Royal jelly reduces the serum glucose levels in healthy subjects

J Med Food. 2009 Oct;12(5):1170-2. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2008.0289.


Earlier biological investigations have shown that royal jelly has insulin-like activity. However, there have so far been no clinical trials to support these findings. The objective of the present study was to study the effect of royal jelly ingestion on the glucose metabolism of healthy humans. Twenty volunteers underwent the standardized oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) and afterwards a second OGTT after ingestion of 20 g of royal jelly. Serum glucose levels after 2 hours and the area under the curve for glucose were significantly lower (P = .041) after royal jelly administration. Substances originating from the pharyngeal glands of the honey bee with insulin-like activity are likely to have caused this effect and may thus be, at least partially, responsible for the lowering impact of honey on blood glucose levels. The identification of the substances that seem to act even after passage through the human stomach could lead to the development of new concepts in diabetology.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Area Under Curve
  • Bees
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Fatty Acids / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Insulin / blood
  • Male
  • Reference Values
  • Young Adult


  • Blood Glucose
  • Fatty Acids
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin
  • royal jelly