Which royal jelly is best?
The many uses of bee products are well known, but there’s more out there than just honey and beeswax. Royal jelly, a substance made by worker bees to nourish future queens, is also purported to contain numerous health benefits when consumed. Though scientific research supporting the health benefits of royal jelly is slim, advocates claim that it can reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure and bolster the immune system. A top royal jelly is Stakich Fresh Royal Jelly, a high-quality, pure royal jelly that makes the perfect supplement to any diet.
What to know before you buy royal jelly
Nutrient-dense royal jelly, also known as bee milk, is a white, viscous substance produced in the heads of worker bees to feed larval cells as they’re developing. Royal jelly is fed to all types of larvae — drones, workers and queens — with worker and drone larvae having pollen and other substances added to their diet as time passes and queen larvae sticking to an all-jelly diet. It’s composed predominantly of water, sugar, fatty acids, vitamins and several proteins unique to the substance.
Royal jelly is often confused with other bee byproducts, like honey, pollen, propolis and venom. These other bee byproducts are also often used in various forms for their purported health benefits. Royal jelly, like bee venom, is slightly more difficult to collect than these other bee products because it is not produced in excess and is only fed to larvae.
Royal jelly is composed of a number of vitamins, though it’s a bit different from your average multivitamin. Because royal jelly is an animal product and can’t be manufactured, the actual concentration of vitamins varies from bee to bee. Apitherapy, the medicinal use of bee products, includes royal jelly treatments. Royal jelly is known as a superfood, high in vitamins and unique proteins, as well as in antioxidants and antibacterial compounds. Some users claim it can help with cholesterol and blood sugar, though these claims are unverified.
What to look for in quality royal jelly
Source and sustainability
Royal jelly hasn’t traditionally been a product harvested from bees, as it’s fed directly to the larvae rather than stored. Therefore, it must be specially produced as a byproduct of queen-rearing in order to be harvested and consumed by humans, and it’s highly labor-intensive to harvest. It can sometimes be tricky to find royal jelly from a local source but can be done if you’re willing to pay a higher price.
Dried royal jelly, either in capsule or powder form, can usually be found in several different levels of concentration. Higher concentrations don’t need to be taken as frequently, while lower doses may require more capsules to achieve the same effect.
In its natural form, royal jelly has a mucus-like texture and must be refrigerated. Dried royal jelly has a much longer shelf life and is easier to store and consume, especially for those who might be put off by the gooey texture and somewhat unpleasant taste.
How much you can expect to spend on royal jelly
Royal jelly isn’t cheap, but it’s not the priciest nutritional supplement out there. Pure royal jelly can be found for between $4-$15 per ounce, depending on the source, while capsules can usually be found for between $0.15-$0.30 cents per capsule.
Royal jelly FAQ
Is royal jelly safe to consume?
A. For most people, royal jelly is perfectly safe, but like all bee products, it is best to be cautious unless you’re absolutely sure you have no bee allergies or sensitivities. Allergic reactions to royal jelly are not uncommon and can range from minor to severe. Those with allergies of any kind are more likely to be sensitive to royal jelly.
What are the risks of royal jelly?
A. Allergic reactions are the primary risk of consuming royal jelly, but there are some anecdotal reports of other more mild side effects. It can interact with some medications, such as blood thinners. As always, it’s best to check with a healthcare professional when starting a new supplement.
What’s the best royal jelly to buy?
Top royal jelly
What you need to know: Perfect for those who want royal jelly in its natural state, this jar of pure royal jelly comes in a variety of sizes, from a diminutive 8-ounce jar to a large 2.2-pound tub.
What you’ll love: Unlike royal jelly stored in capsule form, fresh royal jelly is free from additives or any other potential allergens.
What you should consider: Fresh royal jelly must be refrigerated or frozen and will last around 6-8 months in the refrigerator and around 12-14 in the freezer. It also has a flavor and texture that many find unpleasant.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top royal jelly for the money
What you need to know: Free of most common allergens, this royal jelly capsule is purely dried powdered royal jelly in a cellulose capsule, making it free of common additives like soy, corn and gelatin.
What you’ll love: They’re highly affordable and, unlike most royal jelly capsules, they’re very pure.
What you should consider: Some reviewers found these to be less than effective, perhaps due to the low concentration of royal jelly.
Where to buy: Sold by iHerb
Worth checking out
What you need to know: These ultra-high potency royal jelly capsules are highly effective immune boosters.
What you’ll love: They come in vegetarian capsules and are high potency, meaning they don’t need to be taken as frequently to receive positive effects.
What you should consider: There are some additives to the capsules, including bee pollen, magnesium stearate, cellulose and silica. Most of these are merely binders meant to hold the pills together.
Where to buy: Sold by iHerb
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Arabella Matthews writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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