The Composition and Nutritional Value of Royal Jelly

Royal jelly is a natural substance with many useful properties. Perhaps the most important of these is that it can be used in healthy people to strengthen health and prevent diseases.
The Composition and Nutritional Value of Royal Jelly
Maria Patricia Pinero Corredor

Reviewed and approved by the nutritionist Maria Patricia Pinero Corredor.

Written by Editorial Team

Last update: 12 July, 2023

Royal jelly is a white, viscous, gelatinous substance derived from the secretion of the hypopharyngeal and mandibular glands of worker bees. It’s different from propolis and honey. To be more specific, it’s the Apis mellifera species that produces this substance that is sometimes called a superfood. Today we’ll show you the properties and nutritional value of royal jelly and its benefits.

Nutritional value of royal jelly

As experts point out, royal jelly is what bee larvae eat when they’re born. When the larvae have developed, the jelly becomes the exclusive food of the queen bee. The nutritional properties and value of royal jelly tend to vary greatly, but, in general, specialists attribute the following to it:

  • Water: between 50% and 60%
  • Proteins: 18%
  • Carbohydrates: 15%
  • Lipids: between 3% and 6%
  • Mineral salts and vitamins: about 1.5%

It is known that the most characteristic compound of JR is trans -10-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid (10-HDA), which is a unique active principle present in it. Some researchers point out that it contains eight essential amino acids, vitamins such as A, B complex, C and E, enzymes, hormones, polyphenols, nucleotides and minor heterocyclic compounds. There is also evidence that it contains phenols and flavonoids.

5 health benefits of royal jelly

As you can see, royal jelly has multiple nutritional properties. All these can be used for the benefit of health, with moderate consumption and use. We leave you with some ways in which you can take advantage of it.

1.It can favor smooth skin

Royal jelly, thanks to the vitamin C it contains, could help the synthesis of collagen which, as we know, is essential for the skin to help the skin look smooth and reduce wrinkles. This would be a gradual process that could have effects if the intake of royal jelly were continuous.

It should be noted that to enhance the effect of vitamin C on collagen production, it’s also advisable to introduce gelatin into the diet. This is stated in a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

2.It could improve disorders produced by stress

Overthinking: why is it harmful?

A study published in Nutrition Journal noted that after consuming royal jelly for 6 months, participants showed improved glucose tolerance as well as improved mental health. It’s supposed that its components could help to alleviate the symptoms caused by stress; however, more research is needed.

3.It could protect against degenerative diseases

Some scientific studies in animals proved the anti-inflammatory effects of royal jelly. It’s good to clarify that some severe inflammations could eventually translate into degenerative diseases. This substance could be recommended in these cases, due to its natural anti-inflammatory property.

On the other hand, extensive research pointed out that royal jelly could stimulate the physical and mental functions of the elderly, thus helping to improve the mental state and performance in cases of Alzheimer’s.

4.It’s an antioxidant

Antioxidants are substances that fight against free radicals, combating premature aging and preventing chronic diseases, according to data from the National Center of Complementary and Integrative Health. Royal jelly is a source of antioxidants, so it could be inferred that its consumption would be beneficial to prevent heart disease, brain, and even cancer.

5.It could favor fertility

Royal jelly is believed to help to balance hormone levels, which sometimes cause infertility. However, most of the studies on this subject have been carried out in animals, so further research in humans would be necessary. In addition, it has a large number of amino acids, sugars, proteins, iron and calcium.

As a curious fact, we can tell you that a tiny pinch would be enough as a daily dose. In fact, the recommended daily dose for adults is only half a gram.

Check that you aren’t allergic to royal jelly

First of all, you need to make sure that you aren’t allergic to royal jelly. How can you tell? Ideally, you should go to an allergist to check. He or she may recommend placing a small amount on your wrist. If, after a few minutes you don’t notice itching or stinging of the skin, you most likely aren’t allergic.

In this case, you could certainly consider introducing royal jelly into your diet. However, you should go to a nutrition professional first. He or she will tell you how to include it in your diet and which products are recommended according to your individual needs.

We often find this nutrient together with other vitamins and minerals that could help to improve our state of health. Considering joint supplementation can be a very wise option.

Royal jelly, a product to improve our health

Now that you know the possible properties of this element, aren’t you curious about how it could help you to alleviate some annoying symptoms? Consult your doctor about the benefits of including royal jelly in your diet on a regular basis.

Keep in mind that royal jelly doesn’t create miraculous effects; it has to be introduced in the context of a healthy diet to experience benefits from its consumption. It’s also necessary to know other life habits must be improved at the same time. Practicing physical activity is essential, as well as ensuring good sleep.

When choosing a product with royal jelly, it’s important to realize that not all of them have the same quality. Acquiring the right one will avoid an undesirable excess sugar intake, which will have a detrimental effect on inflammation in your body.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Ahmad S, Campos MG, Fratini F, Altaye SZ, Li J. New Insights into the Biological and Pharmaceutical Properties of Royal Jelly. Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Jan 8;21(2):382.
  • Buttstedt A, Moritz RF, Erler S. More than royal food – Major royal jelly protein genes in sexuals and workers of the honeybee Apis mellifera. Front Zool. 2013 Nov 27;10(1):72.
  • Collazo N, Carpena M, Nuñez-Estevez B, Otero P, Simal-Gandara J, Prieto MA. Health Promoting Properties of Bee Royal Jelly: Food of the Queens. Nutrients. 2021 Feb 7;13(2):543.
  • Ghanbari E, Khazaei MR, Khazaei M, Nejati V. Royal Jelly Promotes Ovarian Follicles Growth and Increases Steroid Hormones in Immature Rats. Int J Fertil Steril. 2018 Jan;11(4):263-269.
  • Kunugi H, Mohammed Ali A. Royal Jelly and Its Components Promote Healthy Aging and Longevity: From Animal Models to Humans. Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Sep 20;20(19):4662.
  • Kocot J, Kiełczykowska M, Luchowska-Kocot D, Kurzepa J, Musik I. Antioxidant Potential of Propolis, Bee Pollen, and Royal Jelly: Possible Medical Application. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2018 May 2;2018:7074209.
  • Nutr J. 2012; 11: 77. Published online 2012 Sep 21. Effect of royal jelly ingestion for six months on healthy volunteers. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-11-77
  • Int Braz J Urol. 2015 Sep-Oct;41(5):1008-13. Anti-inflammatory effects of royal jelly on ethylene glycol induced renal inflammation in rats.
  • Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2017; 2017: 1259510. Published online 2017 Jul 26. Honey, Propolis, and Royal Jelly: A Comprehensive Review of Their Biological Actions and Health Benefits.
  • Pasupuleti VR, Sammugam L, Ramesh N, Gan SH. Honey, Propolis, and Royal Jelly: A Comprehensive Review of Their Biological Actions and Health Benefits. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2017;2017:1259510.
  • Shaw G., Lee Barthel A., Ross M., Wang B., et al., Vitamin C enriched gelatin supplementation before intermittent activity augments collagen synthesis. Am J Clin Nutr, 2017. 105 (1): 136-143.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.