Akkermansia: The tiny gut tenant that tunes your heart health

Akkermansia - The tiny gut tenant that tunes your heart health.jpg

Akkermansia - The tiny gut tenant that tunes your heart health.jpg

The importance of gut health

Maintaining good health is a multifaceted endeavor, and one crucial aspect that often goes unnoticed is the health of our gut. The gut (stomach, intestines, and even up to the rectum) is now increasingly being referred to as “the second brain” as it plays a pivotal role in our overall well-being. It is also where the complex interplay between our bodies and trillions of microorganisms occurs, making it a fascinating and essential part of our biology.

That being said, what even is Akkermansia?

Akkermansia mucinophila is the full name of this little bacterium and it is a part of your gut microbiome. This type of bacteria is present in high levels in a healthy gut with it making up to 3% of the total variety. [1] As suggested by the name “mucinophila”, this bacteria feeds on mucin, which is a protein present in abundance in the lining of your gut cells. This lining acts as a barrier between your gut cells and bad bacteria and is effectively a filter for anything trying to get in or out. Without mucin present, Akkermansia cannot function properly. Interestingly and somewhat counterintuitively, by eating away at this protein, it promotes more bacterial diversity and thickening of the lining by generating an environment conducive to growth. [1]

The problem

The current estimated prevalence of functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGID) disorders is close to 40% of the whole world. [2] What this means is that if you were to pick 40 out of 100 random people, they would most likely have some form of intestinal function impairment. Below is a small list of them.

  • Irritable bowel syndrome: A disorder causing belly pain, bloating, and changes in bowel habits.
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease: A condition where stomach acid frequently flows back into the tube connecting your mouth and stomach (esophagus).
  • Functional dyspepsia: Commonly known as indigestion, it’s discomfort or pain in the upper abdomen.
  • Functional nausea and vomiting: Frequent feelings of needing to vomit or actual vomiting without a clear cause.
  • Functional abdominal pain: Pain in the abdomen without a known cause

The relationship between these diseases and intestinal permeability is a complex one and can vary in cause and effect (best to consult your doctor if it applies to you); however, having a strong lining and diverse bacteria present in your gut microbiome strengthens your ability to fight disease. [3]

The cure?

There are many downstream effects caused by supplementing with Akkermansia. In the clinical studies done by researchers, there were three main ones that we think should be highlighted. [4][5][6]

  • Blood Pressure: Akkermansia provides a heart healthy environment by reducing cholesterol levels.
  • Insulin Resistance: by producing fatty acids necessary for stabilizing glucose, and by increasing insulin sensitivity, akkermansia can help manage sugar levels in your blood.
  • Anti-inflammatory: while the mechanism isn’t fully understood yet, akkermansia has been shown to reduce inflammation in the intestines.

Now while we focused on akkermansia in this article, there are so many more microbes that help you function. Humans are an ecosystem and therefore, YOU, are an ecosystem. That may sound weird or unusual, but this is the truth. The human body is akin to a forest. When you cultivate trees and create habitats, numerous creatures flock to this forest to establish it as their home. Just as the animals in an ecosystem share a symbiotic relationship with their environment, so does your microbiome with you. If you take care of your microbiome, it will take care of you.

Supplement Facts
Serving size: 1 Tablet
Servings Per Container: 30
Ingredient Amount Per Serving % Daily Value
Vitamin D (as cholecalciferol) 5 mcg 25%
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) 0.21 mg 16%
Chromium (as chromium picolinate) 200 mcg 571%
Green tea leaf (Camellia sinensis) Extract 200 mg *
Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) 100 mg *
A proprietary pasteurized Akkermansia muciniphila blend 150 mg (30 billion TFU) *
*Daily Value not established.

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Works cited:

[1] Microorganisms | Free Full-Text | Akkermansia muciniphila in the Human Gastrointestinal Tract: When, Where, and How? (mdpi.com)
[2] Sperber, A.D.; Bangdiwala, S.I.; Drossman, D.A.; Ghoshal, U.C.; Simren, M.; Tack, J.; Whitehead, W.E.; Dumitrascu, D.L.; Fang, X.; Fukudo, S.; et al. Worldwide Prevalence and Burden of Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, Results of Rome Foundation Global Study. Gastroenterology 2021, 160, 99–114.e3
[3] Study shows diverse gut bacteria communities protect against harmful pathogens by nutrient blocking | University of Oxford
[4] The potential impact of a probiotic: Akkermansia muciniphila in the regulation of blood pressure—the current facts and evidence | Journal of Translational Medicine | Full Text (biomedcentral.com)
[5] Probiotics supplementation and insulin resistance: a systematic review | Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome | Full Text (biomedcentral.com)
[6] Frontiers | The role of Akkermansia muciniphila in inflammatory bowel disease: Current knowledge and perspectives (frontiersin.org)