Royal Jelly: 10 Health Benefits, Recommended Dose & Side Effects

Updated in September 2023

Royal jelly is a gelatinous "super-food" that is produced by bees. It contains very high contents of water, sugar, protein, fat and a wide variety of vitamins, particularly vitamins A, B, C and E. It also contains minerals such as sulfur, magnesium, iron and zinc.

In nature, royal jelly is produced by worker bees as food for the queen bee. The queen bee, although genetically the same as the workers, lives between 4 and 5 years, while worker bees have an average lifespan of 45 to 60 days. The queen bee's longevity is attributed to her diet, as the queen bee feeds exclusively on royal jelly throughout her life.

Due to its benefits, royal jelly is widely used as a nutritional supplement, and can be found in health food stores in the form of gel, ampoules, powder or capsules.

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Health benefits

The main benefits of royal jelly for your health include:

1. Increase immunity

Royal jelly contains flavonoids, which are organic compounds and fatty acids that are used to stimulate the body's defense cells. This can improve overall immune system functioning.

Furthermore, royal jelly has antimicrobial properties that are effective against various bacteria, such as P. aeruginosa and L. monocytogenes, for example.

2. Promote skin and hair health

Royal jelly is rich in water, antioxidants and nutrients,as well as amino acids that make-up collagen. It also contains vitamins C and E, which help keep the skin hydrated and rejuvenated. This can prevent the formation of wrinkles and reduce sagging skin.

Furthermore, these nutrients also strengthen fair strands and improve blood circulation in the scalp, giving hair a healthier and shiner appearance. Royal jelly can be found as an ingredient in various creams, soaps and shampoos.

3. Improve memory and concentration

Royal jelly is rich in B-vitamins, zinc and choline, as well as phenolic compounds, which provide the jelly with antioxidant and neuroprotective properties. This helps to improve memory and concentration, as well as prevent neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's and dementia.

4. Reduce cholesterol

Royal jelly helps to reduce total and LDL cholesterol levels as well as increases HDL cholesterol levels. This is due to the presence of proteins in its composition that can inhibit cholesterol absorption in the intestines. These proteins can also block reabsorption of bile acids, which contain cholesterol.

5. Complement treatment of infertility

Some scientific studies indicate that royal jelly may improve sperm count and sperm mobility, which can be beneficial for men's fertility.

6. Prevent fatty liver

The antioxidants in royal jelly promote fat oxidation and help reduce the oxidative stress of liver cells. This prevents fat from accumulating, which can lead to fatty liver.

7. Prevent cancer

Royal jelly can reduce the natural replication of tumor cells, as the bioactive compounds found in this substance can prevent cellular damage caused by free radical. Royal jelly emits an antitumor effect against Lewis lung carcinoma and colorectal adenocarcinoma, according to some scientific studies.

8. Provide anti-inflammatory properties

The bioactive components found in royal jelly inhibit inflammatory substances that are produced, such as cytokines and tumor necrosis factor. This can protect cells and improve their response to inflammation. 

9. Delay aging

Royal jelly is an excellent supplement for older adults, as it delays natural skin aging, prevents the appearance of wrinkles, improves memory and concentration, and prevents neurodegenerative diseases. It also promotes bone health ,due to its ability to reduce bone resorption, and plays a role in maintaining muscle function.

10. Increase libido

Royal jelly can increase libido in infertile men, as it can naturally increase testosterone levels in the body.

Recommended dose

There is little scientific evidence available about the exact recommended dose of royal jelly. Therefore, you are advised to follow manufacturer's instructions on the supplement packaging. These instructions normally indicate that a small amount be placed under the tongue so that it is absorbed into the body more effectively.

The recommended dose of royal jelly in capsule form is 1 capsule per day, taken with water. Some studies have found benefits when taking 50 to 300 mg and, in some cases, up to 6000 mg per day. Another suggested dose is 100 mg/kg per day.

In children between 1 and 5 years old, 0.5 g/day is recommended, while children between 5 and 12 years old can take 0.5 to 1 g/day.

Royal jelly should be stored at temperatures below 10º C, in the refrigerator or freezer, for a maximum of 18 months.

Side effects

The consumption of royal jelly is considered to be safe, however it has been noted that some people, especially those who are allergic to bees or pollen, have a greater risk of anaphylaxis, bronchospasm and asthma.

Contraindications for use

Royal jelly should not be consumed by people with allergies to bees and pollen, and, therefore you should ideally complete allergy test before taking it. Pregnancy or breastfeeding women should speak to their doctor before consuming royal jelly.