Mealworm protein is as effective as whey, say researchers


Source: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition​

By Nikki Hancocks, Nutra Ingredients - 03-Jun-2021


Researchers have shown for the first time that insect protein is just as effective as milk protein for protein digestion, amino acid absorption and muscle protein synthesis.


The anabolic properties of protein sources are largely defined by their protein digestion, amino acid absorption kinetics and amino acid composition. Animal-sourced proteins are generally considered to have stronger anabolic properties than plant-derived proteins as the latter have an incomplete amino acid profile with low amounts of leucine and/or insufficient lysine, histidine, or methionine​.


Insects have recently been identified as a potentially better option as they have a high protein content and their amino acid composition indicates that insects may provide a high-quality protein source that can stimulate postprandial muscle protein accretion similarly to high-quality animal-based protein sources​. Lesser mealworm derived protein has an amino acid composition that closely resembles protein sources such as milk or meat​.


But so far, there are no data available on lesser mealworm protein digestion and amino acid absorption kinetics or on the postprandial anabolic response to lesser mealworm protein ingestion.


The authors of the current study hypothesised that lesser mealworm protein is properly digested and absorbed, and has the capacity to increase muscle protein synthesis rates in humans both at rest and during recovery from exercise....


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