Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Nutrition and Health (including climate and ecological aspects)

The acute effects of insect vs. beef-derived protein on postprandial plasma aminoacidemia, appetite hormones, appetite sensations, and energy intake in healthy young men



The purpose of this study was to evaluate the acute effects of ingesting beef- and insect-derived protein on postprandial plasma amino acid and appetite hormone concentrations, appetite sensations, and ad libitum energy intake.


In a randomized, double-blind, crossover study, 20 young men (23 (SD: 4) y) completed two trials during which arterialized blood samples and VAS questionnaires were collected at baseline, and over 300-min after ingestion of beverages with similar energy and macronutrient content containing 25 g beef- or insect-derived (cricket) protein. Blood samples were analyzed for plasma amino acid and appetite hormone concentrations, while VAS questionnaires were applied to assess appetite sensations. After each trial, an ad libitum meal was immediately provided to assess energy intake.


Adjusted mean postprandial incremental area under the curve (iAUC) was greater for cricket vs. beef-derived protein for plasma leucine, branched-chain amino acid, and essential amino acid concentrations (all P < 0.0001). Adjusted mean postprandial iAUC for hunger was lower following beef (−3030 (SE: 860)) vs. cricket-derived (−1197 (SE: 525)) protein (Difference: −1833 (95% CI: −3358, −308); P = 0.02), but was not different for other appetite sensations or appetite hormones (all P > 0.05). Adjusted mean ad libitum energy intake was 4072 (SE: 292) and 4408 (SE: 316) kJ following beef- and cricket-derived protein (Difference: −336 (95% CI: −992, 320); P = 0.30).


Acute ingestion of cricket and beef-derived protein leads to differences in postprandial plasma amino acid concentrations, but elicits similar effects on appetite hormones, appetite sensations, and ad libitum energy intake in young men.

Your institute does not have access to this article

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 1: Plasma glucose and insulin.
Fig. 2: Plasma leucine and branched-chain amino acids.
Fig. 3: Plasma essential amino acids, non-essential amino acids, and total amino acids.
Fig. 4: Plasma glucagon-like peptide 1 and peptide YY.
Fig. 5: Subjective appetite sensations.

Data availability

The datasets generated during and/or analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.


  1. Poppitt SD, McCormack D, Buffenstein R. Short-term effects of macronutrient preloads on appetite and energy intake in lean women. Physiol Behav. 1998;64:279–85.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Booth DA, Chase A, Campbell AT. Relative effectiveness of protein in the late stages of appetite suppression in man. Physiol Behav. 1970;5:1299–302.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Mellinkoff SM, Frankland M, Boyle D, Greipel M. Relationship between serum amino acid concentration and fluctuations in appetite. J Appl Physiol. 1956;8:535–8.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Leidy HJ, Clifton PM, Astrup A, Wycherley TP, Westerterp-Plantenga MS, Luscombe-Marsh ND, et al. The role of protein in weight loss and maintenance. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015;101:1320S–9S.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. de Graaf C, Blom WA, Smeets PA, Stafleu A, Hendriks HF. Biomarkers of satiation and satiety. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004;79:946–61.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Paddon-Jones D, Leidy H. Dietary protein and muscle in older persons. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2014;17:5–11.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Veldhorst M, Smeets A, Soenen S, Hochstenbach-Waelen A, Hursel R, Diepvens K, et al. Protein-induced satiety: effects and mechanisms of different proteins. Physiol Behav. 2008;94:300–7.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Anderson GH, Moore SE. Dietary proteins in the regulation of food intake and body weight in humans. J Nutr. 2004;134:974S–9S.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Uhe AM, Collier GR, O’Dea K. A comparison of the effects of beef, chicken and fish protein on satiety and amino acid profiles in lean male subjects. J Nutr. 1992;122:467–72.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Douglas SM, Lasley TR, Leidy HJ. Consuming beef vs. soy protein has little effect on appetite, satiety, and food intake in healthy adults. J Nutr. 2015;145:1010–6.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Borzoei S, Neovius M, Barkeling B, Teixeira-Pinto A, Rossner S. A comparison of effects of fish and beef protein on satiety in normal weight men. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2006;60:897–902.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Charlton KE, Tapsell LC, Batterham MJ, Thorne R, O’Shea J, Zhang Q, et al. Pork, beef and chicken have similar effects on acute satiety and hormonal markers of appetite. Appetite. 2011;56:1–8.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Wu G, Fanzo J, Miller DD, Pingali P, Post M, Steiner JL, et al. Production and supply of high-quality food protein for human consumption: sustainability, challenges, and innovations. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2014;1321:1–19.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. van Huis A. Nutrition and health of edible insects. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2020;23:228–31.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Rumpold BA, Schluter OK. Nutritional composition and safety aspects of edible insects. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2013;57:802–23.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Churchward-Venne TA, Pinckaers PJM, van Loon JJA, van Loon LJC. Consideration of insects as a source of dietary protein for human consumption. Nutr Rev. 2017;75:1035–45.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Vangsoe MT, Thogersen R, Bertram HC, Heckmann LL, Hansen M. Ingestion of insect protein isolate enhances blood amino acid concentrations similar to soy protein in a human trial. Nutrients. 2018;10:1357.

