Royal Jelly - A Supplement for the Millennium

Long, long ago, a caveman discovered a beehive in the trunk of a tree. He tasted the sweetness of honey, and felt the sting of bee venom. In the process, he also discovered and learned the food value of the other products of the hive: beeswax, bee pollen, propolis and royal jelly. Thus, we can conclude bee products are the oldest nutritional supplements used by humans. Ancient scripts spanning many cultures and thousands of years mention bee products and their uses, from the earliest writings in Greek and Chinese literature to the Bible. Royal Jelly is especially revered by the Chinese who are presently the largest producers and consumers of royal jelly in the world.
This yellowish white cream is the bee's milk. Unlike the plant-sourced pollen and propolis the bees harvest and bring back to the hive, royal jelly is a food produced by the hypopharyngeal glands in the heads of nursing bees. Bee larvae are fed royal jelly for approximately the first three or four days of life. The ones selected to become workers and drones are then switched to "brood food" which consists of a little royal jelly mixed with pollen and honey while the larvae selected to become queens continue to be fed solely on royal jelly. The queen is responsible for the continuation of the hive and for the production of the pheromones to keep the colony working in unified order. She will lay 2,000 eggs per day and outlive her workers by many years. The royal jelly diet is what makes her a queen.
The composition of royal jelly is unique. It is an acid food with a pH of 3 to 4. In liquid form it is two-thirds water with approximately 12% protein. Natural sugars vary depending on the needs of the queen but average approximately 11%. The fatty acids are chemically perhaps the most interesting five percent of the royal jelly. Unlike other animal or plant fatty acids that contain 14-20 carbon chain triglycerides, royal jelly hydroxy fatty acids or dicarboxylic acids are short-chained 8-10 carbon free fatty acids. One of these unique fatty acids is 10 hydroxy-2 decenoic acid or 10-HDA. It is the marker compound used to test royal jelly potency. Because potency can vary in commercial royal jelly products, it is important to get royal jelly from a source that tests regularly for 10-HDA content. Royal jelly is available in many preparations. As a freeze-dried powder,it is shelf stable in softgels and capsules. Liquid royal jelly should be kept frozen for optimum freshness. Raw honey mixed with the royal jelly has the unique ability to preserve it without refrigeration. For people who want good flavor with a boost of quick energy a spoon of royal jelly in honey on toast is a great way to take a supplement.

Information provided is intended to provide an electronic reference library about nutrition and health. The views expressed in this or other sections of this site, have not been independently researched or confirmed.
Updated on : 2/19/2012 6:18:52 PM
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