Royal jelly is secreted by the hypopharyngeal and mandibular glands of 5-15 days worker honeybees (Apis mellifera). Royal jelly is a thick and milky bee product with high nutritional value. Besides the nutritional functions on queen and worker larvaes, it also has a very important role on the specific functions of queen bees. Due to its important biological properties, royal jelly has been used in the pharmaceutical, food and cosmetics industry especially for the last 50-60 years as a functional and nutraceutical food. The studies have shown that royal jelly has antioxidant, antidiabetic, antitumor, neurotrophic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, hypotensive, hepatoprotective, antihypercholesterolemic, hypoglycaemic and effects on the reproductive system and fertility. These activities are attributed to the bioactive components it contains such as major royal jelly proteins (MRJPs), jelleins and royalisin peptides and 10-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid (10-HDA). Especially MRJPs are considered an important factor in the development of queen bees. The aim of this study is to summarize and update physicochemical and bioactive properties of royal jelly, characterization and functions of royal jelly proteins (RJPs) and peptides.
Royal Jelly, Bioactive properties, Major Royal Jelly Proteins, Peptides, Characterization, Apitherapy