How to Source and Select in a Natural and Sustainable Way: Royal Jelly Example
Manual harvesting is essential to ensure the best sourcing, while environmental sustainability and bee-friendly practices are fundamental to securing societal responsibility and transparency. Not all products on the market offer the same quality and characteristics and an easy way to determine the best product is its production method. ISO 12824:2016 specifies both the production and sanitary requirements for Royal Jelly. It also lays down a series of organoleptic and chemical test methods to control Royal Jelly quality.
10-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid, best known as 10-HDA, is the most famous and studied active ingredient of Royal Jelly. According to research, 10-HDA has immunomodulatory activity and antibacterial action. Nevertheless, 10-HDA content may be different across products, influenced by several parameters, especially during production, transport and storage process. Since 2016, ISO 12824 defines a minimum 10-HDA content of 1.4 g for 100 g of fresh Royal Jelly. This minimum content equals the quantity present in natural Royal Jelly. It is important to respect the nutritional balance of the product to benefit from its health properties
It is important to study test results for contaminants when it comes to choosing a Royal Jelly. It may be certified as organic if it meets set criteria from the European Commission—pollen, nectar and honey as a unique source of food for bees are essentials without pesticides, heavy metals and antibiotics. ISO 12824 distinguishes also two qualities of Royal Jelly, determined by the feeding practices for the worker bees. If they were exclusively fed with pollen, nectar or honey, the Royal Jelly is known as type 1. Using sugar syrups of proteins leads to a type 2 designation. For an organic product, choose a type 1 Royal Jelly. Determining type 1 is possible by analysing the data sheet: Royal Jelly type 1 presents a C13/C12 ratio of isotopes between -29 and -20. It has also regulated rates of sucrose (< 3 percent), erlose (< 0.5 percent), maltose (< 1.5 percent) and maltotriose (< 0.5 percent).
Use certifications as a way to demonstrate to consumers what you are doing. This is your chance to differentiate yourself with for the best traceability and supply chain insights.
Potential Health Benefits of Royal Jelly
Royal jelly is a gelatinous substance produced by honey bees to feed the queen bees and their young.
It’s frequently sold as a dietary supplement to treat a variety of physical ailments and chronic diseases.
While it has long been used in traditional medicine, its applications in Western medicine remain controversial.
Royal jelly is comprised of water, carbs, protein and fat.
The full chemical makeup of royal jelly is unknown, but its positive effects on health are thought to stem from its unique proteins and fatty acids (1, 2Trusted Source ).
These include nine glycoproteins collectively known as major royal jelly proteins (MRJPs) and two fatty acids, trans-10-Hydroxy-2-decenoic acid and 10-Hydroxydecanoic acid ( 2Trusted Source ).
Royal jelly also contains several B vitamins and trace minerals.
However, nutrient composition varies considerably between sources of royal jelly.
Royal jelly is widely claimed to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.
In multiple test-tube and animal studies, specific amino acids, fatty acids and phenolic compounds found in royal jelly appear to have potent antioxidant effects ( 3Trusted Source ).
Additionally, several test-tube studies show reduced levels of pro-inflammatory chemicals released from immune cells treated with royal jelly ( 4Trusted Source , 5Trusted Source , 6Trusted Source ).
While these results are promising, human studies are lacking. More data is needed to draw any definitive conclusions on treating inflammation with royal jelly.
Both animal and human studies demonstrate that royal jelly may positively impact cholesterol levels and thereby reduce heart disease risk.
Though the exact mechanism remains unclear, specific proteins in royal jelly may help lower cholesterol ( 7Trusted Source ).
One 12-week study found that rabbits supplemented with royal jelly significantly reduced their total and “bad” LDL cholesterol levels by 28% and 23%, respectively ( 8Trusted Source ).
Similarly, a one-month human study saw an 11% and 4% reduction in total and “bad” LDL cholesterol levels in people taking about 3 grams of royal jelly daily ( 9Trusted Source ).
