The One Gut Bacterium You Have To Boost (and Here’s How)

Hans

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There is so much controversy over gut bacteria and if we should lower it or boost it or try to modulate it.
Well, we have a gut microbiota whether we like it not, so we have to make the best of it.

Lowering gut bacteria with antibiotics can be very helpful, but is rarely a long term solution. Eating the right diet will make the most difference, but we still have to optimize our lifestyle as well, because things outside the gut, such as stress, lack of sunlight, low vitamin D, nutrient deficiencies, lack of movement, poor sleep, etc., can also have a negative effect on the gut.

However, one bacterial species that seems to have a lot of benefits is Akkermansia muciniphila.

I wrote an article on the benefits of A. muciniphila and how to boost it:
The one gut bacterium you have to boost (and here's how) » MENELITE

Let me know your thoughts.
 

Tarmander

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Yeaaaahhh! Microbiome in the house!

I have been trying to raise my Akkermansia levels for months now.

I took 6-9 capsules of cranberry everyday for months and it worked marginally but not great as shown on a stool test

Per your article:

-point 2 and 4 conflict with each other a bit. The crazy thing about the microbiome is how some bacteria can increase the abundance of other bacteria. One of the best ways to increase bifido is inulin which in turn can help Akk like you said.

-point 7 is the most accessible to people as supplementing cranberry or pomegranate is pretty safe. But I am not sure how well it actually works. I have heard that the reason cranberry is associated with increased Akkermansia is because Akkermansia lives on cranberries in the wild...hence eating them would increase your levels. Around me, I have never seen a fresh cranberry for sale so can't really test this out.

This bifido probiotic apparently raises akker: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GQMVJZ...olid=1AMS6O4BGMM92&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

There is now an Akker probiotic on the market, it's just crazy expensive: Pendulum Glucose Control

I tried it for a month (they recommend 3 months but I wasn't about to drop that kind of cash) and noticed a bit deeper of a voice, but that was it. Did not raise my levels that much on my microbiome test. Maybe you need to go with the full 3 months
 

pauljacob

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Thank you Hans for this excellent, eye-opening (or should I say gut-opening) article. I will read this couple more times to make sure I absorb all the information in it. Question: Since I don't eat meat, fish, or fowl (I stopped calling myself Vegetarian because 90% of people confuse that with Vegan), and eat a lot of Yogurt which I make with live yogurt culture, is Yogurt beneficial to A. Muciniphila or not? Is Yogurt agonist or antagonist?
 

Hans

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Yeaaaahhh! Microbiome in the house!

I have been trying to raise my Akkermansia levels for months now.

I took 6-9 capsules of cranberry everyday for months and it worked marginally but not great as shown on a stool test

Per your article:

-point 2 and 4 conflict with each other a bit. The crazy thing about the microbiome is how some bacteria can increase the abundance of other bacteria. One of the best ways to increase bifido is inulin which in turn can help Akk like you said.

-point 7 is the most accessible to people as supplementing cranberry or pomegranate is pretty safe. But I am not sure how well it actually works. I have heard that the reason cranberry is associated with increased Akkermansia is because Akkermansia lives on cranberries in the wild...hence eating them would increase your levels. Around me, I have never seen a fresh cranberry for sale so can't really test this out.

This bifido probiotic apparently raises akker: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GQMVJZ...olid=1AMS6O4BGMM92&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

There is now an Akker probiotic on the market, it's just crazy expensive: Pendulum Glucose Control

I tried it for a month (they recommend 3 months but I wasn't about to drop that kind of cash) and noticed a bit deeper of a voice, but that was it. Did not raise my levels that much on my microbiome test. Maybe you need to go with the full 3 months
Yeah, point 2 and 4 are slightly contradictory, but a fiber free diet probably increases mucus which provides food for akkermansia, whereas bifido can increase akkermansia through cross-feeding. I'd rather go with fiber-free if I had severe gut irritation. That's just the safest option IMO and experience.

I was looking for an Akkermansia probiotic but couldn't find one so that's for linking one. But yeah, I'd rather go with food than a pro-biotics, but perhaps combining the two might be more helpful, who knows.

What else have you tried to increase Akkermansia?
 

