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Akkermansia muciniphila

A name that says it all

Akkermansia muciniphila is a bacterium with health benefits. Its name comes from a microbiologist Antoon Akkermans and its species name muciniphila means that this bacterium “prefers mucin1“.

Akkermansia is thought to play a role in the secretion of intestinal mucus2, increasing the thickness of the intestinal barrier, which prevents invasion by pathogenic3 microbes. Akkermansia is associated with a reduced risk of inflammatory diseases of the digestive tract and with a lower weight gain.

A beneficial bacterium

This bacterium represents about 2 to 3% of the bacteria in the intestine. Studies analyzing the intestinal microbiota have shown that this bacterium was reduced in number in patients who were overweight and/or had higher cholesterol levels. A link with sugar levels has also been identified. Thus, this bacterium could improve the metabolism4 of sugars and lipids. In addition, this health-promoting bacterium could increase immune defenses and reduce inflammation. These different favorable effects of Akkermansia led some people to propose this bacterium as a probiotic5 medication.