Harnessing Akkermansia Gut Bacteria

Microbiome Marvels: Harnessing the Power of Akkermansia Gut Bacteria

Although estimates differ, we likely have at least as many bacterial cells as human ones. Recently, Akkermansia gut bacteria have been attracting attention as a species that aids in maintaining a healthy gut barrier and also holds many unique potential health benefits for its host.

In addition to Akkermansia bacteria, there are as many as 39 trillion microorganisms that could be living, dining and reproducing on your skin and within your various bodily orifices, but this should not be cause for alarm. Most of those microscopic passengers are not only harmless but actually beneficial and even essential for many aspects of our health and help protect us from the few pathogens among them.

With Akkermansia muciniphila making up 1 to 3% of the total gut microbiota, it is considered a common resident in the gut microbiome and not only seems to be a biomarker for some metabolic and inflammatory disorders but also displays several advantages that involve, among others, glucose control and weight management.

Some Health-related Properties of Akkermansia Gut Bacteria

The gut microbiome was first observed during the 17th century by Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, the inventor of the microscope. However, intensive research into its composition and function only began during the late 19th and early 20th century, eventually leading in 2004 to the discovery of the genus Akkermansia and, soon after, the isolation and characterisation of a species with some novel properties.

Since then, a newly discovered species of Akkermansia gut bacteria, A. muciniphila, has emerged as an exceptionally promising biotherapeutic agent with the following potential health benefits:

  • Glucose control and weight management: There has been a steady increase in the incidence of Type 2 diabetes in recent decades, which, in turn, has been linked to a parallel rise in obesity. Both conditions are associated with low-grade inflammation and changes in the composition of the gut microbiome, most notably reduced numbers of Akkermansia muciniphila.

Research has shown that insulin resistance is reduced and glucose control normalised by restoring the balance through the oral administration of a pasteurised A. muciniphila culture. The findings also showed weight loss in obese subjects.

  • Anti-inflammatory effects: One of the main characteristics of this species of Akkermansia gut bacteria is its ability to break down the mucus lining the intestinal walls. The action promotes additional mucin production, producing short-chain fatty acids that inhibit inflammation. Reduced numbers of muciniphila have been associated with irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Mental health: Research confirms that muciniphila can improve the symptoms of some neuropsychiatric disorders by influencing the brain via the microbiota-gut-brain axis. Further research is required, but this organism could prove of value in the treatment of depression, anxiety and autism spectrum disorders.

A Novel Supplement Containing Akkermansia Gut Bacteria

The EFSA has approved pasteurised A. muciniphila as a food supplement for special medical purposes. The Akkermansia Company has developed a glucose control* and weight management** product with added chromium, EGCG green tea and Vitamin B12 for additional efficacy. Contact us for more details and to place your orders.

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