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Article

Metabolic Effects of Bee Larva-Derived Protein in Mice: Assessment of an Alternative Protein Source

1
Graduate School of Media and Governance, Keio University, Fujisawa 252-0882, Kanagawa, Japan
2
Health Science Laboratory, Keio Research Institute at SFC, Fujisawa 252-0882, Kanagawa, Japan
3
Department of Environment and Information Studies, Keio University, Fujisawa 252-0882, Kanagawa, Japan
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Institute for Advanced Biosciences, Keio University, Tsuruoka 997-0052, Yamagata, Japan
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Gut Environmental Design Group, Kanagawa Institute of Industrial Science and Technology, Kawasaki 210-0821, Kanagawa, Japan
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Department of Ophthalmology, Keio University School of Medicine, Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-8582, Japan
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Transborder Medical Research Center, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba 305-8575, Ibaraki, Japan
8
Tsubota Laboratory, Inc., Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-0016, Japan
9
Department of Internal Medicine, Keio University School of Medicine, Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-8582, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Ciara McDonnell, Roman Buckow and Michelle Colgrave
Foods 2021, 10(11), 2642; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10112642
Received: 8 September 2021 / Revised: 20 October 2021 / Accepted: 20 October 2021 / Published: 1 November 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Future Protein Foods)
Food crises caused by growing global population or environmental changes are predicted in the near future; therefore, sustainable solutions are needed. Edible insects, which are rich in protein and can save feed and environmental resources, have the potential to be a sustainable alternative protein source. However, there is limited evidence on the impact on health. In this study, we investigated the biological effects of ingesting bee larva by examining their effects on amino acid, lipid, and glucose metabolism in animal models. In our animal experiments, the replacement of casein as a protein source, with edible insects, did not seem to cause any deficiency in murine amino acid levels in the plasma and liver. Metabolomic analysis of plasma metabolites showed decreased 3-methylhistidine and increased nicotinamide in the bee larva-derived protein-fed mice. Decreased levels of plasma 3-metylhistidine, an indicator of muscle degradation, implies that replacement to bee-larva protein from casein did not cause muscle degradation in vivo. We further investigated effects of increased plasma nicotinamide on peripheral tissue and found an increase in expression levels of genes involved in glucose uptake in muscle and thermogenesis in adipose tissue. These data imply that bee larva is a potential sustainable, safe and healthy alternative protein source. View Full-Text
Keywords: edible insects; protein; nutrition balance; metabolite; bee larva edible insects; protein; nutrition balance; metabolite; bee larva
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MDPI and ACS Style

Yokoyama, Y.; Shinohara, K.; Kitamura, N.; Nakamura, A.; Onoue, A.; Tanaka, K.; Hirayama, A.; Aw, W.; Nakamura, S.; Ogawa, Y.; Fukuda, S.; Tsubota, K.; Watanabe, M. Metabolic Effects of Bee Larva-Derived Protein in Mice: Assessment of an Alternative Protein Source. Foods 2021, 10, 2642. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10112642

AMA Style

Yokoyama Y, Shinohara K, Kitamura N, Nakamura A, Onoue A, Tanaka K, Hirayama A, Aw W, Nakamura S, Ogawa Y, Fukuda S, Tsubota K, Watanabe M. Metabolic Effects of Bee Larva-Derived Protein in Mice: Assessment of an Alternative Protein Source. Foods. 2021; 10(11):2642. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10112642

Chicago/Turabian Style

Yokoyama, Yoko, Kawori Shinohara, Naho Kitamura, Anna Nakamura, Ai Onoue, Kazuki Tanaka, Akiyoshi Hirayama, Wanping Aw, Shigeru Nakamura, Yoko Ogawa, Shinji Fukuda, Kazuo Tsubota, and Mitsuhiro Watanabe. 2021. "Metabolic Effects of Bee Larva-Derived Protein in Mice: Assessment of an Alternative Protein Source" Foods 10, no. 11: 2642. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10112642

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