The controversial bee food royal jelly might be a natural testosterone booster.
Royal jelly is a sweet, nutritious substance produced by honey bees. Research in recent years has unearthed its potential to enhance masculinity by:
- Increasing testosterone levels. Early research indicates that royal jelly may be capable of boosting testosterone levels.
- Enhancing energy. Royal jelly may be able to reduce chronic fatigue.
Drawn from the glands of worker honey bees, royal jelly—not to be mistaken for bee pollen—is a nutritional secretion designed to stimulate the growth of larvae in bee colonies. Special larvae fed the jelly eventually develop into queen bees.
Royal jelly is composed of 60-70% water, 12-15% protein, 10-16% carbohydrates, and 3-6% fat. It also contains a fair share of bioactive ingredients with health-promoting properties, including B vitamins (especially biotin) and flavonoids.
Despite the minimal amount of clinical research backing royal jelly, it’s frequently used by people to improve mood, reduce inflammation, manage cholesterol levels, and improve overall well-being.1 Very recently, royal jelly has also been reported to impact sex hormones, particularly by increasing testosterone levels. (Check out testosterone boosters for women and for bodybuilders for more details.)
How Royal Jelly Might Help With Testosterone
Potential reduction of oxidative stress
Royal jelly has been found to significantly increase testicular weight, and subsequently, testosterone levels.2 Although the exact mechanism is still unclear, it does appear to be related to the ability of the bee jelly to protect the testes and the process of testosterone production from oxidative stress.3
Royal Jelly Benefits & Uses for Testosterone
Most people supplement with royal jelly to battle chronic fatigue, improve energy levels, and boost fertility. 4 5 In addition, a single clinical study published in 2012 is largely responsible for the growing use of royal jelly as a testosterone booster. Royal jelly might therefore be used by both athletes and men hoping to improve virility.6
Ultimately, however, while there is some animal and to a lesser extent human research data to back the male fertility and testosterone benefits of royal jelly, it’s far too early to confirm that it works.
Studies done in animals suggest that royal jelly may have various secondary health benefits associated with testosterone:
- Protecting the testes from oxidative stress, including maintenance of testosterone levels in mice8
- Ameliorating physical fatigue due to exercise or disease in rats9 10
There is currently very little research examining the effect of royal jelly on testosterone, but the few studies available have found that it might increase testosterone levels.
In this randomized, double-blind investigation, 61 adults were given either 3000 mg of royal jelly in a 100 mL drink or a placebo every day for 6 months. Royal jelly was found to significantly improve red blood cell counts, mental health, and testosterone levels (+0.12 ± 0.04 log ng/mL compared to the -0.02 ± 0.05 log ng/mL of the placebo).
- The study concluded that “ingestion of RJ in humans improved erythropoiesis, glucose tolerance and mental health. Acceleration of conversion from DHEA-S to T by RJ may have been observed among these favorable effects.”11
In this investigation, 99 men affected by asthenozoospermia, a condition of reduced sperm motility, were given either applications of honey and royal jelly (H/RJ) or a standard intrauterine semination (IUI) procedure for 3 cycles or until conception took place. H/RJ resulted in increases of pregnancies per cycle at 23 (8.1%) compared to 7 (2.6%) in the IUI group.
- The study concluded that “using H/RJ intravaginally might be a simple and reasonably effective method of treating asthenozoospermia.”12
Dosage for Testosterone
- Clinical studies have used 3 g doses of royal jelly
- Typical royal jelly supplemental capsules range from 50 – 150 mg
- Low dose mixtures combining royal jelly, bee pollen extract, and bee pollen plus pistil extract are common13
Supplements in Review Says
- Royal jelly 150 mg for testosterone.
Royal jelly is not recommended for testosterone just yet. Early research does point to the potential of royal jelly to increase testosterone levels as well as improve male fertility, but we suggest waiting for more reputable clinical trials to back it up.
Start with a low 150 mg dose of royal jelly. If you’re adamant about supplementing with royal jelly, start with a soft 150 mg dose of commercially available products.
- Georgiev DB, et al. Effects of an herbal medication containing bee products on menopausal symptoms and cardiovascular risk markers: results of a pilot open-uncontrolled trial. MedGenMed. 2004 Dec 16;6(4):46. ↩
- Hassan AA. Effect of royal jelly on sexual efficiency in adult male rats. Iraqi Journal of Veterinary Sciences. 2009;23(2):155-60. ↩
- Amirshahi T, et al. Protective effect of royal jelly on fertility and biochemical parameters in bleomycin-induced male rats. Iran J Reprod Med. 2014 Mar;12(3):209-16. ↩
- Morris DH, et al. Unproven diet therapies in the treatment of the chronic fatigue syndrome. Arch Fam Med. 1993 Feb;2(2):181-6. ↩
- Toman A, et al. Influence of royal jelly on the excretion of gonadotropins in healthy males. Bratisl Lek Listy. 1972 Mar;57(3):349-52. ↩
- Chupin SP, et al. Use of Apilak (Royal jelly) in sports medicine. Sports Training, Med and Rehab. 1988;1(1):13-5. ↩
- Vucevic D, et al. Fatty acids isolated from royal jelly modulate dendritic cell-mediated immune response in vitro. Int Immunopharmacol. 2007 Sep;7(9):1211-20. ↩
- Zahmatkesh E, et al. Protective effect of royal jelly on the sperm parameters and testosterone level and lipid peroxidation in adult mice treated with oxymetholone. Avicenna J Phytomed. 2014 Jan-Feb;4(1):43-52. ↩
- Kamakura M, et al. Antifatigue effect of fresh royal jelly in mice. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2001 Dec;47(6):394-401. ↩
- Mofid B, et al. Effect of Processed Honey and Royal Jelly on Cancer-Related Fatigue: A Double-Blind Randomized Clinical Trial. Electron Physician. 2016 Jun 25;8(6):2475-82. ↩
- Morita H, et al. Effect of royal jelly ingestion for six months on healthy volunteers. Nutr J. 2012 Sep 21;11:77. ↩
- Abdelhafiz AT, et al. Midcycle pericoital intravaginal bee honey and royal jelly for male factor infertility. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2008 May;101(2):146-9. ↩
- Winther K, et al. Assessment of the Effects of the Herbal Remedy Femal on the Symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study. Curr Ther Res Clin Exp 2002;63:344-53. ↩
- Leung R, et al. Royal jelly consumption and hypersensitivity in the community. Clin Exp Allergy. 1997;27:333-6. ↩
- Thien FCK, et al. Asthma and anaphylaxis induced by royal jelly. Clin Exp Allergy. 1996;26:216-22. ↩