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The Royal Jelly testosterone factor

You can find them in almost every drugstore: supplements containing extracts of Royal Jelly. According to an animal study done at the University of Mosul in Iraq, this common-or-garden supplement boosts the testosterone level.

Royal Jelly is a kind of anabolic porridge for bees. The drones in the bee world get to feed on Royal Jelly when they become larvae at the age of three days, and it causes them to grow dramatically. Hardly surprising, as Royal Jelly

is packed with proteins and amino acids, hormones, fats, sugars, vitamins, minerals, RNA, DNA and gelatine.

The queen bee doesn't just get Royal Jelly for a few days like the drones, but for her whole life. A queen bee can live up to 7 years; drones are lucky to live for 6 weeks. A queen is fertile throughout her life and lays 2,000 eggs a day; a drone is sterile.

It's clear why the longevity movement swears by Royal Jelly. It's also the reason why the Iraqis wondered whether Royal Jelly could help men with infertility problems.

The researchers gave male rats ordinary water or water mixed with hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide converts very quickly into a free radical that damages the testes. One half of each group got ordinary feed, the other half was given feed to which one gram of Royal Jelly had been added to every kilogram. The figure below shows that Royal Jelly protects the testes against hydrogen peroxide, and that Royal Jelly boosts the production of testosterone in the testes that were not exposed to hydrogen peroxide.

In untreated rats the testes had a weight gain of 35 percent as a result of the Royal Jelly, and the testosterone level rose by 79 percent.

The Iraqi study is from 2009. Seventy years earlier, in 1939, researchers at Harvard published an article in the prestigious journal Science stating that Royal Jelly contains 'gonadotropic hormones'. They based this claim on experiments they did with female rats. [Science. 1939 Jun 9; 89(2319): 540-1.]

According to the Iraqi study, Royal Jelly contains testosterone. That's not so strange pollen also contains testosterone. [Experientia. 1971 Jan 15;27(1):108-9.]

Hmmm. We have to know more. Watch this space tomorrow.

Iraqi Journal of Veterinary Sciences, Vol. 23, Supplement II, 2009 (155-160).

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