The Microbe MVP: The Unsung Hero of Your Microbial Ecosystem

Written by Dr. Nirvana

February 7, 2024

Did you know that there’s one specific microbe that plays a particularly pivotal role in keeping your ecosystem of microbes that exists in tip-top shape? This microbe is a little bacteria known as Akkermansia muciniphila. The protective layer of mucus that coats the cells in your gut plays a crucial role in keeping your gut barrier strong. This slippery gel-like coating adds an extra layer of defense, thanks to a protein called mucin that is abundant in the mucus. Not only does mucin house many of your gut microbes, but it also acts as a filter, allowing beneficial substances to pass through while preventing harmful ones from breaching the barrier.

Within this mucus layer, there exists a remarkable strain of bacteria called Akkermansia muciniphila. This bacteria thrives by consuming the proteins present in your intestinal mucus. Its ability to survive and flourish in this environment has profound effects on the overall health of your microbiome.

As Akkermansia muciniphila feasts on mucin, it produces compounds called short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). These SCFAs serve as nourishment for other gut microbes, promoting greater diversity within the microbial community in your gut.
Also, by breaking down the mucin, Akkermansia stimulates your intestinal cells to produce more mucus. This, in turn, strengthens the integrity of your intestinal lining, reinforcing the protective barrier.

How Can You Increase Akkermansia Muciniphila Levels?

Would you like to enhance your levels of Akkermansia muciniphila? Explore these lifestyle and dietary suggestions that can foster a favorable gut environment for this beneficial microorganism, guaranteeing its flourishing in a pleasant habitat:
  • Manage stress:Ever been really stressed and lost your appetite or felt the need to vomit? That’s because your brain and gut are directly connected via your gut-brain axis. And chronic stress is notorious for negatively affecting the balance of your gut microbiome. So try engaging in stress-reducing activities such as meditation, being in nature, or deep breathing exercises to create a more harmonious environment in your gut.
  • Eat a diet rich in polyphenols and fiber:
    Akkermansia muciniphila loves to feast on fiber and plant compounds known as polyphenols. Eating a diet rich in a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help support the growth of this beneficial microbe.
  • Prioritize sleepSleep deprivation can put a major damper on your health – especially your gut health. So it’s crucial to prioritize sleep and aim for a minimum of 7 hours of quality sleep each night.

And yes, Akkermansia is available in supplement form, but I generally only recommend it for those that show very low values on the GI Map test. This is an at-home stool test that tells us so much information regarding the good guys and bad guys, including the immunity and integrity of your gut. This is a great place to start, especially if you’ve been experiencing any G.I. upset from bloating to constipation or even burning and nausea in your gut. If you’re interested in knowing more about what’s going on in your gut, you can order your own GI Map test here.

akkermansia for healing your gut

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