Royal Jelly, a natural stress hormone blocker
Daily supplementation with a few grams of fresh Royal Jelly may reduce the amount of stress hormone in your body. We deduce this from a few recently published animal studies by Brazilian biochemists at the Federal University of Uberlandia. If the Brazilians are right, Royal Jelly lowers corticoid hormone production not only during periods of intense stress - but also when there is no stress whatsoever...
Animal study 1
In an animal study, published in Neuroscience Letters in 2017, the Brazilians divided their lab rats into 3 groups. [Neurosci Lett. 2017 Aug 10;655:179-85.] The researchers did nothing at all with a first group. This was the control group.
A second group received a dose of fresh Royal Jelly every day for 2 weeks. The human equivalent of the dose used was approximately 1.5 - 2.5 grams of fresh Royal Jelly per day.
From day 8 of the experiment, the researchers exposed the rats to considerable stress for 4 hours a day, by clamping 2 hours in a straitjacket and exposing 2 hours to a temperature of 10 degrees. The researchers administered the Royal Jelly just under an hour before the stress stimulus.
With a third group, the researchers did exactly the same as with the second, but then omitted the supplementation.
Less stress hormone
The hormone balance of rats differs from that of humans. The main stress hormone in rats is corticosterone, which is not very active in humans. (In humans, corticosterone must first turn into cortisol to be active.) And so the Brazilians looked at corticosterone.
On Day 14 of the experiment, the 7-day stress stimuli appeared to cause a substantial increase in the stress hormone concentration in the blood of the rats. But in the animals that had received Royal Jelly, the corticosterone concentration was reduced.
The stress stimuli increased the concentration of glucose in the blood of the rats. That is to be expected, because stress reduces the sensitivity to insulin. Supplement with Royal Jelly lifted that effect, you see above.
In the brains of the rats exposed to stress, the researchers found evidence of increased free radical activity. And yes: Royal Jelly supplementation blocked this increase.
The greater the increase in free radical activity in the brain, the greater the increase in the stress hormone concentration.
Animal study 2
In 2018, Brazilians published more data about their experiments with Royal Jelly, this time in PLoS One. [PLoS One. 2018 Jan 29;13(1):e0191889.]
The design of that 2018 study was similar to that of the 2017 animal study, but in the 2018 study the researchers also used a group of rats that they did not expose to stress but that did receive Royal Jelly. And in these rats too, Royal Jelly lowered the concentration of stress hormone relative to the control group.
"Royal Jelly decreases corticosterone and improves glycemia control after stress induction", write the researchers. "Taken together, these results highlight an adaptogenic role of Royal Jelly in situations of stress and oxidative damage."
PLoS One. 2018 Jan 29;13(1):e0191889.
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