Scientists from Maastricht showed for the first time that eating insects has the same effect as consuming dairy products. “This makes insects a sustainable alternative to traditional sources of animal protein,” say researchers at the University Hospital in Maastricht.
For the study, healthy young men were given a shake containing mealworm or milk protein. In both proteins, certain amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) have been provided with some kind of chemical science. This allowed the researchers to determine exactly where the proteins were in the body. Next, protein digestibility and muscle building were measured in all participants.
According to scientists, eating insects led to a strong increase in muscle building, both at rest and after exercise. These effects were not different from that of milk protein. “Within a few hours of ingestion, researchers were able to find amino acids in the participants’ muscle protein, which indicates that you are literally what you eat.”
Entering the West
Muscle is constantly being produced and broken down in our bodies. To maintain a muscle building balance, it is essential to consume an adequate amount of protein.
In recent years, more and more attention has been paid to alternative and sustainable protein sources suitable for human consumption. Commercial-scale insects can be produced in a more sustainable way than many traditional animal protein sources. Scientists in Maastricht believe that insects will find their way into the “Western” diet in the coming years.
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