Aging is a natural phenomenon that occurs in all living organisms. In humans, aging is associated with lowered overall functioning and increased mortality out of the risk for various age-related diseases. Hence, researchers are pushed to find effective natural interventions that can promote healthy aging and extend lifespan. Royal jelly (RJ) is a natural product that is fed to bee queens throughout their entire life. Thanks to RJ, bee queens enjoy an excellent reproductive function and lengthened lifespan compared with bee workers, despite the fact that they have the same genome. This review aimed to investigate the effect of RJ and/or its components on lifespan/healthspan in various species by evaluating the most relevant studies. Moreover, we briefly discussed the positive effects of RJ on health maintenance and age-related disorders in humans. Whenever possible, we explored the metabolic, molecular, and cellular mechanisms through which RJ can modulate age-related mechanisms to extend lifespan. RJ and its ingredients-proteins and their derivatives e.g., royalactin; lipids e.g., 10-hydroxydecenoic acid; and vitamins e.g., pantothenic acid-improved healthspan and extended lifespan in worker honeybees Apis mellifera , Drosophila Melanogaster flies, Gryllus bimaculatus crickets, silkworms, Caenorhabditis elegans nematodes, and mice. The longevity effect was attained via various mechanisms: downregulation of insulin-like growth factors and targeting of rapamycin, upregulation of the epidermal growth factor signaling, dietary restriction, and enhancement of antioxidative capacity. RJ and its protein and lipid ingredients have the potential to extend lifespan in various creatures and prevent senescence of human tissues in cell cultures. These findings pave the way to inventing specific RJ anti-aging drugs. However, much work is needed to understand the effect of RJ interactions with microbiome, diet, activity level, gender, and other genetic variation factors that affect healthspan and longevity.
Royal jelly is a complex mixture of nutrients and bioactive compounds, including proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, vitamins, minerals, and various other substances. Some of the key chemical constituents found in royal jelly that are believed to contribute to its health benefits include:
Proteins and amino acids: Royal jelly contains a variety of proteins and amino acids, including the unique protein royalactin, which is believed to be responsible for many of the benefits of royal jelly.
Fatty acids: Royal jelly contains a range of fatty acids, including 10-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid (10-HDA), which has been shown to have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects.
Vitamins and minerals: Royal jelly is a rich source of vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, calcium, potassium, and iron.
Sugars and carbohydrates: Royal jelly contains various sugars and carbohydrates, including glucose, fructose, and sucrose.
Nucleic acids: Royal jelly contains nucleic acids, such as DNA and RNA, which are important for cellular function and may help to support healthy aging.
Phenolic compounds: Royal jelly contains phenolic compounds, including flavonoids and phenolic acids, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Enzymes: Royal jelly contains various enzymes, including catalase, which helps to protect cells against oxidative stress.
These and other constituents found in royal jelly are believed to contribute to its potential health benefits. However, more research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms behind these effects.
RJ basically increases the level of gene expression. I would assume the genes are longer ones. This creates the queen phenotype. My own hypothesis is that most phenotypic changes of aging result from lower gene expression. This is mainly caused by a reduction in acetyl coa levels. RJ includes b5 which is a coa precursor and also the 10-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid which is an HDAC inhibitor. It is however a weak HDACi operating in the millimolar range.
I think he is wrong about the other parts of RJ and later papers found the HDACi effect was significant. I think nucleic acids and particularly RNA levels are also significant as this provides the raw material for RNA Polymerase II and hence means it is less likely to be terminated incorrectly.
Thomas Gardner did a lot of good early work on Longevity.
The other thing to look at is hibernation. That in essence is the opposite effect where acetylation is reduced and fewer proteins are produced. My thesis is that many of the hallmarks of aging are caused by a gradual process which has similarities to hibernation. Which does not reverse in the spring though.
Royal Jelly has two key components that have epigenetic effects.
This is a relatively weak Histone Deacetylase Inhibitor it operates in the millimolar range.
Vitamin B5. (Pantothenic Acid)
Vitamin B5 is a precursor of Coenzyme A. ACLY and ACCS2 are enzymes that create Acetyl-CoA from citrate and acetate respectively. Hence Royal Jelly has B5 in it to ensure that Acetyl-CoA is created.
Hence a human equivalent of royal jelly might include various Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors, Vitamin B5 (and it really also needs B12) and some citrate. (ACCS2 is only mildly useful as it is inhibited by acetylation). I also add some extra RNA.