An Exploration of the Link Between Akkermansia Gut Bacteria and Type 2 Diabetes
The high incidence of type 2 diabetes in Europe is cause for concern. A link between insulin sensitivity and Akkermansia gut bacteria may provide a solution. It might surprise many to learn that the number of bacterial cells on and inside our bodies is approximately the same as our human cells and account for about 0.2 kilograms of an average human male’s body weight. Although these may include some potential pathogens, most are harmless commensal species, deriving their nutrition from or via the host in exchange for various beneficial activities.
This diverse collection of microorganisms is known as a microbiome; its constituent members are termed microbiota. The most important of these in humans occupy various areas of the gastrointestinal tract, collectively forming the gut microbiome and helping to maintain several of the body’s essential physiological functions.
Several bacterial species commonly found in the human gut have been the subject of intensive research. One species in particular that has been attracting lots of attention during the last two decades is a member of the genus Akkermansia. A. muciniphila was first isolated in 2004 by Professor Willem de Vos of Wageningen University in the Netherlands. In collaboration with Professor Patrice Cani of UCLouvain in Belgium, he also showed that it played significant roles in immune response, weight management and glucose control.
How Can Akkermansia Gut Bacteria Assist in Managing Type 2 Diabetes?
Scientists have identified several possible causes for type 2 diabetes as an increasingly common condition. For example, it often occurs during pregnancy due to hormonal imbalance and some individuals and ethnic groups are genetically predisposed. However, overall, the biggest culprit appears to be the modern lifestyle. In particular, diet and lack of adequate physical activity can lead to the following problems:
- Overweight and Clinical Obesity
Extra belly fat is closely associated with several medical conditions, including an increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases like a heart attack or stroke.
- Insulin Resistance
Obese subjects are prone to developing insulin resistance, a condition in which liver, muscle and fat cells are unable to utilise insulin activity as they should. That diminished activity frequently leads to type 2 diabetes. The body responds first by producing more insulin, but the pancreas eventually fails to cope unless treated. Worryingly, patients often remain unaware of their condition until they develop secondary symptoms like blurred vision or sores that fail to heal.
Given that obesity is a common factor in those with type 2 diabetes, any effective treatment must address both weight management and insulin resistance. Subsequent studies have shown that levels of A. muciniphila in the gut of humans with an average body mass index (BMI) are consistently higher than those in obese individuals. Furthermore, additional trials have identified the organism as a probiotic with anti-inflammatory properties and a role in weight management.
A Food Supplement with Akkermansia Gut Bacteria to Manage Weight* and Maintain Health
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