Just when you think you've heard everything, an international team of scientists comes along and presents research that leaves you scratching your head.
A team, comprised of researchers from the U.S., Canada, Japan, France, and India, have announced that the protein crystals found in cockroach milk is perfectly suited for use as a protein supplement.
That's right, cockroach milk!
About 10 years ago, while working as a researcher at the University of Iowa, Nathan Coussens
was struck by tiny crystals he observed pouring out of the gut of a cockroach. Turns out, these crystals were made of milk protein.
The crystals were found in the guts of the Diploptera punctata. D. punctata
is a rare breed of insect in that it displays mammal-like qualities, giving birth to live young and lactating to feed its offspring.
Now, after a decade of work, the research team has managed to successfully sequence the genetic structure of these milk proteins. And what they have discovered is a nearly perfect protein!
Just one of these crystals contains THREE TIMES the energy found in buffalo milk!
The team's research is set to be published in the July 2016 edition of the International Union of Crystallography's journal. One of the authors, Sanchari Banerjee, says, “The crystals are like a complete food—they have proteins, fats and sugars. If you look into the protein sequences, they have all the essential amino acids.” The crystals were also found to be remarkably stable, making them a potential source for human protein supplementation in the future. The scientists are able to mass produce these crystals using a yeast-based growing system.
The fact that these proteins have been discovered in crystal form, only boosts their potential! “It’s time-released food,” Professor S. Ramaswamy explained. "If you need food that is calorifically high, that is time released, and… complete, this is it.”
Looks like cockroach milk has some interesting implications for the future! But, until the day comes that we're loading up our diets with synthesized cockroach milk proteins, we need to rely on traditional methods. Eating balanced meals goes a long way to ensuring that you get enough protein in your diet. Lean meats, nuts, seeds, legumes and conventional dairy are great options. For some ideas on how to fit protein into your diet, check out the BodyRock Meal Plan
. More than just a 30-day menu planner, this meal plan contains a nutrition guide to help you make sense of healthy eating. AND, it includes over 70 recipes so your tastebuds will never be bored!
Would you consider this protein source if it becomes commercially available?
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