Cockroach milk may sound yucky but could be the next big 'superfood'

According to a new report, cockroach milk could be the next big superfood as it is packed with nutrients over and above conventional dairy as well as almond and soy milk preparations. The results of the study appeared in the latest issue of the Journal of the International Union of Crystallography.

A cockroach on its back in an almost empty glass of milk. Image Credit: SAPhotog / Shutterstock
A cockroach on its back in an almost empty glass of milk. Image Credit: SAPhotog / Shutterstock

A team of scientists from different health institutions across Europe and United States looked at the benefits offered by cockroaches. They mainly looked at the Pacific beetle cockroach and examined its milk. This milk was found to be very rich I nutrients such as proteins, amino acids, fats and sugars. They write that one single crystal of cockroach milk “is estimated to contain more than three times the energy of an equivalent mass of dairy milk.” This milk comes from the brood sac of the cockroach where it receives the eggs. Their babies feed on the yellow, pale liquid that is secreted from the sac. They scientists found that humans too could benefit from this secretion.

There are quite a few hurdles before cockroach milk can reach our breakfast tables though. Studies are needed to find if the milk is actually healthy and safe for human consumption. Also around a ton of cockroaches found in the tropical forests of the Polynesian islands may be necessary to produce a single glass of milk. Other species of cockroaches do not produce this milk because they lay eggs instead of producing live babies.

The study also compared almond, coconut and soy milk with dairy milk and found that they contain good amounts of protein and carbohydrates and are also healthy in terms of in calories.

Rachel Nazarian, M.D. at Schweiger Dermatology Group said that this milk contains high levels of growth hormone and may increase acne in some people. It contains high levels of sugar she said which could be bad for the skin but high amounts of proteins and fats are good for hair and nails.

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