Interesting Facts about the Akkermansia Bacterium

Interesting Facts You Should Know About the Akkermansia Bacterium

A mention of bacteria usually prompts thoughts of disease, yet not all these microorganisms are harmful. For example, an Akkermansia bacterium is known to promote gut health. In fact, according to the findings of a project conducted by the NIH, every healthy human is host to trillions of microorganisms, outnumbering human cells by ten to one and accounting for around one to three per cent of body weight. 

Many bacteria thrive on the surface of our bodies in warm, moist areas that have a high concentration of sweat glands, such as the armpits and feet. However, the vast majority of these microscopic guests reside in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT), where, together, they form the gut microbiome.

What Do We Know About the Akkermansia Bacterium?

While microbiologists have been familiar with other species of this genus for years, Akkermansia muciniphila is a relatively recent discovery. It was one of the co-founders of The Akkermansia Company, Professor M. de Vos of Wageningen University in the Netherlands, who, in 2004, first isolated, identified and characterised this novel species. Further collaboration with the other co-founder, Professor Patrice D. Cani of UCLouvain, and studies by numerous other researchers have revealed the following interesting facts:

  • This anaerobic Akkermansia bacterium has been shown to benefit gut health. It thrives on a complex glycoprotein produced by the intestinal mucosa named mucin and helps maintain the intestinal mucosal barrier’s integrity.
  • Akkermansia supports the growth of other gut microbiota. Short-chain fatty acids are a by-product of this organism’s metabolism. They provide an internal source of nutrients for other gut microbiota and help to promote their growth. In addition, these compounds have anti-inflammatory properties.
  • There is also strong evidence that reduced numbers of this species of Akkermansia in the gut microbiome occur in certain metabolic disorders like type 2 diabetes.
  • Obese persons tend to host lower numbers of this species in their gut, and experiments with mice have shown that supplementing their diet with this organism induced weight loss.
  • This organism seems to have more widespread benefits, like improving insulin sensitivity and fighting inflammation.
  • The gut-brain axis forms a communication link between the central and enteric nervous systems and enteric microbiota. Researchers have established that gut microbiota can influence the production of hormones that affect one’s mood, behaviour and appetite.
  • A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study in humans confirmed that prolonged daily supplementation with pasteurised Akkermansia muciniphila was both well-tolerated and safe.
  • Comparisons of the relative virtues of live and pasteurised cultures showed the latter to be the more effective option.

The above facts speak for themselves in supporting the benefits of the Akkermansia bacterium.

The Akkermasia Bacterium in an Innovative Weight Management* Food Supplement

The many benefits of this species are well-established, as is its safety to consume. The growth of the organism is encouraged with polyphenol-rich foods, such as apples, beans, berries and green tea. However, many modern food choices lack adequate levels of this Akkermansia bacterium in the gut. In healthy subjects, A. muciniphila represents approximately 3% of the gut microbiome, while lowered levels are frequently found among those with poor health.

The Akkermansia Company weight management* supplement is the world’s first dietary supplement which contains pasteurised Akkermansia muciniphila. The Akkermansia Company has developed an Akkermansia-based weight management supplement* with glucose control**. To learn more about its benefits and composition, please click here.

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