Royal jelly

Royal jelly

Royal jelly is a honey bee secretion that is used in the nutrition of the larvae. It is secreted from the hypopharyngeal glands in the heads of young workers and used (among other substances) to feed all of the larvae in the colony, including those destined to become workers. If a queen is needed, a larva is chosen and will receive "only" royal jelly — and in large quantities — as its food source for the first four days of its growth, and this rapid, early feeding triggers the development of queen morphology, including the fully developed ovaries needed to lay eggs. Some commercial royal jelly suppliers disseminate misinformation such as "Only queen larvae and adult queens are fed royal jelly". All larvae in a colony are fed royal jelly, and adult bees do not consume it at all.Graham, J. (ed.) (1992) "The Hive and the Honey Bee" (Revised Edition). Dadant & Sons.]

Cultivation

Royal jelly is produced by stimulating colonies with movable frame hives to produce queen bees. Royal jelly is collected from each individual queen cell when the queen larvae are about four days old. It is collected from queen cells because these are the only cells in which large amounts are deposited; when royal jelly is fed to worker larvae, it is fed directly to them, and they consume it as it is produced, while the cells of queen larvae are "stocked" with royal jelly much faster than the larvae can consume it. Therefore, only in queen cells is the harvest of royal jelly practical.

A well-managed hive during a season of 5–6 months can produce approximately 500 g of royal jelly. Since the product is perishable, producers must have immediate access to proper cold storage (e.g., a household refrigerator or freezer) in which the royal jelly is stored until it is sold or conveyed to a collection centre. Sometimes honey or beeswax are added to the royal jelly, supposedly to aid in preservation.

Composition

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). 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, D, and E are completely absent from royal jelly.cite web |url=http://www.fao.org/docrep/w0076e/w0076e16.htm |title=Value-added products from beekeeping. Chapter 6. |format= |work= |accessdate=]

Uses and side effects

Royal jelly has been reported as a possible immunomodulatory agent in Graves' disease. [Erem C, Deger O, Ovali E, Barlak Y. The effects of royal jelly on autoimmunity in Graves' disease. Endocrine. 2006 Oct;30(2):175-83.] It has also been reported to stimulate the growth of glial cells [Hashimoto M, Kanda M, Ikeno K, Hayashi Y, Nakamura T, Ogawa Y, Fukumitsu H, Nomoto H, Furukawa S. (2005) Oral administration of royal jelly facilitates mRNA expression of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor and neurofilament H in the hippocampus of the adult mouse brain. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2005 Apr;69(4):800-5.] and neural stem cells in the brain, [Hattori N, Nomoto H, Fukumitsu H, Mishima S, Furukawa S. Royal jelly and its unique fatty acid, 10-hydroxy-trans-2-decenoic acid, promote neurogenesis by neural stem/progenitor cells in vitro. Biomed Res. 2007 Oct;28(5):261-6.] Independent research has already disproved, or is needed to confirm or disprove, several other purported health claims, such as reports of hormonal activity (unknown in the bees themselves, the most abundant sterol is cholesterol, which is not itself a hormone). To date, there is only preliminary evidence that it may have some cholesterol-lowering effects, anti-inflammatory, wound-healing, and antibiotic effects, though the last three of these effects are unlikely to be realized if ingested (destruction of the substances involved through digestion, or neutralization via changes in pH). [PDR Health, "Royal Jelly". [http://www.pdrhealth.com/drug_info/nmdrugprofiles/nutsupdrugs/roy_0229.shtml available online] ] There are also some preliminary experiments (on cells and lab animals) in which royal jelly may have some benefit regarding certain other diseases, although there is no solid evidence for those claims, and further experimentation and validation is urgently needed. It can also be found in various beauty products.

It is widely recognized that royal jelly may cause allergies in humans ranging from hives, asthma, to even fatal anaphylaxis [Leung R, Ho A, Chan J, Choy D, Lai CK. Royal jelly consumption and hypersensitivity in the community. Clin Exp Allergy. 1997 Mar;27(3):333-6. PMID: 9088660.] [ Takahama H, Shimazu T. Food-induced anaphylaxis caused by ingestion of royal jelly. J Dermatol. 2006 Jun;33(6):424-6.] [Lombardi C, Senna GE, Gatti B, Feligioni M, Riva G, Bonadonna P, Dama AR, Canonica GW, Passalacqua G. Allergic reactions to honey and royal jelly and their relationship with sensitization to compositae. Allergol Immunopathol (Madr). 1998 Nov-Dec;26(6):288-90.] [Thien FC, Leung R, Baldo BA, Weiner JA, Plomley R, Czarny D. Asthma and anaphylaxis induced by royal jelly. Clin Exp Allergy. 1996 Feb;26(2):216-22.] [Leung R, Thien FC, Baldo B, Czarny D. Royal jelly-induced asthma and anaphylaxis: clinical characteristics and immunologic correlations. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1995 Dec;96(6 Pt 1):1004-7.] [ Bullock RJ, Rohan A, Straatmans JA. Fatal royal jelly-induced asthma. Med J Aust. 1994 Jan 3;160(1):44.] The incidence of allergic side effect in people that consume royal jelly is unknown, however it has been suggested that the risk of having an allergy to royal jelly is higher if the people have some known previous allergies [Leung R, Ho A, Chan J, Choy D, Lai CK. Royal jelly consumption and hypersensitivity in the community. Clin Exp Allergy. 1997 Mar;27(3):333-6. PMID: 9088660.] .

