A team of scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison has proposed a gut-wrenching hypothesis. According to which, snacking on insect can be a good idea, to save your gut from inflammation and damage. If you really want to know how to boost your gut health and reduce inflammation, read on further.
A substantial population of the world is still reluctant to embrace the idea of replacing the usual chicken patty in their favorite burger with these creeping insects. And the same is being reflected by media coverage through echoes of apprehensions, disgust, and curiosity; when they declare a considerable surge in the interest recently, towards edible insects for increasing good gut bacteria.
If you reverse the pages of history, humans consuming insects for their livelihood is not a novel concept. In fact, today as well, around 2 billion people around different corners of the globe are consuming them. Thus, ever-evolving fascination of scientists to know how to boost your gut health and reduce inflammation has forced them to come up with the conclusion that eating cricket powder can positively reduce gut inflammation, by favoring an establishment of a suitable habitat in the gut for increasing good gut bacteria.
Why good gut bacteria is needed?
Science and technological advancements have started evolving in order to explore the enormous potential of our gut, in preventing many dangerous health conditions. Studies have started pinpointing towards the crucial existence of different healthy gut bacteria in controlling our emotional as well as intelligence quotient, metabolism and physical well-being. Our gut promotes the growth of both healthy gut bacteria as well as dangerous pathogens that may have significant good and bad impact on our health.
In order to know how to boost your gut health and reduce inflammation, it is vital to understand that healthy gut bacteria, also commonly known as microbiota are important for better digestion of certain dietary fibers, vitamins, and hormones. Depending upon your general health, diet and emotional well-being the composition of these healthy gut bacteria may get altered throughout the life of an individual.
The link between gut health and disorders
Accordingly, scientists believe that edible insects, such as cricket, larvae etc. can be a good and an environmentally friendly source of protein and fiber. It is being further added that the combination of protein and fiber is very rare in any other regularly consumed sources of animals, such as beef, chicken and even eggs; and further requires the active involvement of microbes that are present in the human gut. Various studies aiming to know how to boost your gut health and reduce inflammation have revealed the association of microbiota present in the human healthy gut on direct as well as indirect health impacts.
The advantages of dietary fibers in promoting microbial growth and improving the health of the digestive system is well optimized and acknowledged. In this regard, edible insects with high fiber intake are being associated with the reduced risk of several digestive disorders.
A lot of food-grade or edible insects are commercially available, especially in Northern Parts of America. This ready accessibility of these insects makes it the potential source of studying their compatibility with the human body.
The proposed study was conducted by a team of scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in order to know how to boost your gut health and reduce inflammation. Accordingly, 20 healthy men and women between the age group of 20-48 were enrolled for the study. The study participants were allowed to be on breakfast of 25 gms of powdered cricket meal made into muffins and shakes, almost for 2 weeks. A normal lunch and dinner were then allowed, after two weeks as a washout period. Following two weeks, diet was altered, as in people who consumed cricket diet started having normal breakfast and vice versa.
Blood samples were collected after the first two weeks of diet plan and later on after second two weeks of diet plan. The clinical evaluation was based on further analysis of blood, stool samples, and questionnaire. Moreover, evaluation was furthered based upon many different analyses, like analysis of by-products associated with microbial metabolism, and overall shedding of microbial communities in the stools.
The Study Purpose- How to boost your gut health and reduce inflammation
Scientists are proposing further that the study was designed and formulated to serve a three-fold purpose. First, they wanted to confirm the safety as well as digestive tolerance of cricket, as it is the widely consumed insect all over the world. Researchers also wished to understand the extent of metabolic alterations and alterations associated with signaling cascades of different immunological markers associated with inflammation. And lastly, scientists were keen to know the prebiotic importance of the insect fiber, the Chitin. It should further be noted that the prebiotic food can be referred to be as the non-digestible food, promoting the growth of good bacteria.
Results and Discussion
In the final analysis, no participant was reported with any significant gastrointestinal alterations or side effects. Moreover, no significant evidence could be collected that support the hypothesis of how to boost your gut health and reduce inflammation, by being on edible insects’ diet. However, the extensive analysis in the same direction proved increased secretion of certain metabolic enzymes that are primarily associated with improved gut health; and decreased secretion of certain inflammatory proteins like TNF-α. It is to be noted that TNF-alpha is primarily associated with cancer, metabolic disorders, and other neurological disorders.
Further to which, several changes in microbiota composition were observed, after eating breakfast of edible insects, which includes prebiotic effect. Scientists could observe a significant increase in the presence of good bacterial species like B.Animalis that are being extensively studied and are known for their probiotic effects, like to inhibit the growth of pathogens in the gut and promote gastrointestinal functions.
Scientists could confirm that although initial findings are supporting the hypothesis that munching on edible insects can enhance gut health; they also admit that more studies and clinical evidence are needed in this regard, to reach to the definitive conclusion.