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
Existing evidence suggests that royal jelly (RJ) is a promising therapeutic option in hyperglycemic cases. Few studies have specifically examined the clinical viability of RJ as treatment, and no study has critically analyzed the existing evidence. Knowledge of the factors that influence effectiveness of RJ intake provides an alternative treatment for hyperglycemia, which is often associated with diabetes.
This systematic review demonstrated that the intervention style (e.g., length of supplementation, ingestion form) as well as pre-existing patient characteristics may be important factors in its effectiveness, and future research should further investigate these factors to inform patients and health care providers.
This review sought to examine whether there is support for RJ as a glycemic regulator in models of type 2 diabetes as well as healthy individuals. Our analysis found that the existing evidence suggests that RJ is a promising therapeutic option in hyperglycemic cases, with effective doses as low as 1000 mg of fresh RJ daily for diabetic patients.
This was a systematic review employing the PRISMA strategy. Five databases were searched using keywords pertinent to the research objectives. Two reviewers conducted full-text screening to select included articles that met eligibility criteria. Relevant information (i.e., intervention style, results, participant characteristics) was extracted from the included articles. Risk of bias was assessed by two reviewers. GRADE, a novel tool developed by Cochrane used to assess overall quality of evidence, was also determined by two reviewers.
Effective doses of RJ may be as low as 1000 mg of fresh RJ for a diabetic patient. Overall, the quality of evidence for RJ as a treatment is low for long-term effectiveness, and very low for acute effects of RJ consumption.
Synthesis and analysis of existing studies shows that RJ may be viable as part of a treatment plan in lowering blood sugar. Due to the heterogeneity in studied population and intervention, RJ may have more pronounced effects in certain dosage forms (e.g., fresh RJ) and in certain populations (e.g., postmenopausal females). This information may be useful for individuals and health care practitioners wishing to explore hyperglycemia treatment options.
Future clinical trials should consider the potential effects of intervention form and length, as well as the effect of participant characteristics to clarify which patient populations or conditions would benefit most from RJ supplementation.