- Claim: “Taking royal jelly, pantethine, or pantothenic acid could add ten to fifteen years to our lives.”
- Status: Unproven but interesting.
Most bees live around 6 weeks before dying of what, for a bee, would be considered “old age.” Bees fed royal jelly (which is rich in pantothenic acid, biotin, and some other nutrients) live between two and three years –– i.e., thirty to forty times longer than other bees (and most other insects).
Royal jelly and pantothenic acid have both been shown to extend the lifespan of some other insects and lab animals. Dr. Roger Williams found that supplementing the diets of lab animals with pantothenic acid extended their lifespan by about 19 percent
Eating royal jelly has not been shown to extend human lifespan. However, neither has any other dietary product or supplement. This is because it would take several generations of feeding human beings a controlled diet in a laboratory setting, birth to grave, to establish a connection with longevity. That’s obviously never going to happen. All we can do is extrapolate from animal studies.
In my opinion, based on the fact that royal jelly increases the lifespan of both insects and animals, it’s reasonable to assume that there might be a benefit from it together with pantothenic acid. So I’ve added them both to my diet, and take them three days a week.
I take a teaspoon full of royal jelly along with a capsule of pantothenic acid and a capsule of pantethine (an activated form of pantothenic acid). (Note: There is evidence that pantethine lowers triglycerides and has a beneficial impact on cholesterol levels.)
Because a lack of nutrients when fasting can have a beneficial hormetic effect, I avoid taking royal jelly or its components when I’m fasting or intermittent fasting; I take it instead with my first meal.
Note: If you’re allergic to bees or bee products, you should not take royal jelly.
What About Biotin?
- Biotin, also found in royal jelly, is a mixed bag.
- Some studies have shown that animals that are deficient in biotin have shorter lifespans.
- But adding more doesn’t necessarily increase the lifespan. Studies suggest that there may actually be a hormetic benefit to being deprived of biotin if we’re stressing the body by fasting. i.e., insects fed LOW amounts of biotin, then stressed, tend to live much longer.
- Yet biotin is considered an essential nutrient with many key functions in the body. Some life forms do live longer without it, if they are simultaneously stressed to activate their sirtuin genes. But they could suffer damage as a result. Personally I eat normal amounts of biotin, but avoid supplementing with it when my body is being deliberately stressed by fasting.