Objectives: Obesity and overweight are chronic disorders of multifactorial origin that are characterized by high oxidative status and by chronic activation of macrophages in peripheral tissues. Effective therapeutic approaches to lower inflammation and oxidative stress are currently of general interest. Royal jelly (RJ) is a functional food with a broad range of pharmacological activities, mainly used by healthy individuals or borderline patients to protect themselves against disease onset. The objective of this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was to investigate the effects of RJ supplementation on metabolic profile and oxidative and inflammatory parameters in asymptomatic overweight adults, considered at an early stage of developing metabolic syndrome.
Material and methods: The experimental group (n=30) was given RJ and the control group (n=30) was provided with a placebo for eight weeks. Anthropometric, biochemical parameters, biomarkers of oxidative stress, and inflammation were assessed at baseline, after 4 and 8 weeks of the intervention, and after additional 2 weeks of follow up.
Results and conclusion: Compared with the placebo, RJ supplementation demonstrated a statistically significant decrease in total cholesterol (6.7%; p=0.041) and inflammatory marker C-reactive protein (19%; p=0.027), whereas significant increases were observed in anti-inflammatory marker adiponectin (34%; p=0.011), endogenous antioxidants bilirubin (35%; p=0.002) and uric acid (5%; p=0.018), total antioxidant capacity in serum (54%; p=0.005), and leptin (17%; p=0.025). The present study demonstrated positive effects of RJ administration on lipid profile, satiety, inflammation, and antioxidant capacity in overweight adults. Therefore, our study supports the benefits of RJ supplementation for the improvement of human health.