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Akkermansia

Akkermansia (typically short for Akkermansia muciniphila) is important for a healthy gut microbiome, contributing to the maintenance of the mucus layer, supporting immune function and gut barrier integrity and regulating inflammation. The body of evidence documenting its role in promoting metabolic health keeps growing. Here are a few crucial reasons Akkermansia is so important for human health:

  1. Mucin degradation: Akkermansia specialises in breaking down the mucus lining of the gut, which helps regenerate the mucus layer and maintain a healthy gut barrier.1Geerlings SY, Kostopoulos I, de Vos WM, Belzer C. Akkermansia muciniphila in the Human Gastrointestinal Tract: When, Where, and How? Microorganisms. 2018 Jul 23;6(3):75. doi: 10.3390/microorganisms6030075.2Kim S, Shin YC, Kim TY, Kim Y, Lee YS, Lee SH, Kim MN, O E, Kim KS, Kweon MN. Mucin degrader Akkermansia muciniphila accelerates intestinal stem cell-mediated epithelial development. Gut Microbes. 2021 Jan-Dec;13(1):1-20. doi: 10.1080/19490976.2021.1892441.
  2. Supporting the immune system: Akkermansia interacts with gut cells, stimulating and regulating immune responses, and defending the body against harmful pathogens.3Rodrigues VF, Elias-Oliveira J, Pereira ÍS, Pereira JA, Barbosa SC, Machado MSG, Carlos D. Akkermansia muciniphila and Gut Immune System: A Good Friendship That Attenuates Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Obesity, and Diabetes. Front Immunol. 2022 Jul 7;13:934695. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2022.934695.4Ansaldo E, Slayden LC, Ching KL, Koch MA, Wolf NK, Plichta DR, Brown EM, Graham DB, Xavier RJ, Moon JJ, Barton GM. Akkermansia muciniphila induces intestinal adaptive immune responses during homeostasis. Science. 2019 Jun 21;364(6446):1179-1184. doi: 10.1126/science.aaw7479.
  3. Maintaining gut barrier function: By contributing to a healthy mucus layer, Akkermansia helps prevent harmful substances and pathogens from entering the bloodstream.5Daniel N, Gewirtz AT, Chassaing B. Akkermansia muciniphila counteracts the deleterious effects of dietary emulsifiers on microbiota and host metabolism. Gut. 2023 May;72(5):906-917. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2021-326835.
  4. Regulating inflammation: Akkermansia has anti-inflammatory properties, helping to reduce excessive inflammation in the body.6Zheng M, Han R, Yuan Y, Xing Y, Zhang W, Sun Z, Liu Y, Li J, Mao T. The role of Akkermansia muciniphila in inflammatory bowel disease: Current knowledge and perspectives. Front Immunol. 2023 Jan 6;13:1089600. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2022.1089600.7Liu, Y., Liu, Q., Zhang, C., Zhao, J., Zhang, H., Chen, W., & Zhai, Q. (2023). Strain-specific effects of Akkermansia muciniphila on the regulation of intestinal barrier. Food Science and Human Wellness, 12(5), 1526-1537. doi: 10.1016/j.fshw.2023.02.022
  5. Metabolic health: Research suggests that Akkermansia may play a role in maintaining a healthy metabolism, potentially influencing body weight, glucose regulation, and cholesterol levels.8Dao MC, Everard A, Aron-Wisnewsky J, Sokolovska N, Prifti E, Verger EO, Kayser BD, Levenez F, Chilloux J, Hoyles L; MICRO-Obes Consortium; Dumas ME, Rizkalla SW, Doré J, Cani PD, Clément K. Akkermansia muciniphila and improved metabolic health during a dietary intervention in obesity: relationship with gut microbiome richness and ecology. Gut. 2016 Mar;65(3):426-36. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2014-308778.9Xu Y, Wang N, Tan HY, Li S, Zhang C, Feng Y. Function of Akkermansia muciniphila in Obesity: Interactions With Lipid Metabolism, Immune Response and Gut Systems. Front Microbiol. 2020 Feb 21;11:219. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2020.00219.10Sanjiwani MID, Aryadi IPH, Semadi IMS. Review of Literature on Akkermansia muciniphila and its Possible Role in the Etiopathogenesis and Therapy of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. J ASEAN Fed Endocr Soc. 2022;37(1):69-74. doi: 10.15605/jafes.037.01.13.

What are the best sources of Akkermansia?

Akkermansia is a native microbe of the human gut. There are no food sources. Food supplements are currently being tested in clinical trials.11Depommier C, Everard A, Druart C, Plovier H, Van Hul M, Vieira-Silva S, Falony G, Raes J, Maiter D, Delzenne NM, de Barsy M, Loumaye A, Hermans MP, Thissen JP, de Vos WM, Cani PD. Supplementation with Akkermansia muciniphila in overweight and obese human volunteers: a proof-of-concept exploratory study. Nat Med. 2019 Jul;25(7):1096-1103. doi: 10.1038/s41591-019-0495-2.

What foods can Akkermansia feed on?

