5%) of fatty acids. It also contains many trace minerals, some enzymes, antibacterial and antibiotic components, and trace amounts of vitamin C
Contrary to claims by many of those promoting its use, vitamins A
, and E
are completely absent from royal jelly.
Independent research has already disproved, or is needed to confirm or disprove, many of the purported health claims, such as reports of hormonal activity (unknown in the bees themselves, the most abundant sterol
, which is not itself a hormone
). To date, there is only preliminary evidence that it may have some cholesterol-lowering effects, as well as immunomodulatory
, wound-healing and antibiotic
effects, though the last three of these effects are unlikely to be realized if ingested (digestion of the substances involved, or neutralization via changes in pH
Royal Jelly has been reported to stimulate the growth of glial cells
and neural stem cells
in the brain,
which may account for its reputation as a longer-term cognitive enhancer and as a beneficial agent in cases of Parkinson's Disease
Royal Jelly might be effective as an immunomodulatory agent in Graves' disease.