  18. Hermans WJH, Senden JM, Churchward-Venne TA, Paulussen KJM, Fuchs CJ, Smeets JSJ, et al. Insects are a viable protein source for human consumption: from insect protein digestion to postprandial muscle protein synthesis in vivo in humans: a double-blind randomized trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2021;114:934–44.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Gannon MC, Nuttall JA, Nuttall FQ. The metabolic response to ingested glycine. Am J Clin Nutr. 2002;76:1302–7.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Koopman R, Crombach N, Gijsen AP, Walrand S, Fauquant J, Kies AK, et al. Ingestion of a protein hydrolysate is accompanied by an accelerated in vivo digestion and absorption rate when compared with its intact protein. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009;90:106–15.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Power O, Hallihan A, Jakeman P. Human insulinotropic response to oral ingestion of native and hydrolysed whey protein. Amino Acids. 2009;37:333–9.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Nongonierma AB, FitzGerald RJ. Bioactive properties of milk proteins in humans: a review. Peptides. 2015;73:20–34.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Corp ES, Woods SC, Porte D Jr, Dorsa DM, Figlewicz DP, Baskin DG. Localization of 125I-insulin binding sites in the rat hypothalamus by quantitative autoradiography. Neurosci Lett. 1986;70:17–22.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Fukagawa NK, Minaker KL, Young VR, Rowe JW. Insulin dose-dependent reductions in plasma amino acids in man. Am J Physiol. 1986;250:E13–7.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  25. Hatzakorzian R, Carvalho G, Bui H, Sato T, Wykes L, Shum-Tim D, et al. High-dose insulin administration is associated with hypoaminoacidemia during cardiac surgery. Metabolism. 2011;60:1392–7.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Cota D, Proulx K, Smith KA, Kozma SC, Thomas G, Woods SC, et al. Hypothalamic mTOR signaling regulates food intake. Science. 2006;312:927–30.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Fromentin G, Darcel N, Chaumontet C, Marsset-Baglieri A, Nadkarni N, Tome D. Peripheral and central mechanisms involved in the control of food intake by dietary amino acids and proteins. Nutr Res Rev. 2012;25:29–39.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Hall WL, Millward DJ, Long SJ, Morgan LM. Casein and whey exert different effects on plasma amino acid profiles, gastrointestinal hormone secretion and appetite. Br J Nutr. 2003;89:239–48.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Bowen J, Noakes M, Trenerry C, Clifton PM. Energy intake, ghrelin, and cholecystokinin after different carbohydrate and protein preloads in overweight men. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2006;91:1477–83.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Bolster DR, Rahn M, Kamil AG, Bristol LT, Goltz SR, Leidy HJ, et al. Consuming lower-protein nutrition bars with added leucine elicits postprandial changes in appetite sensations in healthy women. J Nutr. 2018;148:693–701.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Veldhorst MA, Nieuwenhuizen AG, Hochstenbach-Waelen A, Westerterp KR, Engelen MP, Brummer RJ, et al. A breakfast with alpha-lactalbumin, gelatin, or gelatin + TRP lowers energy intake at lunch compared with a breakfast with casein, soy, whey, or whey-GMP. Clin Nutr. 2009;28:147–55.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Veldhorst MA, Nieuwenhuizen AG, Hochstenbach-Waelen A, van Vught AJ, Westerterp KR, Engelen MP, et al. Dose-dependent satiating effect of whey relative to casein or soy. Physiol Behav. 2009;96:675–82.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Anderson GH, Tecimer SN, Shah D, Zafar TA. Protein source, quantity, and time of consumption determine the effect of proteins on short-term food intake in young men. J Nutr. 2004;134:3011–5.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Diepvens K, Haberer D, Westerterp-Plantenga M. Different proteins and biopeptides differently affect satiety and anorexigenic/orexigenic hormones in healthy humans. Int J Obes. 2008;32:510–8.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Lang V, Bellisle F, Oppert JM, Craplet C, Bornet FR, Slama G, et al. Satiating effect of proteins in healthy subjects: a comparison of egg albumin, casein, gelatin, soy protein, pea protein, and wheat gluten. Am J Clin Nutr. 1998;67:1197–204.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Lang V, Bellisle F, Alamowitch C, Craplet C, Bornet FR, Slama G, et al. Varying the protein source in mixed meal modifies glucose, insulin and glucagon kinetics in healthy men, has weak effects on subjective satiety and fails to affect food intake. Eur J Clin Nutr. 1999;53:959–65.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Bowen J, Noakes M, Clifton PM. Appetite regulatory hormone responses to various dietary proteins differ by body mass index status despite similar reductions in ad libitum energy intake. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2006;91:2913–9.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  38. Nielsen LV, Kristensen MD, Klingenberg L, Ritz C, Belza A, Astrup A, et al. Protein from meat or vegetable sources in meals matched for fiber content has similar effects on subjective appetite sensations and energy intake-a randomized acute cross-over meal test study. Nutrients. 2018;10:96.

