Freeze-dried royal jelly maintains its developmental and physiological bioactivity in Drosophila melanogaster

Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2012;76(11):2107-11. doi: 10.1271/bbb.120496. Epub 2012 Nov 7.


Royal jelly (RJ), a honeybee-derived product, has been found to possess developmental and physiological bioactivity in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, but little is known about the in vivo bioactivity of freeze-dried RJ (FDRJ) powder, which is another form of RJ processed for human use. To address this, we used Drosophila as a model animal to examine the effects of FDRJ in multicellular organisms. When flies were reared on food supplemented with FDRJ, the developmental time from larva to adult was shortened, the adult male lifespan was prolonged, and female fecundity was increased without any significant morphological alterations. Moreover, the expression of dilp5, an insulin-like peptide, its receptor InR, and the nutrient sensing molecule TOR, the target of rapamycin, was significantly increased in FDRJ-fed female flies as compared with ones reared on standard and on protein-enriched food. These findings suggest that like RJ, FDRJ maintains its bioactivity even after processing from RJ, what is expected to have bioactivity for multicellular organisms, including humans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bees
  • Drosophila melanogaster / drug effects*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Drosophila melanogaster / growth & development*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / physiology
  • Fatty Acids / administration & dosage
  • Fatty Acids / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Freeze Drying*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Longevity / drug effects
  • Male
  • Oviposition / drug effects
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Somatomedins / metabolism
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics


  • Fatty Acids
  • Insulin
  • Somatomedins
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • royal jelly