Gut health is crucial for overall health and gut health starts with the microbiome, the bacteria that live in the intestines. Recent focus by researchers has been on finding individual bacteria strains that promote general health. One of the most promising is Akkermansia muciniphila. Unlike most probiotic species, this bacteria lives in the mucus lining of the gut, the natural defense barrier which maintains the health of the intestines. This position allows it to interact with the cells that line the intestines and nearby immune cells improving immune health. Low levels of Akkermansia muciniphila have been linked to obesity, inflammatory bowel diseases, autoimmune diseases, and diabetes while higher levels are linked to healthier weight, lower body fat and better insulin sensitivity.
Researchers have reported that Akkermansia muciniphila:
- Lowered body weight and fat mass
- Reduced blood pressure and A1C
- Improved liver enzymes
- Reduced total cholesterol
- Produces the short chain fatty acids (SCFA) acetate and propionate that provide anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant benefits while helping to regulate appetite
- Acetate encourages the growth of another bacteria that produces the SCFA butyrate.
- Helps maintain the thickness of the mucus layer
- Increased the expression of proteins that strengthen the tight junctions of the intestinal cells.
The pasteurized form of Akkermansia muciniphila had better results and also improved insulin resistance.
Frontiers in Immunology, 2022. Nature Medicine, 2019. Frontier in Cellular and Infection Microbiology, 2018