Akkermansia is a type of bacteria that naturally occurs in the human gut, but many of us have low or even undetectable levels. Recent studies have shows this probiotic strain has many benefits including helping your gut and brain.
The gut-brain axis refers to the connection between the gut and the brain, the communication path they take to influence each other. Akkermansia has been shown to be a key player in the microbiome and here are some ways it can benefit both the gut and the brain:
- Improved gut health: Akkermansia has been shown to improve gut health by increasing the thickness of the mucus layer that protects the gut lining, thereby providing an essential defense again invaders and reducing the risk of leaky gut.
- Reduced inflammation: Inflammation is the driver of many chronic diseases, including those affecting the brain and Akkermansia has been proven to lower inflammation.
- Improved Memory: Studies in mice have shown that Akkermansia improved memory and shorted the time to completion of a maze (so it increased the spatial ability part of their brain function). More human studies are needed but so far the results are promising!
- Improved metabolism: Akkermansia also showed in animal and human studies to help with weight loss, reduce body fat, and reduce insulin levels and insulin resistance. These positive changes can reduce inflammation, and improve the gut and brain axis as well.
This probiotic strain has been studied for quite some time but it is now available to take in a pill/supplement form. It can either be taken directly, or other strains like lactobacillus acidophilus can help boost it as well. In addition, eating polyphenol rich foods like apples, berries, coffee, tea, grapes, olives, plums, cocoa powder, flaxseed and even peppermint, can boost your akkermansia levels.
I recommend starting with your food intake, and getting a variety of polyphenol rich foods and fiber, and then using a supplemental form a few days per week to get you that extra boost. My favorite type are those made by Pendulum, and a polyphenol prebiotic blend made by Pure Encapsulations.