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By Kate Geagan, MS, RD

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Royal Jelly

Consumed as a heath food around the world, this prized milky-white cream is rich in an array of nutrients, including B vitamins, amino acids, sugars, minerals and fatty acids. Royal jelly is a food secretion made by worker bees and is the exclusive nourishment of queen bees throughout their life.

With a pedigree like that, it’s easy to see why royal jelly is seen as one of the most prized elements to come out of any hive. It’s a logical leap to assume if it’s the “bee’s knees,” we should be eating it, too. So, should you? Here’s my opinion: Given its role in nature as a unique nutrient powerhouse for the bee kingdom, it may indeed be a safe, nutrient-rich addition to your diet.

Royal jelly has spawned a robust online and supplement industry filled with inflated claims ranging from curing sexual impotence to balancing hormones, so proceed with caution.  

Women should also note that royal jelly may have possible estrogenic effects (some research has suggested it may have an effect on fertility and menopausal symptoms). Women with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer should not consume royal jelly without first consulting their doctor. Also, you may want to avoid it if you have a history of bee allergies.

There’s certainly some encouraging science about the health benefits of royal jelly. One of the strongest areas is in the promise of possibly lowering cholesterol. Additionally, many in the beauty industry claim it can stimulate collagen and be used topically or ingested for skin-boosting benefits.

Remember that a diet rich in darkly colored fruits and vegetables, fish, legumes and whole grains is a proven path to supercharged health. You should take the approach of “healthy diet plus royal jelly” rather than “drive thru plus royal jelly” as your strategy for success.
Kate Geagan, MS, RD

Article written by Kate Geagan, MS, RD