Consuming chitin from insects helps in gut microbiota and global health

June 14, 2023 | Biology

Chitin from insects seems to be a rich source of protein and nutrients that contribute to healthy gut microbiota and planetary health, according to a recent paper made by Colorado State University. They started research on the effects of cricket consumption on gut microbiota.

They found that cricket-derived chitin from designer chocolate patties can increase positive prebiotic effects in individuals having irritable bowel syndrome. Human cell types are able to produce enzymes that break down chitin, and the nutrients can be absorbed during the digestive process.While edible insects and insect fibers - which are environmentally friendly sources of animal protein and omega-3 - are commonplace around the globe and a part of traditional cuisines, this is not common in the American diet. Moreover, insect farming seems to be the growing norm compared to traditional livestock as it uses less water, land, and feed and emits lower levels of greenhouse gasses.

Odoo image and text block

 The researchers were able to highlight some key points which summarized current knowledge on the topic:

  • There is little evidence that entomophagy presents risk of allergens and contaminants

  • 25 grams of daily cricket powder can increase beneficial bacteria in intestines though further research is needed to confirm

  • While promising evidence is available, there are limitations and the authors urge for well-controlled human studies in targeted populations.

 On the other hand, insect consumption might just positively influence global challenges faced by vulnerable communities such as malnutrition and food insecurity while reducing risks of disease.

Back To Top
We are fully compliant with the GDPR laws. We promise to safeguard your data and protect your privacy rights.