by Angela Ysseldyk, Nutritionist and Beekeeper's Daughter
Getting pregnant is becoming harder and harder. In 1984, the estimated percentage of couples with fertility problems was 5.4%. In 1992, this number increased to 8.5%. And today, the estimated prevalence (total number of couples with infertility) is up to 15.7%. As a result, I get asked about using royal jelly to boost fertility on a frequent basis.
The following studies on Royal Jelly demonstrate the fertility boosting effects of Royal Jelly:
• Henry Hale fed lab rats royal jelly and documented increased ovarian activity within a few days and an increase in fertility. In 1939 Henry Hale demonstrated that royal jelly demonstrated “hormone like activity” that stimulate better growth of ovary in the white rat within a few days. In the same year Hale injected the extract of royal jelly into female rat and found it stimulated the ovarian growth in the same manner, while fruit flies grew faster and laid eggs at a faster rate than usual by 60% (Townsend and Lucas 1940).
• It is said that fatty acids found in the royal jelly are effective towards autonomic imbalance, peri-menopausal symptoms, osteoporosis, and other conditions. These effects may be due to the interaction of the fatty acids of royal jelly with an estrogen receptor inside the human body.
Reportedly royal jelly has favorable effects on the hypothalamic-pituitary axis which generally declines with aging. The HPA axis is a major part of the neuro-endocrine system that controls reactions to stress and regulates many body processes, including digestion, the immune system, mood and emotions, sexuality and energy storage and expenditure. Too much stress turns this function off and stress can come from many forms. Royal Jelly may help this axis to work better therefore regulating the functions and associated hormones.
• RJ can compensate for age-associated decline in pituitary functions (study in rats). The pituitary gland is part of the endocrine system and produces hormones which control other glands as well as various bodily functions.
The Pituitary Gland is the master conductor of our hormones. Trouble with the Hypothalamus and Pituitary Glands will affect all hormones, specially the feel good hormones, your sleep hormones and sex hormones. You will feel pretty bad if these hormones are not in order and you may have difficulty getting pregnant. Stress turns it off, so low pituitary function is common in those who are constantly busy, stressed, Post traumatic stress disorder, and over-training. The Pituitary Gland also helps:
· Govern reproduction
· Produces and secretes hormones that regulate the adrenal and thyroid glands, ovaries and testes
· Generates prolactin, which enables new mothers to produce milk.
· Releases a hormone which stimulates the melanocytes, cells which control pigmentation through the production of melanin.
· Produce an antidiuretic hormone, which reclaims water from the kidneys and conserves it in the bloodstream to prevent dehydration.
· Oxytocin is also produced by the pituitary, aiding in uterine contraction during childbirth and stimulating the production of milk.
For those who are asking about Royal Jelly having an estrogenic action, there is not much research on this, however we do know that royal jelly will lock itself onto the 17-beta Estradiol receptor in vitro. This could indicate that it may act as a phytoestrogen. If this is the case, we do not recommend Royal Jelly if you have had estrogen receptor positive breast cancer. More research is needed in this area.
In another study, royal jelly demonstrated competition with 17 beta-estradiol for binding to the human estrogen receptors alpha and beta and provides evidence that RJ has estrogenic activity through interaction with estrogen receptors followed by endogenous gene expressions.*
Those who are estrogen deficient may benefit from this. Again, we would caution those who have had estrogen receptor positive breast cancer because we still are not sure the mechanism of action of royal jelly having estrogen effect.
When trying to get pregnant my recommendation is to take 3000 mg per day of Royal Jelly (but not on your period) along with 2 capsules per day of a supplement called EstroSmart Plus. This combination will stimulate your ovaries to ovulate properly, get progesterone into gear and regulate your cycle.
Once you become pregnant you would stop taking both royal jelly and EstroSmart Plus and switch to Estrosmart (the non-Plus version).
I suggest the following when using Royal Jelly in therapeutic dosages. Day one of your cycle is the first day of your period, and you want to take Royal Jelly during your cycle, but not while menstruating. So the first day after your period (likely around day 4-7) take 1000 mg split into 2-3 dosages (total 3000 mg) until the first day of your period likely around day 28-32
· Daily maintenance dosage of 500-1000 mg per day is safe and recommended.
Do not use more than 5000 mg / day because you can cause hormonal disorder.
A Theoretical Insight into the Interaction of Fatty Acids Involved in Royal Jelly with the Human Estrogen Receptor: Toshiaki Matsubara1), Hiroyuki Sugimoto2) and Misako Aida1, 1) Center for Quantum Life Sciences and Graduate School of Science, Hiroshima University 2) Yamada Apiculture Center, Inc.
Royal jelly has estrogenic effects in vitro and in vivo. Mishima S, Suzuki KM, et al., J Ethnopharmacol. 2005 Oct 3;101(1-3):215-20