Conversely, another small human study determined no significant differences in cholesterol levels between participants treated with royal jelly and those on a placebo ( 10Trusted Source ).
While these studies are promising, more research is needed to better understand royal jelly’s impact on heart health.
Advantages of Propolis Extract
A Natural Antioxidant as ‘Nature’s Best Defence’. Propolis has very high levels of bioflavonoids and other bioactive compounds providing immune support
Happy Valley’s NZ Propolis Extract 15% is one of our most popular Propolis products. It is easy to use, water-soluble and ideal for people who want the full health-giving benefits of Propolis without alcohol.
Propolis is a natural resin found in the young buds of trees. Bees collect propolis, mix it with their own enzymes and beeswax, and use it to seal the hive. This creates the most sterile environment known in nature and protects the hive against disease.
How to use Propolis Extract (15%):
Add to water & gargle
Add to drinks or food
Inhale it through steam
Evaluation of the Immunomodulatory and Anti-Inflammatory Activities of Honey Bee Larva Powder
Honey bee larva powder (HLP) has traditionally been used as a daily supplement and tonic for health promotion with an uncertain scientific basis. In this study, B16-F10 tumor-bearing mice were established to evaluate the immunomodulatory activity of HLP. The proliferation and apoptosis assays were performed to evaluate the anti-inflammatory activity of honey bee larva extract (HLE) in RAW 264.7 macrophage. The in vivo experimental results demonstrated that the oral administration of freeze-dried HLP (4 and 6 g/kg) significantly enhanced the spleen index, the percentage of CD4+cells, and the ratio of CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes (CD4+/CD8+) in the peripheral blood compared with those in the tumor control mice. The in vitro studies demonstrated the potent immunomodulatory activities of HLE through the induction of RAW 264.7 macrophage proliferation and the mitigation of doxorubicin (DOX)-induced toxicity. HLE also exhibits anti-inflammatory activity by decreasing the production of nitric oxide (NO) and the cytokine level of interleukin-6 (IL-6) in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophage. The present study provides important scientific evidence for the immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory activities of HLP and HLE.
Honey and Vinegar: Are There Health Benefits?
Drinks made of honey and vinegar have existed for thousands of years. Also known as “oxymel,” the combination of honey with some kind of vinegar creates a syrup that’s usually added to water or another liquid and then drunk. Since ancient times people have used the mixture to prevent or improve many conditions:
Honey and vinegar are both rich sources of vitamins and minerals. For instance, vitamin C and vitamin E exist in honey, while vinegar contains vitamin B-12 and vitamin K.
Vitamins help the body function and stay healthy. The vitamins in honey and vinegar boost the immune system, aid in bone and heart health, assist in memory and cell production, and help blood clot.
Research has found a number of potential health benefits to eating or drinking honey and vinegar:
Honey and vinegar contain antioxidants, which play an important role in reducing harmful oxygen molecules (called free radicals) in the body. Antioxidants help lower your risk of developing certain diseases such as cancers, as well as reduce signs of aging and combat types of dementia.
Improved Heart Health
Some studies suggest that consuming vinegar may help prevent heart-related diseases. In particular, vinegar has been linked to lowering levels of “bad” L DL cholesterol and increasing levels of “good” HDL cholesterol, which the body uses to help protect against heart disease.
Meanwhile, early studies suggest that taking in moderate amounts of honey may help lower blood pressure, which is another risk factor for heart disease.
Finally, a few early trials also suggest that vinegar generally lowers oxidative stress in the body, which is a predictive factor for atherosclerosis (the hardening of the heart’s arteries). More research exploring the effects on humans is needed.
Vinegar has also been connected to a reduction in appetite, although accuracy of this claim is debated. Many believe the acid in vinegar slows the absorption of food in your digestive system, leaving you feeling fuller longer. As a result, consuming honey and vinegar may allow you to more easily maintain your weight.