While humans have known about honey since ancient times, royal jelly was only discovered in the mid-seventeenth century. Over the years, the product has been subjected to numerous studies, mainly focusing on royal jelly s effects on neurasthenia, overwork, pregnancy, and various diseases. To date, over 180 different compounds have been identified as components of the product, giving it energy-boosting, metabolic, antibacterial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. However, researchers have concluded that royal jelly s effects are not limited to these areas and that further research is needed. This could reveal new information about its composition and possible applications.Royal jelly is secreted exclusively by worker bees (i.e. those between the 5th and 14th days of their adult life) and is released from glands situated on their heads. The substance is protein-based and light yellow in color, with a distinctive aroma and a sour, yet sugary taste. Its production is the consequence of pollen overfeeding among bees, but its place in our society as a natural tonic and restorative has been established for a very long time. For bees, it is a foodstuff administered to all young larvae up to their third day of life. After this time, it is reserved only for those that will go on to become queen bees , while the others (future males and workers) will receive a mixture of honey and pollen.Bear in mind that a queen bee has a life cycle of over five years, while a worker lives for about 45-90 days: this disparity is essentially determined by how the queen bee is fed.Beekeepers make batches of royal jelly by tricking worker bees into producing the substance for a large number of queens but, once the jelly is harvested, only a few actually survive. This process allows the beekeeper to produce just a few grams of royal jelly in return for many hours of work, which is why the product has elevated costs.Royal jelly is scraped out of hives by hand using non-metallic tools or sucked out through glass tubes and then placed in sterile glass containers until beekeepers have enough to process.The jelly is then filtered to remove any impurities and cooled in special containers to be sold fresh, or freeze-dried and offered as a supplement in various forms including capsules, powder, and vials. The proportions of royal jelly s components vary on the specific hive. Water makes up about two-thirds of fresh royal jelly. However, when its dry weight is analyzed, proteins and sugars are by far the most prevalent constituents. Proteins, in fact, make up an average of 73.9% by weight; a large proportion of these come in the form of amino acids. In royal jelly all eight essential amino acids are present.The sugar content is mainly made up of fructose and glucose in relatively constant proportions, similar to the levels in honey, that is, with a majority of fructose. In many cases, the fructose and glucose together make up 90% of the total sugars, while the sucrose content varies considerably from one sample to another. The fat content is a very significant feature of royal jelly for many reasons. 80-90% of the fat content by weight is made up of free fatty acids with unusual and even rare molecular structures. These are mainly hydroxy fatty acids or short-chain dicarboxylic acids commonly found in both animal and vegetable food products. These fatty acids are responsible for most of the biological properties associated with royal jelly.The predominant minerals (in descending order) are K, Ca, Na, Zn, Fe, Cu, and Mn, with potassium by far the most prevalent. The vitamins are thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), nicotinamide (B3 or PP), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), Myo-inositol (B7), biotin (Be or H) and folic acid (B9). Very small quantities of Vitamin A, C, D, and E are also present. Other components include acetylcholine, an antibacterial and antibiotic factor produced by the bees in the process of digesting honeydew, nectar, and pollen.The result is a product that provides a great deal of energy and is recommended for particularly stressful periods, to combat asthenia and to protect the immune system. It helps to handle the change of seasons or to tackle a critical period when you feel the need to optimize your body s all-round wellbeing.Royal jelly is a truly special natural element that acts as a tonic/restorative and is recommended for children, convalescents, athletes, and students thanks to its positive energy-boosting effect when tackling physical and mental tiredness. It can rebalance the body when suffering from an energy deficit and experiencing mental and physical fatigue. Appreciated by pediatricians and mothers, this prized tonic also promotes development and growth in children. In the field of pediatrics, it has been successfully used on prematurely born babies and, therefore, underweight ones. It is also commonly given to babies suffering from a lack of appetite or showing signs of malabsorption.Royal jelly helps to support growth - in fact, the weight increase caused by taking it is not simply the result of an increase in appetite but, rather, of a specific action that aids food absorption. In addition to children, it is also prescribed to elderly people suffering from a lack of appetite and for those in need of more energy, especially in the case of senile asthenia.It has a balancing effect on the central nervous system in cases of insomnia and states of anxiety and nervous tension. It acts as an antiseptic against germs of various kinds including staphylococcus aureus and has an antiviral and antifungal effect, boosting the activity of the gastrointestinal system and adrenal glands (hence its billing as an aid against stress). Royal jelly is also a valuable source of bifidobacteria - friendly bacteria that support the health of the gastrointestinal tract - and thus acts like a probiotic.The presence of helpful bifidobacteria staves off candida, food intolerances, intestinal inflammation, and dysbiosis, and there are studies indicating that it could be a potential weapon against type 2 diabetes in the future (although further investigation is required). In terms of metabolism, it has been shown that a daily intake of just 100 mg of royal jelly reduces total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides, while increasing HDL (good) cholesterol. These results, therefore, suggest that royal jelly can play a positive role in preventing cardiovascular diseases. It has also been observed to reduce blood pressure in individuals with hypertension thanks to the presence of bioactive peptides with antihypertensive properties.