The B-complex vitamins include vitamins B-1, B-2, B-3, B-5, B-6, B-7, B-9 and B-12. The respective names of these vitamins are thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, biotin, folate or folic acid and cobalamin. B-complex vitamins derive from both food and plant sources. They are necessary for energy and chemical synthesis, enzymatic activity, protein regulation and other bodily functions. One such source of B-complex vitamins is royal jelly.
Royal jelly is a viscous, opaque, milky liquid substance manufactured by bees. Specifically, it is the exclusive food source for the queen bee. Royal jelly is dense with nutritive elements, containing vitamins A, D, C, E and K, all nine essential amino acids -- making it a complete protein -- sugars, flavonoids, phytosterols, collagen, magnesium, copper, calcium, silica, iron, sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine, manganese, essential fatty acids, human growth hormone and B-complex vitamins. However, normal consumption of royal jelly is between 1 and 2 g per day, rendering most of these constituents insignificant. Nonetheless, royal jelly does contain all of the B-complex vitamins in significant enough proportions to act as a supplement, according to Leigh Broadhurst in the book "User's Guide to Propolis, Royal Jelly, Honey and Bee Pollen."
Sources of B-complex Vitamins
B-complex vitamins have a variety of dietary sources. Although some people believe that you can derive all of them from meats, only B-3, B-5 and B-12 appear in all meats, while B-1, B-3, B-6 and B-7 occur only in liver. Vitamins B-1 and B-2 are primarily in foods containing whole grains and cereals, but B-1 can also appear in potatoes, pork and seafood. B-2 can be found in enriched bread, green leafy vegetables and dairy products. Almost all natural foods contain vitamin B-5. Vitamin B-6 also occurs in wheat germ, bananas and dried beans; vitamin B-7 occurs naturally in the intestine and also appears in peanuts, egg yolks, bananas, mushrooms, grapefruit and watermelon. Vitamin B-9 is found in green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, dried beans, wheat bread, nuts and peas, and vitamin B-12 appears in eggs, shellfish and dairy products. For those with a restricted or otherwise limited diet, supplements that contain some or all of the B-complex vitamins are available.
Royal jelly is rife with nutrients, making it an attractive supplement for any nutrient that it contains. This is particularly true of B-complex vitamins, given that it contains all of them in substantial proportions. However, deriving them from foods naturally is the best way to maintain dietary balance, because you would draw from those foods energy and other necessary nutrients in addition to B-complex vitamins in proportions that can maintain health rather than simply supplement your diet.
Based on the simplest interpretation of equivalency, royal jelly is equivalent to B-complex vitamins. That is, royal jelly contains all of the B-complex vitamins in significant enough proportions to replace other supplements. However, it is not advisable to replace foods in your diet that contain B-complex vitamins with royal jelly. Moreover, supplementing a diet that already yields the daily recommended dosage of B-complex vitamins will garner no benefits. Contrary to some perspectives, B-complex vitamins will not improve digestion, metabolism, energy synthesis or any other of its functions in the absence of a deficiency. People allergic to bee stings, pollen, honey or propolis are most susceptible to royal jelly allergies, although an allergic reaction to royal jelly can occur in the absence of other allergies.
- "User's Guide to Propolis, Royal Jelly, Honey, and Bee Pollen"; Leigh Broadhurst, Ph.D.; 2005
- "Bee Pollen, Royal Jelly, Propolis and Honey"; Rita Elkins; 1996
- PureRoyalJelly.com; Royal Jelly: What is Royal Jelly?; Pleasant Valley Apiaries of Montana; April 2011