12 January - 20 June 2016

Gut microbe may fight obesity and diabetes

22 May 13

The gut is home to innumerable different bacteria – a complex ecosystem that has an active role in a variety of bodily functions.  In a recent study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team of researchers found that in mice, just one of those bacterial species plays a major part in controlling obesity and metabolic disorders such as type 2 diabetes.  Akkermansia muciniphila comprise between 3 and 5% of the gut microbes of healthy mammals.  There is an inverse correlation between body weight and abundance of A. muciniphila in mice and humans.  The study led by Patrice Cani at the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium found that mice that were fed a high-fat diet had 100 times less A. muciniphila in their guts than mice fed normal diets.  The researchers were able to restore normal levels of the bacterium by feeding the mice live A. muciniphila, as well as ‘prebiotic’ foods that encourage the growth of gut microbes.  When normal levels were established, the mice lost weight and developed a better fat to lean mass ratio.  Insulin resistance and adipose tissue inflammation, all associated with obesity and type 2 diabetes, also decreased.  Metabolic endotoxemia, another related condition, was abolished, while fasting hyperglycemia was reversed.  There was an increase in levels of endocannabinoids, which help control blood glucose levels, the gut barrier and inflammation.  Intestinal mucus, which normally erodes with weight gain, became thicker.  The mucus that lines the intestines acts as a barrier to harmful microbes, so A. muciniphila could play an important role in preventing inflammation and other disease triggers.  Cani says scientists should study whether A. muciniphila could help treat obesity and related metabolic disorders in humans. 

RSSL's Product and Ingredient Innovation Team has considerable experience in formulating products containing prebiotics and probiotics. For more information please contact Customer Services on Freephone 0800 243482 or email enquiries@rssl.com

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