Science may have officially gone too far.
Why? Well, according to some possibly deranged researchers, cockroach milk has the potential to become the next big superfood. In a recent study in the journal IUCrJ, researchers discovered that the milk secretions from Diploptera punctata—also known as the Pacific beetle cockroach—comprise a surprisingly nutrient-dense compound. Unlike most cockroaches, Pacific beetle cockroaches give birth to live young instead of laying eggs. Like humans, the momma roach must produce a milk to nourish her young. Ounce for ounce, her milk is one of the most nutritious natural substances scientists have ever discovered.
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“[Cockroach milk] serves as a complete nutrient by providing all of the essential amino acids, carbohydrates from the attached glycans, and lipids through chaperoning linoleic and oleic acids,” the study’s authors write. The milk is also high in protein and estimated to contain “more than three time the energy provided by the equivalent masses of mammalian milks from several species,” such as cows and buffaloes. In addition, the milk crystals seem to release nutrients at a rate in sync with when your body needs them, which could be an ideal characteristic in a protein supplement for athletes.
Alternatively, you could try the “Cockroach Milk Diet.” It’s pretty simple—any time you’re hungry, just think of the words “cockroach milk” and your appetite will immediately vanish.
Even if you’re brave enough to chug cockroach milk, don’t expect to see it on store shelves any time soon. According to the Washington Post, further examination needs to be done before we can conclude that the crystals aren’t toxic to humans. Scientists would also have to figure out the best way to synthesize the substance, since producing significant amounts by milking the actual bugs is not a feasible option. But in a time when people are exploring new sources of nutrients, both in the interest of better health and a better environment, nothing—even roach milk—is off limits.
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