Maybe not just yet, but a very interesting study took place earlier this year. One of the first studies of insect chitins (the primary component of insect exoskeletons) effects on human gut microbiota.
Our gut bacteria play a very big role in our health and that stems from its effects on the strength of our immune system, our metabolism, and our overall well being. I’ve said it again and again but we truly are what we eat. Separate studies have found very interesting links between gut microbiota (our healthy gut bacteria) and its effects on the immune system as well as in serotonergic and GABAergic signaling systems in the Central Nervous System. What this means is that a diet which nurtures our gut bacteria can potentially help in preventing, or even treating, stress related disorders like anxiety or depression!
That may sound like a bold claim but a lot of study has been done on the “gut-brain axis” and even more is going into it in search of new and innovative ways of healing/taking care of our bodies.
This recent study which introduced cricket powder into the study groups’ breakfast diet had some interesting results. It showed that cricket powder intake was associated with an increase in one of the best studied strains of probiotics, B. animalis subsp. Lactis BB-12. This strain has been shown in clinical studies to improve gastrointestinal function, protect against diarrhea, reduce side effects of antibiotic treatment, and increase resistance to common respiratory infections. The same strain has also demonstrated the ability to interact with immune cells and have a beneficial effect on immune system function.
Being one of the first, there is a lot to be taken with a grain of salt. At the least the idea of insects as food, in Western Culture, is starting to gain recognition in this field! So maybe don’t swap out the Kombucha juuusst yet but giving cricket powder a try may have just gotten a little more interesting.