Published online Feb 15, 2019. doi: 10.4239/wjd.v10.i2.96
Peer-review started: November 15, 2018
First decision: November 29, 2018
Revised: January 29, 2019
Accepted: February 11, 2019
Article in press: February 12, 2019
Published online: February 15, 2019
Royal jelly (RJ) has been observed to have therapeutic properties in diabetic individuals, including the reduction of high blood sugar. This systematic review synthesized existing evidence to investigate the effectiveness of RJ supplementation in managing measures of blood glucose.
To determine the effectiveness of RJ supplementation on glycemic responses in healthy and non-insulin dependent diabetic adults, as well as animal models of diabetes.
This was a systematic review employing the PRISMA strategy. Peer-reviewed, published articles were extracted from several databases using key words related to target population, intervention and outcome and hand-selected for inclusion. Included articles proceeded to data extraction phase, where information on target parameters and effectiveness of treatment was summarized. Following this, the risk of bias for each included study was evaluated. Then, the long-term and immediate effectiveness of RJ supplementation in glycemic control were assessed using the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluations (GRADE) tool, which rates the quality of evidence.
Of 168 articles extracted from database searching, eighteen were included for analysis in this systematic review. Across the studies, studied populations, intervention styles and outcome measures were largely heterogeneous. Despite this, the results in studies indicate a general trend of positive effect of RJ in glycemic regulation in vitro and in vivo. Additionally, some dose-dependent glycemic effects were observed, along with some large effect sizes. The risk of bias for human and animal studies is generally low-unclear risk, although lack of blinding is a serious concern in both categories. Overall, as per the GRADE tool, the quality of evidence is low, and very low for long-term and immediate effectiveness of RJ, respectively. A major limitation affecting evidence quality is the heterogeneity among included studies. Fasting blood glucose and glucose clearance appear to be most affected by RJ supplementation.
Quality of evidence suggesting that RJ is an effective modulator of glycemic regulation is low for long-term effects of RJ, and very low for immediate effects.
Core tip: Royal jelly (RJ) is a promising natural treatment to improve high blood glucose. Insulin sensitivity, fasting blood glucose levels, and rate of glucose clearance are among the glycemic parameters investigated in the current systematic review that are shown to approach normal levels due to regular RJ intake.