What are the health benefits of eating insects and increasing chitin in your diet?

You may have heard about people eating insects, but have you heard about the benefits of increasing your chitin intake?

As of writing this, there are over 2.5 billion people consume insects every day. Some people enjoy it simply because they like the taste, but others do it for the health benefits insects can offer.

Before we get into it, we just need to make this one thing clear.

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

With that said, let's get it.

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Let's talk about Chitin

Chitin is a naturally occurring polymer & carbohydrate that is found in the exoskeletons of insects and other crustaceans. Chitosan is produced by deacetylating chitin, which changes its properties and makes it more soluble in water.

Lobster.
Photo by David Todd McCarty / Unsplash

Chitin/Chitosan and Cancer

Those are two very scary words in the same sentence for some people. If you take a deep dig into some of the publicized research, there are a lot of medical implications linked to cancer research.

Photo by Accuray / Unsplash

As of writing this, chitosan is currently being utilized to increase the efficacy of certain cancer vaccines. Chitin is mainly used in cancer vaccines by encapsulating tumor antigens in a chitin shell. This allows the tumor antigens to be safely introduced into the body, where they can trigger an immune response. By doing this, the vaccine can help to train the immune system to identify and attack cancer cells, without the risk of causing harm to normal, healthy cells.

Chitin baby.

Chitin vs aluminum-based adjuvants

Yeah, that's a pretty next-level word. We absolutely agree.

An adjuvant is a substance that is added to a vaccine to enhance its effectiveness. Adjuvants work by boosting the immune response to the vaccine so that the body is better able to recognize and fight off the pathogen that the vaccine is meant to protect against.

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A big topic in the "vaccine debate" has been aluminum-based adjuvants being utilized in vaccines. The introduction of chitin-based adjuvants has helped open up more alternative options for vaccines.

Chitin as a general "protectant"

A protectant is a substance or product that is used to protect against damage or harm. The term "protectant" is used in a wide range of different industries and applications, including agriculture, health, and personal care.

In the 1980s, researchers discovered that chitin and chitosan had a number of beneficial properties, including anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and wound-healing effects. These properties made them attractive for use in a variety of applications, including protective coatings for food and medical devices, wound dressings, and as delivery systems for drugs and vaccines.

Photo by Ricky Kharawala / Unsplash

In various animal studies, including mice chitin has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects, which can help to reduce the risk of infection and promote healing. Additionally, chitin has been shown to have antibacterial effects, which can help to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria in wounds.

Overall, while more research is needed to fully understand the protective properties of chitin, the results of animal studies suggest that it has the potential to be a useful material for a wide range of applications.

Macronutrients!

Another huge benefit we can gain from eating insects can easily come in the form of macronutrients. Insects are loaded with protein and lots of essential vitamins & minerals. This makes it an easy option for anyone looking to add a bit of a boost to their diet.

We NEED protein. Insects are loaded with it in abundance and there's a massive amount of selection when it comes to consuming arthropods.

Bugs are Great

We could probably go on and on in a single blog post about the benefits of eating insects. We don't want to kill your time though.

The benefits are overwhelming and more will continue to be discovered.

If you dare to enter into the world of eating insects, we just have one thing to say.

Have fun!

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