Hans

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Thank you Hans for this excellent, eye-opening (or should I say gut-opening) article. I will read this couple more times to make sure I absorb all the information in it. Question: Since I don't eat meat, fish, or fowl (I stopped calling myself Vegetarian because 90% of people confuse that with Vegan), and eat a lot of Yogurt which I make with live yogurt culture, is Yogurt beneficial to A. Muciniphila or not? Is Yogurt agonist or antagonist?
My pleasure man. Yogurt might probably increase akkermansia through cross feeding, but not sure. I've rather seen evidence about bifido species increasing akkermansia, so if yogurt increase bifido species, then it might increase akkermansia as well.
 

Tarmander

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Yeah, point 2 and 4 are slightly contradictory, but a fiber free diet probably increases mucus which provides food for akkermansia, whereas bifido can increase akkermansia through cross-feeding. I'd rather go with fiber-free if I had severe gut irritation. That's just the safest option IMO and experience.

I was looking for an Akkermansia probiotic but couldn't find one so that's for linking one. But yeah, I'd rather go with food than a pro-biotics, but perhaps combining the two might be more helpful, who knows.

What else have you tried to increase Akkermansia?

The fiber thing probably depends on your personal levels of bifido. If they are already high then yes fiber would be worthless.

Mostly just the pendulum probiotic and cranberry pills. Normal levels of Akkermansia from my gut testing would be .018. Mine went from .002 to .004. A doubling sure, but not that impressive. I haven't tried that bifido probiotic I linked above but when I get back on trying to raise Akker I will try that out.
 

Hans

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The fiber thing probably depends on your personal levels of bifido. If they are already high then yes fiber would be worthless.

Mostly just the pendulum probiotic and cranberry pills. Normal levels of Akkermansia from my gut testing would be .018. Mine went from .002 to .004. A doubling sure, but not that impressive. I haven't tried that bifido probiotic I linked above but when I get back on trying to raise Akker I will try that out.
Interestingly, the Hadza tribe has low Bifido, so I'm not even sure high is better.
 

Tarmander

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Interestingly, the Hadza tribe has low Bifido, so I'm not even sure high is better.
yeah that is arguable. My levels are pretty low. I think you can say that bifido in infants is a good thing because all the prebiotics in breastmilk feed bifido really well.
 

Hans

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yeah that is arguable. My levels are pretty low. I think you can say that bifido in infants is a good thing because all the prebiotics in breastmilk feed bifido really well.
True, the oligosaccarides skyrocket bifidobacteria.
 
J

jb116

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In this study, they talk about the abundance of Akkermansia among others in Crohn's (which is close to home for me), and rather point to 2 others in abundance in actually healthy subjects.

"...Akkermansia, Megamonas, and Roseburia; FDR <0.05] were more highly abundant in patients with CD. Many of the genera which were enriched in healthy subjects belonged to the Lachnospiraceae and Ruminococcaceae familie..."



Early Postoperative Endoscopic Recurrence in Crohn’s Disease Is Characterised by Distinct Microbiota Recolonisation
 

Hans

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In this study, they talk about the abundance of Akkermansia among others in Crohn's (which is close to home for me), and rather point to 2 others in abundance in actually healthy subjects.

"...Akkermansia, Megamonas, and Roseburia; FDR <0.05] were more highly abundant in patients with CD. Many of the genera which were enriched in healthy subjects belonged to the Lachnospiraceae and Ruminococcaceae familie..."



Early Postoperative Endoscopic Recurrence in Crohn’s Disease Is Characterised by Distinct Microbiota Recolonisation
Some speculate that Akkermansia is increased as a defence mechanism to induce healing.
 
J

jb116

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Some speculate that Akkermansia is increased as a defence mechanism to induce healing.
That's interesting, one of those situations. Hmm, hard to say then if it's a cause or a correlation.
 

Atman

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Some speculate that Akkermansia is increased as a defence mechanism to induce healing.
That sounds like vegan logic:
If you are doing better on veganism, its because of veganism.
If you are doing worse, it's because you are detoxing.
 

Mito

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Some speculate that Akkermansia is increased as a defence mechanism to induce healing.

