Royal jelly is secreted from glands in the hypopharynx of worker bees and is used to nourish larvae and the queen bee. It is composed of water, crude protein, amino acids, simple sugars, and fatty acids. It also contains trace amounts of minerals and enzymes. Royal jelly has been applied topically to oral mucositis in patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Effectiveness Not Established
Research Evidence Summaries
Mofid, B., Rezaeizadeh, H., Termos, A., Rakhsha, A., Mafi, A.R., Taheripanah, T., . . . Kashi, A.S. (2016). Effect of processed honey and royal jelly on cancer-related fatigue: A double-blind randomized clinical trial. Electronic Physician, 8, 2475–2482.doi: 10.19082/2475
To evaluate the use of honey and royal jelly on fatigue in individuals undergoing treatment for cancer
Intervention Characteristics/Basic Study Process:
In this study, the intervention group received processed honey and royal jelly. The control group received pure honey. Each group consumed 5 ml twice daily for four weeks. Assessments of outcome measures were completed at baseline, two weeks, and four weeks after the intervention.
- N = 52
- AGE = 54.8 years
- MALES: 40%, FEMALES: 60%
- CURRENT TREATMENT: Chemotherapy, radiation, combination radiation and chemotherapy, other
- KEY DISEASE CHARACTERISTICS: Solid tumors (breast, prostate, and gastrointestinal related)
- SITE: Single site
- SETTING TYPE: Outpatient
- LOCATION: Iran
Phase of Care and Clinical Applications:
PHASE OF CARE: Active antitumor treatment
This was a double-blind, randomized, controlled clinical trial in which participants were randomized to one of two groups (intervention group = processed honey and royal jelly; control group = pure honey).
Visual analog scale for fatigue (VAS-F) and fatigue severity scale
Numeric fatigue ratings in the intervention group were significantly less than those reported in the control group (p < 0.001) at the week 2 and week 4.
The use of processed honey and royal jelly to manage cancer-related fatigue warrants further investigation into the mechanisms and efficacy of use.
Small sample (< 100)
No side effects were noted in this study with the use of a dietary supplement. The results suggested that honey with royal jelly may help alleviate chemotherapy-related fatigue.