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Royal jelly is a white, jelly like bee secretion for the purpose of exclusively feeding the queen bees. Although the workers only survive for about 45 days, the queen bee grows two times bigger in size and lives up to 5-7 years while laying up about 2000 eggs a day. Royalactin, the main active protein, is responsible for the longevity of the queen. Royal Jelly shows potent anti-aging effects, especially on skin. It increases internal collagen production (6) and protects the skin from UV rays. Another active component unique to Royal Jelly, 10-HAD, also exhibits anti-cancer effects while inhibiting tumor growth.
A study investigated the effects of royal jelly and 10-HDA on UVB-induced photoaging by measuring procollagen type I, transforming growth factor, and matrix metalloproteinase after UVB irradiation. The data indicated that UVB-irradiated human skin fibroblasts treated with royal jelly and 10-HDA had increased procollagen type I and TGF-b1 productions, but the level of MMP-1 was not changed. The authors suggested that royal jelly may potentially protect the skin from UVB-induced photoaging by enhancing collagen production.
References: Park H.M., Hwang E., Lee K.G., Han S.M., Cho Y., and Kim SY. Royal jelly protects against ultraviolet B-induced photoaging in human skin fibroblasts via enhancing collagen production. J Med Food. 2011, Sep;14(9):899-906.