“An important question is whether administration of Akkermansia should be regarded as a safe approach to prevent or even reverse metabolic diseases. Several studies have shown that raising the presence of Akkermansia in the gut microbiota is related to improved metabolic outcomes in animal models2,12,26,34,36 and also in human subjects.40,41However, one study reported a positive correlation between Akkermansia and type 2 diabetes in a Chinese cohort.42Moreover, the hiperproliferative effect of dietary-heme in the gut was associated with the mucolytic activity of Akkermansia.43 More importantly, there seems to be no consensus on the role of Akkermansia in other chronic inflammatory settings such as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD)-related gut dysbiosis. Indeed, while some groups have reported a depletion of Akkermansia together with enriched Fusobacterium spp and other mucolytic bacteria in the gut microbiota of both humans and animals models of IBD, 44-49 others have observed an increased presence of Akkermansia in relation with these diseases.50,51

One possible explanation for the observation of increased presence of Akkermansia in the gut microbiota of IBD models may rely on the fact that Akkermansia, besides being strictly anaerobe, can tolerate some exposure to oxygen,39 which probably confers resistance against highly oxidative environments as that found in the gut microbiota of IBD models. Akkermansia may thus find a favorable environment to thrive, which can be further sustained by a wide availability of energetic substrate (ie, mucins). Moreover, such an opportunistic overgrowth of Akkermansia takes place in an intestinal environment where several mucin-degraders are also blooming, which may act conjointly in order to reduce mucus layer thickness. It should also be mentioned that overabundance of Akkermansia in the gut is not always associated with benefits: oral administration of Akkermansia to germ-free mice prior to Salmonella typhimurium infection was found to worsen the intestinal pro-inflammatory response,52 therefore suggesting that exogenously promoting Akkermansia's abundance is not advantageous for the host in some infectious settings. Furthermore, host's immune response to Akkermansia may be compromised in some inflammatory conditions. For instance, IL10−/− mice display an abnormal intestinal inflammatory response that can possibly overwhelm the intestinal immune response to Akkermansia.51 Mucus secretion by goblet cells is closely associated with a tightly controlled activation of the immune system,32 which is probably one mechanism that Akkermansia can recruit in order to increase mucus secretion. However, in IL10−/− mice, Akkermansia may trigger an exaggerated immune response, which undermines mucus secretion and results in impaired gut barrier. In addition, the existence of strains other than MucT(ATCC BAA-835) may also explain why Akkermansia was found to be positively correlated with some but not all gut inflammatory settings. Indeed, the possibility that at least 8 different species of Akkermansia exist has been previously reported,53 and Guo et al. recently identified 12 distinct subtypes of Akkermansia muciniphila in stool samples from a southern Chinese population.54
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19490976.2016.1142036
 

Hans

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That sounds like vegan logic:
If you are doing better on veganism, its because of veganism.
If you are doing worse, it's because you are detoxing.
True. I'd say an overgrowth of anything is bad, but it's the inflammation that's causing the dysbiosis. Killing off everything might help a bit, but resolving the inflammation by avoiding whatever is causing the inflammation in the first place is a better idea.
 

Hans

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“An important question is whether administration of Akkermansia should be regarded as a safe approach to prevent or even reverse metabolic diseases. Several studies have shown that raising the presence of Akkermansia in the gut microbiota is related to improved metabolic outcomes in animal models2,12,26,34,36 and also in human subjects.40,41However, one study reported a positive correlation between Akkermansia and type 2 diabetes in a Chinese cohort.42Moreover, the hiperproliferative effect of dietary-heme in the gut was associated with the mucolytic activity of Akkermansia.43 More importantly, there seems to be no consensus on the role of Akkermansia in other chronic inflammatory settings such as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD)-related gut dysbiosis. Indeed, while some groups have reported a depletion of Akkermansia together with enriched Fusobacterium spp and other mucolytic bacteria in the gut microbiota of both humans and animals models of IBD, 44-49 others have observed an increased presence of Akkermansia in relation with these diseases.50,51

One possible explanation for the observation of increased presence of Akkermansia in the gut microbiota of IBD models may rely on the fact that Akkermansia, besides being strictly anaerobe, can tolerate some exposure to oxygen,39 which probably confers resistance against highly oxidative environments as that found in the gut microbiota of IBD models. Akkermansia may thus find a favorable environment to thrive, which can be further sustained by a wide availability of energetic substrate (ie, mucins). Moreover, such an opportunistic overgrowth of Akkermansia takes place in an intestinal environment where several mucin-degraders are also blooming, which may act conjointly in order to reduce mucus layer thickness. It should also be mentioned that overabundance of Akkermansia in the gut is not always associated with benefits: oral administration of Akkermansia to germ-free mice prior to Salmonella typhimurium infection was found to worsen the intestinal pro-inflammatory response,52 therefore suggesting that exogenously promoting Akkermansia's abundance is not advantageous for the host in some infectious settings. Furthermore, host's immune response to Akkermansia may be compromised in some inflammatory conditions. For instance, IL10−/− mice display an abnormal intestinal inflammatory response that can possibly overwhelm the intestinal immune response to Akkermansia.51 Mucus secretion by goblet cells is closely associated with a tightly controlled activation of the immune system,32 which is probably one mechanism that Akkermansia can recruit in order to increase mucus secretion. However, in IL10−/− mice, Akkermansia may trigger an exaggerated immune response, which undermines mucus secretion and results in impaired gut barrier. In addition, the existence of strains other than MucT(ATCC BAA-835) may also explain why Akkermansia was found to be positively correlated with some but not all gut inflammatory settings. Indeed, the possibility that at least 8 different species of Akkermansia exist has been previously reported,53 and Guo et al. recently identified 12 distinct subtypes of Akkermansia muciniphila in stool samples from a southern Chinese population.54
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19490976.2016.1142036
Inflammation can cause all kinds of things to happen, such as increase or decrease certain strains. We only share about 1/3 similarities between each other, so 2/3 of our gut microbiome is unique.

