Royal jelly and honey both originate from beehives, however bees produce these substances for very different reasons. Honey provides energy for the worker bees, while royal jelly serves as the principal food for the colony's queen. Royal jelly and honey have been harvested for centuries: the former as a nutritional supplement, the latter mainly as a natural sweetener. Both have valuable properties and both can be highly beneficial to your health depending on their application.
Royal jelly demonstrates a positive affect on the immune system, according to a 2001 study conducted by Japanese researchers and published in the journal "International Immunopharmacology." Royal jelly immediately suppressed the histamine response to allergens in this particular study, and although more research is necessary, royal jelly may help counter allergic reactions.
Honey appears to have an equally valuable effect as a source of bifidobacteria, the beneficial bacteria that support the health of the gastrointestinal tract. A 2001 study conducted by Michigan State University researchers and published by the National Honey Board found that honey promoted the growth of several strains of Bifidobacteria.
Royal jelly has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat infertility. According to author Randine Lewis, Ph. D., author of "The Infertility Cure: The Ancient Chinese Wellness Program for Getting Pregnant and Having Healthy Babies," royal jelly combined with traditional Chinese medicine helped her to conceive both of her children. A 2010 study conducted by Egyptian researchers and published in the journal "Animal Reproduction Science" demonstrated a link between royal jelly and fertility; however royal jelly's effectiveness for women has yet to be proven scientifically.
Honey exhibits promising antioxidant properties, according to University of Illinois researchers. A 2003 study published in the "Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry" demonstrated the bioavailability of antioxidants from honey, and saw an increase in antioxidant activity in the blood of study subjects who ingested honey. This research supports the idea that switching from refined sugar sweeteners to honey may help protect adults against oxidative stress.
- Honey.com: Honey and Bees: The Colony
- International Immunopharmacology: Suppression of Allergic Reactions by Royal Jelly in Association with the Restoration of Macrophage Function; H Oka et al
- Honey.com: The Effect of Honey on the Growth of Bifidobacteria; Z. Ustunol, Ph.D.
- The Infertility Cure: The Ancient Chinese Wellness Program for Getting Pregnant and Having Healthy Babies; Randine Lewis; 2004
- Animal Reproduction Science: Royal jelly counteracts bucks' "summer infertility"; S Elnagar
- Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry: Buckwheat Honey Increases Serum Antioxidant Capacity in Humans; N Gheldof et al