Add some colour to your living room with these punchy cushion designs
Add some colour to your living room with these punchy cushion designs

Megan Burns

Five perfect matte lipsticks that your mask won’t budge
Five perfect matte lipsticks that your mask won’t budge

Holly O'Neill

Slightly Christmassy movies that are totally acceptable to watch before Halloween
Slightly Christmassy movies that are totally acceptable to watch before Halloween

Lauren Heskin

This Glenageary home with a charming double-height extension is on the market for €1.875 million
This Glenageary home with a charming double-height extension is on the market for €1.875 million

Megan Burns

Surrogacy: ‘As soon as I lay a foot on Irish soil I become a legal stranger to my son’
Surrogacy: ‘As soon as I lay a foot on Irish soil I become a legal...

Amanda Cassidy

Cuffing season is upon and singletons need to know what to look out for
Cuffing season is upon and singletons need to know what to look out for

Christina McLoughlin

Children are becoming less resilient and it is because of our parenting style
Children are becoming less resilient and it is because of our parenting style

Amanda Cassidy

These 4 Sofia Coppola films are the dreamy escapism we need right now
These 4 Sofia Coppola films are the dreamy escapism we need right now

Jennifer McShane

Am I supposed to feel joy over a PowerPoint presentation?
Am I supposed to feel joy over a PowerPoint presentation?

Esther O'Moore Donohoe

Nowstalgia: beauty’s most forward-thinking trend? Looking back
Nowstalgia: beauty’s most forward-thinking trend? Looking back

Holly O'Neill

Image / Editorial

Could edible insects be the cure to all your gut complaints?


by Geraldine Carton
18th Aug 2018
Could edible insects be the cure to all your gut complaints?

True or false: More than two billion people around the world regularly consume edible insects.

True.

High in protein, fibre, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats; insects are practically reaching superfood status these days (although, we all know that there is technically no such thing as a ‘superfood’).

It seems not only are they nutritionally beneficial, but now, thanks to the findings of a recent clinical trial published in the journal Scientific Reports, the positive effects crickets can wield on the human microbiome (AKA your gut), is thought to be really significant.

According to lead researcher Dr Valerie Stull, insects are gaining considerable traction in Europe and the States “as a sustainable, environmentally friendly protein source compared to traditional livestock”. What’s more, they look set to be the next big thing over the coming years.

The study

Twenty participants took part in the six-week clinical trial. In the first two weeks, the test subjects either ate a breakfast containing 25 grams of powdered cricket meal (made into muffins and shakes), or were given a controlled breakfast without any cricket additive. For the following two weeks, the participants ate a normal diet. For the next two weeks, those who started on the cricket diet were provided with a controlled breakfast and those who started on the control diet consumed a cricket-based morning meal.

The researchers collected blood and stool samples at various stages of the trial, which were tested for various health markers; such as blood glucose and enzymes associated with liver function, and TNF-alpha (a protein associated with inflammation).

Related: Gut in a rut? These five foods will help your tummy troubles

The results

From the results gathered, the team saw that the cricket-eaters experienced a decrease in TNF-alph (linked to depression and cancer), alongside an increase in intestinal alkaline phosphatase (a metabolic enzyme associated with gut health). The team also noted an increase in beneficial gut bacteria such as Bifidobacterium animalis, a strain that has been linked to improved gastrointestinal function.

The positive effects that eating edible insects can have on people’s digestive health is good news for those who suffer from gut complaints such as IBS; with Dr Stull affirming, “This very small study shows that this is something worth looking at in the future when promoting insects as a sustainable food source.”

Related: What your gut might be telling you

Also Read

Could edible insects be the cure to all your gut complaints?
EDITORIAL
8 easy ways to keep your brain healthy that you can do right now

Your brain health is just as important as that of the rest of your body, says psychologist and neuroscientist Dr...

By IMAGE

Could edible insects be the cure to all your gut complaints?
EDITORIAL
How to limit drips and brush strokes while painting kitchen cabinets

Painting kitchen cabinets can be transformative and can be achieved relatively low-cost, but you need the right equipment, and a lot of...

By Amanda Kavanagh

Could edible insects be the cure to all your gut complaints?
EDITORIAL
Attending multiple weddings this year? How to save money as a guest

These days, going to a wedding is the equivalent of going on a short holiday in terms of cost. From...

By Jennifer McShane

Could edible insects be the cure to all your gut complaints?
premium EDITORIAL
Business Club members get your complimentary tickets to The IMAGE Business Summit 2021

Don’t miss this year’s IMAGE Business Summit, with an expert line-up, skills masterclasses, keynote addresses and more.Back by popular demand,...

By Shayna Sappington

Could edible insects be the cure to all your gut complaints?
EDITORIAL
Sarah Harding’s heartbroken mum announces the singer’s death aged just 39

Sarah Harding has died at the age of just 39, her heartbroken mother revealed today. The Girls Aloud star had...

By Amanda Cassidy

Could edible insects be the cure to all your gut complaints?
EDITORIAL
5 houseplants we guarantee you can keep alive

For those who buy houseplants with the best of intentions and end up killing them, here’s a selection you’ll be...

By Hannah Hillyer

Could edible insects be the cure to all your gut complaints?
EDITORIAL
‘Romy & Michele’ actress Cortney Wolfston on being fired while pregnant

“I was confused. Hadn’t I just been told this was a perfect time to be pregnant?” she questioned. Actress Cortney...

By Sarah Finnan