I won't say Akkermansia causes inflammatory conditions in healthy amounts, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that it has benefits. Inflammation can either increase or decrease it, and since it's a gram negative bacteria, in excess it can contribute to excess endotoxins as of other things. So is the solution to lower Akkermansia when it's high? I'd rather focus on lowering the inflammation, which will then lower the Akkermansia back to normal levels. In the absence of inflammation, I don't think akkermansia will grow out of control. Else you better not eat more than two apple and 1 pomegranate per day or your akkermansia will get out of hand.

If you deal with the inflammation, then akkermansia might increase if it's low or decrease if it's too high.
But in some cases, akkermansia stays low even if inflammation has been resolved. If the person is still not in good health, even with a minimalistic diet, then it might be worthwhile to focus on boosting akkermansia. Plus, all the things I mentioned to increase akkermansia will not increase it in isolation. All those foods and supplements will have an effect on the whole gut microbiome and not just on akkermansia.
 

Mito

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What do you think about the studies that claim unsaturated fats, like fish oil, increases akkermansia? Maybe increasing inflammation from PUFA increases Akkermansia muciniphila?
5C6123AA-A0D7-408C-A6CE-7D4998269C77.jpeg Influence of diet on the gut microbiome and implications for human health

“A comparison of lard-derived and fish oil-derived lipids revealed that Bacteroides and Bilophila were increased in lard-fed mice, while Actinobacteria (Bifidobacterium and Adlercreutzia), lactic acid bacteria (Lactobacillus and Streptococcus), and Verrucomicrobia (Akkermansia muciniphila) were increased in fish-oil-fed mice.
Influence of diet on the gut microbiome and implications for human health
 

Hans

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What do you think about the studies that claim unsaturated fats, like fish oil, increases akkermansia? Maybe increasing inflammation from PUFA increases Akkermansia muciniphila?
View attachment 19259 Influence of diet on the gut microbiome and implications for human health

“A comparison of lard-derived and fish oil-derived lipids revealed that Bacteroides and Bilophila were increased in lard-fed mice, while Actinobacteria (Bifidobacterium and Adlercreutzia), lactic acid bacteria (Lactobacillus and Streptococcus), and Verrucomicrobia (Akkermansia muciniphila) were increased in fish-oil-fed mice.
Influence of diet on the gut microbiome and implications for human health
The study showed that the fish oil diet didn't increase akkermansia after 3 weeks, but only after 11 weeks, which I think is rather due to cross feeding, instead of increasing it directly. The lard diet increased inflammation, which didn't increase or lower akkermansia in this study. So in this mouse study, lard increased inflammation and didn't increase Akkermansia, whereas the fish oil diet increased Akkermansia through cross-feeding and it didn't increase inflammation similar to the lard diet. Maybe if they used something to increase akkermansia in the lard group, it would have stopped the inflammation.
 

piiccios

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Hi Hans! Great info and thanks for putting in the time to lay it out so clearly.

Was wondering if you have looked into bacterial redox signalling that in turn then supports the tight junctions? Products like Ion Biome..?
 

Hans

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Hi Hans! Great info and thanks for putting in the time to lay it out so clearly.

Was wondering if you have looked into bacterial redox signalling that in turn then supports the tight junctions? Products like Ion Biome..?
I have not specifically looked into bacterial redox signalling as I'm currently researching gut bacteria and PSSD, PFS, epigenetic modifications, etc., but I'm well aware that certain bacteria cause inflammation and promote leaky gut.
 
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