Berries, pomegranate seeds and grapes are amongst the polyphenol-rich foods that Akkermansia seems to thrive on. 12Zhou K. Strategies to promote abundance of Akkermansia muciniphila, an emerging probiotics in the gut, evidence from dietary intervention studies. J Funct Foods. 2017 Jun;33:194-201. doi: 10.1016/j.jff.2017.03.045.

Where to find Akkermansia in the Chuckling Goat Gut Microbiome Test

You can find your Akkermansia score in the “Metabolic regulators” section of the “Probiotics” report in the Chuckling Goat Gut Microbiome Test results.

Synonyms: Akkermansia muciniphila, Verrucomicrobiae, A. muciniphila, metabolic regulators, metabolism-regulating bacteria

Version and date: Version 1. 20th June 2023

Author: Dr Miguel Toribio-Mateas BSc (Hons) MSc DProf MRSB

Important disclaimer

The Chuckling Goat Gut Microbiome Handbook is an educational resource built to translate complex science into plain English. The information provided on this page is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your GP or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Always check with your GP for interactions with medications/health conditions before changing your diet or starting to take food supplements.

References

  • 1
    Geerlings SY, Kostopoulos I, de Vos WM, Belzer C. Akkermansia muciniphila in the Human Gastrointestinal Tract: When, Where, and How? Microorganisms. 2018 Jul 23;6(3):75. doi: 10.3390/microorganisms6030075.
  • 2
    Kim S, Shin YC, Kim TY, Kim Y, Lee YS, Lee SH, Kim MN, O E, Kim KS, Kweon MN. Mucin degrader Akkermansia muciniphila accelerates intestinal stem cell-mediated epithelial development. Gut Microbes. 2021 Jan-Dec;13(1):1-20. doi: 10.1080/19490976.2021.1892441.
  • 3
    Rodrigues VF, Elias-Oliveira J, Pereira ÍS, Pereira JA, Barbosa SC, Machado MSG, Carlos D. Akkermansia muciniphila and Gut Immune System: A Good Friendship That Attenuates Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Obesity, and Diabetes. Front Immunol. 2022 Jul 7;13:934695. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2022.934695.
  • 4
    Ansaldo E, Slayden LC, Ching KL, Koch MA, Wolf NK, Plichta DR, Brown EM, Graham DB, Xavier RJ, Moon JJ, Barton GM. Akkermansia muciniphila induces intestinal adaptive immune responses during homeostasis. Science. 2019 Jun 21;364(6446):1179-1184. doi: 10.1126/science.aaw7479.
  • 5
    Daniel N, Gewirtz AT, Chassaing B. Akkermansia muciniphila counteracts the deleterious effects of dietary emulsifiers on microbiota and host metabolism. Gut. 2023 May;72(5):906-917. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2021-326835.
  • 6
    Zheng M, Han R, Yuan Y, Xing Y, Zhang W, Sun Z, Liu Y, Li J, Mao T. The role of Akkermansia muciniphila in inflammatory bowel disease: Current knowledge and perspectives. Front Immunol. 2023 Jan 6;13:1089600. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2022.1089600.
  • 7
    Liu, Y., Liu, Q., Zhang, C., Zhao, J., Zhang, H., Chen, W., & Zhai, Q. (2023). Strain-specific effects of Akkermansia muciniphila on the regulation of intestinal barrier. Food Science and Human Wellness, 12(5), 1526-1537. doi: 10.1016/j.fshw.2023.02.022
  • 8
    Dao MC, Everard A, Aron-Wisnewsky J, Sokolovska N, Prifti E, Verger EO, Kayser BD, Levenez F, Chilloux J, Hoyles L; MICRO-Obes Consortium; Dumas ME, Rizkalla SW, Doré J, Cani PD, Clément K. Akkermansia muciniphila and improved metabolic health during a dietary intervention in obesity: relationship with gut microbiome richness and ecology. Gut. 2016 Mar;65(3):426-36. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2014-308778.
  • 9
    Xu Y, Wang N, Tan HY, Li S, Zhang C, Feng Y. Function of Akkermansia muciniphila in Obesity: Interactions With Lipid Metabolism, Immune Response and Gut Systems. Front Microbiol. 2020 Feb 21;11:219. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2020.00219.
  • 10
    Sanjiwani MID, Aryadi IPH, Semadi IMS. Review of Literature on Akkermansia muciniphila and its Possible Role in the Etiopathogenesis and Therapy of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. J ASEAN Fed Endocr Soc. 2022;37(1):69-74. doi: 10.15605/jafes.037.01.13.
  • 11
    Depommier C, Everard A, Druart C, Plovier H, Van Hul M, Vieira-Silva S, Falony G, Raes J, Maiter D, Delzenne NM, de Barsy M, Loumaye A, Hermans MP, Thissen JP, de Vos WM, Cani PD. Supplementation with Akkermansia muciniphila in overweight and obese human volunteers: a proof-of-concept exploratory study. Nat Med. 2019 Jul;25(7):1096-1103. doi: 10.1038/s41591-019-0495-2.
  • 12
    Zhou K. Strategies to promote abundance of Akkermansia muciniphila, an emerging probiotics in the gut, evidence from dietary intervention studies. J Funct Foods. 2017 Jun;33:194-201. doi: 10.1016/j.jff.2017.03.045.

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