Sweet, gooey royal jelly is the subject of many bold health claims, most of them exaggerated and not backed by scientific research. Though preliminary studies have indicated some potential health benefits from royal jelly consumption, weight loss unfortunately is not one of them. If it's a supplement you would like to try, however, it also will not counteract any weight loss programs you currently are trying.
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Royal jelly is a thick, milky substance secreted by worker bees that serves as the primary food source for queen bees and their larvae. It's a mixture of honey, pollen and enzymes produced by the worker bees. You can find it in health food stores around the world or through several companies that market the product directly. They sell it both in a liquid form, spreadable like jelly, and as a supplement in pill or capsule form.
Royal jelly does contain nutrients, albeit nutrients you can easily find in other food sources. A single teaspoon of Y.S. Organic Bee Farms Royal Jelly, about 10 g, contains 36 calories, mostly from carbohydrates, according to LIVESTRONG.com's MyPlate. A 1 tsp. serving contains 8 g or carbohydrates and 6 g of sugars. Nutrients include protein, amino acids and B vitamins. Calorie count and content will vary slightly by brands, so check labels to be sure.
Royal jelly vendors claim a wide variety of healthy benefits. One major marketer, Bee Alive, promises "increased energy, vitality and stamina," while others promise better resistance to disease. Few promise direct weight loss as a benefit, though it could stand to reason that increased energy would result in more exercise and thus weight loss. You should be skeptical of any royal jelly marketer promising weight loss, as that, along with most other claims about the substance, is not backed by any scientific research.
Given royal jelly's relatively low calorie count, lack of saturated fat and smattering of nutrients, it generally will not offset any of your weight loss attempts. Like many other so-called miracle foods, however, neither is it any sort of magic bullet to weight loss. It might help with other diet-related issues. Preliminary studies have shown it might help lower cholesterol, for example, according to the University of Michigan Health System. Royal jelly is labor-intensive to produce and thus comes with a hefty price tag, however, so the resulting benefits might not be enough to justify the high cost.
Consuming royal jelly can cause potentially dangerous allergic reactions, particularly if you have known allergies to honey, bee pollen, poplar trees, conifers or ragweed. These reactions can range from mild stomach problems to severe asthmatic reactions or even death. Additionally, royal jelly is susceptible to contamination with harmful bacteria. As with any food supplement, always seek a doctor's advice before adding royal jelly to your diet.