Q: I am hearing all sorts of debates about royal jelly/honey. I stopped eating sugar over a year ago, but someone told me that royal jelly is good for energy. I have also heard that honey raises and drops your blood sugar too quickly, so it would not be beneficial. Any advice?
A: Royal jelly is a substance that is secreted by honey bees for nutrition of the larvae. It is secreted from glands in the young worker bee’s head and provides food (among other substances) for all of the larvae in the colony. The name is derived from the fact that if a colony needs a queen, a hatchling will be fed only royal jelly for its first four days in order to develop the queen morphology.
The substance is cultivated from queen cells and is very perishable, needing immediate refrigeration to sustain its potency. For this reason, royal jelly is mixed with honey or beeswax as a preservative.
Royal jelly has a substantial amount of vitamins B-5 and B-6, which can help to increase energy. The substance also contains minerals, enzymes and anti-microbial molecules. It has a composition of almost 70% water, 12.5% protein, 11% simple sugars and a small amount of fatty acids
Royal jelly on its own should not cause the blood sugar to rise too suddenly. But if the supplement is mixed with honey it will cause the blood sugar to spike. The glycemic index of honey is 83, which is compared to white bread at 100.
If you want to try royal jelly and are concerned with your body’s reaction, I would suggest trying a dosage and see how you feel. You could also get your blood sugar levels checked 2 hours after you had the supplement to make sure that your body was responding properly to the supplement.
However, there are many great energy supplements on the market today, and I would suggest researching some options that will not affect your blood sugar. Along with a good diet and exercise regimen, the following are excellent choices to support increased energy:
• Vitamin B-12. Called “cobalamin” because it contains the mineral cobalt, B-12 is essential for energy metabolism. Even minor deficiencies of B-12 can cause anemia, fatigue, shortness of breath and weakness.(1)
• NADH. This is a naturally occurring coenzyme that is necessary for the production of energy in each of our 100 trillion cells. Found in the highest concentrations in the cell's energy-generating mitochondria, this essential nutrient and potent antioxidant facilitates the production of cellular energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP).(2)
• Magnesium & malic acid. A magnesium supplement works with the muscles to help them manufacture more energy (ATP molecules). When taken as a supplement, magnesium and its co-factor, malic acid, can enter the muscle cells and improve the muscle energy production.(3)
- Dr. Kristi Wrightson, ND, MS, RD
1. “Could a Common B-12 Deficiency Be Causing Your Symptoms?” by Dr. Dana Myatt, NMD.
2. “NADH – Support for Energy Production, Mental Acuity, Healthy Mood,” by Scott D. Olson, ND.
3. “Nutritional Approaches in Fibromyalgia – Dr. Mark Pellegrino on Deficiencies, Symptoms, and Supplement Strategies.”
Note: This information has not been evaluated by the FDA. It is general and is not intended to prevent, diagnose, treat or cure any condition, illness, or disease. It is very important that you make no change in your healthcare plan or health support regimen without researching and discussing it in collaboration with your professional healthcare team.