About Akkermansia Bacteria and Their Various Health Benefits
Akkermansia bacteria are among the hundreds of species usually found in a healthy human gut, and the effects can be severe if their numbers become depleted. In addition to assisting the digestive process, these and many of the other microorganisms that, together, make up the gut microbiome have several other valuable health benefits.
Members of this genus are non-motile and oval in shape. They do not produce spores and are strict anaerobes, meaning they can only thrive in an oxygen-free environment. Those with some knowledge of bacteriology might be interested to know that they are gram-negative. For the less informed, the term means they stain red when treated with a basic dye mixture invented by the Danish bacteriologist Hans Christian Joachim Gram, while gram-positive species stain purple.
A New species of Akkermansia bacteria
While researchers have long been familiar with the genus Akkermansia, the relatively recent discovery of a new species has prompted a closer investigation of this organism in particular and further research into the functions of human gastrointestinal flora in general.
The new species was first isolated and studied by Professor Willem de Vos of Wageningen University in the Netherlands in 2004. Later, studies in collaboration with Professor Patrice D. Cani of Belgium’s UCLouvain revealed some significant health-related properties of the bacterium subsequently named Akkermansia muciniphila.
While feeding on the glucosylated proteins known as mucins that protect the intestinal lining, the action of A. muciniphila also works to increase its thickness. The thickened mucus layer helps prevent the entry of pathogenic species into the body via the gut wall. In addition, the breakdown products of the organism’s nutrition include short-chain fatty acids. The latter have anti-inflammatory and immunoregulatory properties and play a role in preventing malignancy, diabetes and obesity and cardiovascular, hepatic and neurological disorders. In short, the presence of this species in the human gut provides us with the equivalent of an on-site, internal pharmacy.
Akkermansia Bacteria and Metabolic Syndrome
Although the risks arising from high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and inadequate insulin levels were known and studied throughout the 20th century, the term metabolic syndrome has only been applied to these conditions, which often occur together, since the 1970s. The fact that these conditions are encountered more frequently in overweight individuals has led to intensive research into a possible preventative or curative role for this new species of the genus Akkermansia.
A Promising Probiotic Role
In the last two decades, researchers have focused extensively on A. muciniphila, more than any other gut microbiome species. More significantly, the results of these studies have confirmed the crucial roles this bacterium plays in many aspects of human health and suggests potential benefits when administered as a probiotic.
For example, the gastrointestinal tract of individuals with a normal BMI contains markedly higher numbers of this organism than that of overweight and obese individuals.
The Akkermansia Company’s EFSA-Approved Supplement
Following a randomised study of volunteers, which confirmed that the daily administration of pasteurised A. muciniphila was safe and well-tolerated, the EFSA approved its use in a food additive developed by the Akkermansia Company. The product also contains chromium, EGCG green tea, and vitamin B2, supporting glucose control, weight management, and mucous membrane health.
Prioritise Your Health with Akkermansia
With emerging research highlighting the vital role of A. muciniphila in gut health and metabolic regulation, it’s essential to consider incorporating this probiotic into your daily routine. Explore the benefits of The Akkermansia Company’s supplement and take charge of your health today.