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*Bonomi, A. (1983) Acquisizioni in tema di composizione chimica e di attivita' biologica della pappa reale. Apitalia, 10 (15): 7-13.
*Braines, L.N. (1959). Royal jelly I. Inform. Bull. Inst. Pchelovodstva, 31 pp (with various articles)
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*Chauvin, R. and Louveaux, 1. (1956) Etdue macroscopique et microscopique de lagelee royale. L'apiculteur.
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*De Belfever, B. (1958) La gelee royale des abeilles. Maloine, Paris.
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*Giordani, G. (1961). [Effect of royal jelly on chickens.] Avicoltura 30 (6): 114-120
*Hattori N, Nomoto H, Fukumitsu H, Mishima S, Furukawa S. [Royal jelly and its unique fatty acid, 10-hydroxy-trans-2-decenoic acid, promote neurogenesis by neural stem/progenitor cells in vitro.] Biomed Res. 2007 Oct;28(5):261-6.
*Hashimoto M, Kanda M, Ikeno K, Hayashi Y, Nakamura T, Ogawa Y, Fukumitsu H, Nomoto H, Furukawa S. (2005) Oral administration of royal jelly facilitates mRNA expression of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor and neurofilament H in the hippocampus of the adult mouse brain. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2005 Apr;69(4):800-5.
*Inoue, T. (1986). The use and utilization of royal jelly and the evaluation of the medical efficacy of royal jelly in Japan. Proceeding sof the XXXth International Congress of Apiculture, Nagoya, 1985, Apimondia, 444-447
*Jean, E. (1956). A process of royal jelly absorption for its incorporation into assimilable substances. Fr. Pat., 1,118,123
*Jacoli, G. (1956) Ricerche sperimentali su alcune proprieta' biologiche della gelatina reale. Apicoltore d'Italia, 23 (9-10): 211-214.
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*Lercker, G., Capella, P., Conte, L.S., Ruini, F. and Giordani, G. (1982) Components of royal jelly: II. The lipid fraction, hydrocarbons and sterolds. J. Apic. Res. 21(3):178-184.
*Lercker, G., Vecchi, M.A., Sabatini, A.G. and Nanetti, A. 1984. Controllo chimicoanalitico della gelatina reale. Riv. Merceol. 23 (1): 83-94.
*Lercker, G., Savioli, S., Vecchi, M.A., Sabatini, A.G., Nanetti, A. and Piana, L. (1986) Carbohydrate Determination of Royal Jelly by High Resolution Gas Chromatography (HRGC). Food Chemistry, 19: 255-264.
*Lercker, G., Caboni, M.F., Vecchi, M.A., Sabatini, A.G. and Nanetti, A. (1992) Caratterizzazione dei principali costituenti della gelatina reale. Apicoltura 8:11-21.
*Nakamura, T. (1986) Quality standards of royal jelly for medical use. proceedings of the XXXth International Congress of Apiculture, Nagoya, 1985 Apimondia (1986) 462-464.
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References


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • royal jelly — noun uncount a substance produced by BEES to feed their young that some people believe has major health benefits …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • royal jelly — ► NOUN ▪ a substance secreted by honeybee workers and fed by them to larvae which are being raised as potential queen bees …   English terms dictionary

  • royal jelly — n. a highly nutritious mixture secreted by the maxillary glands in young honeybee workers, fed to all larvae for the first few days and then fed to only those larvae chosen to be queens …   English World dictionary

  • royal jelly — noun a secretion of the pharyngeal glands of bees that is fed to very young larvae and to bees destined to be queens • Hypernyms: ↑secretion * * * ˌroyal ˈjelly f15 [royal jelly] noun uncountable …   Useful english dictionary

  • royal jelly — noun A substance secreted by bees to aid in the development of immature or young bees, called royal jelly because it is supplied in extra measure to those young that will become queen bees …   Wiktionary

  • royal jelly — N UNCOUNT Royal jelly is a substance that bees make in order to feed young bees and queen bees …   English dictionary

  • royal jelly — noun Date: 1817 a highly nutritious secretion of the pharyngeal glands of the honeybee that is fed to the very young larvae in a colony and to all queen larvae …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • royal jelly — (ARTHROPODA: Insecta) In Hymenoptera, a complex material secreted by the pharyngeal salivary glands of the worker honey bee with proteolytic activity, rich in fatty acids, the B vitamins and other substances, that is fed to the brood at the start …   Dictionary of invertebrate zoology

  • royal jelly — a viscous substance secreted from the pharyngeal glands of worker honeybees, fed to all larvae during their first few days and afterward only to those larvae selected to be queens. [1850 55] * * * …   Universalium

  • royal jelly — mixture of materials that bees set aside and feed their larva with …   English contemporary dictionary

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