  39. Blundell J, de Graaf C, Hulshof T, Jebb S, Livingstone B, Lluch A, et al. Appetite control: methodological aspects of the evaluation of foods. Obes Rev. 2010;11:251–70.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


The authors thank Professor Ross Andersen for providing access to some of the equipment used in this study and Dr. Tom Hazell from Wilfrid Laurier University for helpful discussion during the initial stages of this project. The authors also thank Dr. José Correa from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at McGill University for providing statistical consulting.

Author contributions

JD, TAC-V: designed the research; JD, JL, PWM-A, AG, TAC-V: conducted the research; JD, JL, AG, TAC-V: analyzed the data; TAC-V: performed the statistical analysis; JD, JL, TAC-V: wrote the paper; JD, TAC-V: hold primary responsibility for the final content; all authors: read and approved the final manuscript.


TAC-V was supported by a Discovery Grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Tyler A. Churchward-Venne.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Ethical approval

The study was conducted in accordance with the ethical standards of the Faculty of Medicine Institutional Review Board at McGill University on human experimentation and in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975 as revised in October 2013. The study was approved by the Faculty of Medicine Institutional Review Board at McGill University on October 31, 2018 (Study Number: A08-M28-18B).

Additional information

Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Supplementary information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Dai, J., Lov, J., Martin-Arrowsmith, P.W. et al. The acute effects of insect vs. beef-derived protein on postprandial plasma aminoacidemia, appetite hormones, appetite sensations, and energy intake in healthy young men. Eur J Clin Nutr (2022).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • DOI:


Quick links