by Angela Van Alten, Nutritionist and Beekeeper's Daughter
Royal jelly contains proteins, carbohydrates, fats, free amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. As its principal unsaturated fatty acid, Royal Jelly contains 10-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid (10-HDA), which may have anti-tumor and antibacterial activity and a capacity to stimulate collagen production. Increased collagen production is highly beneficial to skin health and the reason why I recommend products such as Collagen Protein and Active Collagen - they both increase collagen dramatically.
Now, Royal Jelly has attracted interest in various parts of the world for its pharmacological properties. However, the effects of RJ on ultraviolet induced photoaging of the skin have not been reported (how the sun's rays age the skin)
In this study, scientists tested the effects of Royal Jelly on UVB (these are the "burning rays" of the sun that are the primary cause of sunburn) induced skin photoaging on human skin cells. Basically, they applied Royal Jelly to the cells and then set about giving them a sunburn.
The effects of Royal Jelly and 10-HDA on sun aging were tested by measuring something called procollagen type I after the cells were roasted by UVB.
What they found was that the cells treated with Royal Jelly and 10-HDA had increased procollagen type I production. Again, this is a good thing - collagen plays a critical role in skin health. You have probably noticed how baby skin is so soft and smooth. Youthful skin is abundant in collagen and elastin fibers that lock in moisture and keep the skin firm.
As we age, however, collagen production naturally declines by about 1 percent a year starting in our early 20s. Women in menopause are especially susceptible to collagen deficiency. Research shows that women lose as much as 30 percent of their skin collagen in the five years following menopause. And as if that is not bad enough, skin elasticity declines 0.55 percent per year after menopause. It is the loss of collagen that causes sagging skin and wrinkles.
To boost dietary collagen and increase skin health while reducing wrinkles and aging, you really only have two options. One is to boil chicken or beef bones into bone broth, which takes a great deal of time and isn't the most appealing to most peopole. The other is to use supplements like royal jelly and collagen. I have had tremendous success with the following protocol:
The full study can be found in the Journal of Medical Food. 2011 Sep;14(9):899-906. Epub 2011 Aug 3.
†These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.