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Published Online: 12 February 2013

Contribution of Lipids in Honeybee (Apis mellifera) Royal Jelly to Health

Publication: Journal of Medicinal Food
Volume 16, Issue Number 2

Abstract

Honeybee (Apis mellifera) royal jelly (RJ) has a long history in human medicine because of its health-protecting properties. To develop a fundamental and comprehensive understanding of lipids in RJ, this article reviews the available literature on lipid compounds identified from RJ extracts and in vitro pharmacological effects of 10-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid in RJ and other closely related compounds, some of which are also identified as lipid compounds in RJ. Overall, the lipids in RJ are composed of mostly (aliphatic) fatty acids, almost all of which are present as free fatty acids and scarcely any as esters. Most fatty acids in RJ are medium-chain fatty acids, whether hydroxylated in terminal and/or internal positions, terminated with mono- or dicarboxylic acid groups, and saturated or monounsaturated at the 2-position. Besides these fatty acids, lipids in RJ contain sterols in minor amounts. Lipids in RJ are useful as preventive and supportive medicines with functionalities that include potential inhibitors of cancer growth, immune system modulators, alternative therapies for menopause, skin-aging protectors, neurogenesis inducers, and more. Taken together, the evidence suggests that health-protecting properties of RJ can be, in part, ascribed to actions of lipids in RJ.

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cover image Journal of Medicinal Food
Journal of Medicinal Food
Volume 16Issue Number 2February 2013
Pages: 96 - 102
PubMed: 23351082

History

Published online: 12 February 2013
Published in print: February 2013
Published ahead of print: 25 January 2013
Accepted: 21 October 2012
Received: 8 June 2012

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Xing'an Li
Key Laboratory for Honeybee Genetics and (Queen) Breeding, Jilin Provincial Institute of Apicultural Science, Jilin City, China.
Chaoqun Huang
Department of Physiological Sciences, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA.
Yunbo Xue
Key Laboratory for Honeybee Genetics and (Queen) Breeding, Jilin Provincial Institute of Apicultural Science, Jilin City, China.

Notes

Address correspondence to: Xing'an Li, PhD, Key Laboratory for Honeybee Genetics and (Queen) Breeding, Jilin Provincial Institute of Apicultural Science, No. 47 Yuanlin Street, Fengman Boulevard, Jilin City 132108, People's Republic of China, E-mail: [email protected]

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