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According to a study, eating crickets helps with intestinal health

    Abdulaziz Sobh
    By Abdulaziz Sobh

    Categories: Health

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    While many people are understandably fussy about the idea of eating insects, the health benefits can make it worthwhile.

    According to a new clinical trial from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, the consumption of crickets can have a positive impact on intestinal health and reduce inflammation in the body.

    "Right now there is a lot of interest in edible insects," Valerie Stull, a recent doctoral graduate at the Institute of Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Nelson and lead author of the study, said in a news release.

    "It is gaining traction in Europe and the US as a sustainable and environmentally friendly source of protein compared to traditional livestock."

    The study, published in the Scientific Reports Journal, examined 20 healthy adults, aged 18 to 48, over a period of six weeks to assess the effects of eating cricket powder.

    During the first two weeks of the study, 10 participants ate a controlled breakfast, while the other 10 ate one that contained 25 grams of crickets in powder in muffins and smoothies.

    During the next two weeks, all the participants ate normally. During the last two weeks of the study, the participants switched, with those who started with a controlled breakfast eating cricket powder and those who had eaten cricket powder by eating a controlled breakfast.

    During the trial period, the researchers collected blood samples and stool samples from the participants, as well as responses to a gastrointestinal questionnaire before the study, after the first two-week diet period and immediately after the second two-week period. diet.

    What the researchers discovered after analyzing the results is that, although the participants did not report significant gastrointestinal changes, there was an increase in a metabolic enzyme associated with intestinal health and an abundance of Bifidobacterium animalis, a strain of good bacteria in the intestine.

    In addition, they found a decrease in TNF-alpha, an inflammatory protein in depression linked to blood and cancer, according to a press release.

    While the study shows the potential benefits of using crickets as a source of protein, the researchers admit that the results should be replicated on a larger scale to determine which components of the insect could contribute to intestinal health.