Akkermansia 101 and Your Gut Microbiome
In addition to helping to maintain regular digestion, healthy skin, and regular sleep, your gut plays a key role in almost everything that makes you. Therefore, maintaining good gut health is essential for whole-body health and wellbeing.
Thorne’s newest test, the Gut Health Test, helps optimize your gut health by analyzing your microbiome, and providing detailed insights and recommendations for maintaining a happy and healthy gut. So, naturally, Thorne takes a keen interest in anything that can improve gut-microbiome health and wellness.
One such company – Pendulum Therapeutics – is making fantastic strides in microbiome science and the nutritional management of Type 2 diabetes. Their first product is a medical probiotic known as Pendulum Glucose Control, which has been specifically targets the gut microbiome.
What is the Gut Microbiome?
It’s no secret that healthy eating and exercise have always been crucial parts of managing Type 2 diabetes. Now, gut-microbiome health (AKA “gut health”) is a crucial “third component” of Type 2 management.
Living inside every person are trillions of microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other life forms). These microorganisms are collectively known as “the microbiome.” Your microbiome—much like your fingerprint—is unique to you.1
There’s no “blueprint” for a good microbiome. However, when specific types of bacteria are missing from the gut microbiome (the microbiome of the intestinal tract), chronic diseases like Type 2 diabetes can become more likely.1
The connection between the gut-microbiome health and Type 2 diabetes is now widely recognized by:
- The American Diabetes Association
- The Mayo Clinic
- Johns Hopkins [13-15]
In the gut microbiome, the science shows us that, over time, many people with Type 2 diabetes are specifically missing 2 key things:
- Microbes that help metabolize fiber into Butyrate—which is a key molecule needed for balancing insulin and glucose levels, and
- Microbes that regulate the gut lining
Butyrate is important because:
- It can be used for energy by the cells that line the colon (colonocytes)
- It is an important chemical messenger that crosses from the gut into the bloodstream to exert powerful effects throughout your body.20
In addition, Butyrate also plays a role in inflammatory and immune health processes, with far-reaching effects on your whole body.
Who is Pendulum Therapeutics ... And What is Pendulum Glucose Control?
Pendulum Therapeutics is revolutionizing metabolic health through the gut microbiome. Their first product, Pendulum Glucose Control, is a first-of-its-kind medical probiotic containing five strains of health-boosting bacteria plus a prebiotic.
Pendulum’s unique formulation is designed to unlock the metabolic power living in your gut, and has been clinically-shown to improve the nutritional management of Type 2 diabetes.7 In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, people with Type 2 diabetes using metformin and Pendulum Glucose Control demonstrated statistically significant reductions in A1C and blood sugar spikes (AUC).
Pendulum Glucose Control contains 5 types of probiotic strains and an Inulin prebiotic that all play starring roles.1,14,19 The 5 probiotics include:
- Akkermansia muciniphila WB-STR-0001, a gut-lining probiotic.
- Eubacterium hallii (WB-STR-0008), which is a butyrate-producing species. Many people with type 2 diabetes are short on this bacteria.
- Clostridium beijerinckii (WB-STR-0005), which is another butyrate-producing bacteria that is often missing in people with type 2 diabetes.
- Clostridium butyricum (WB-STR-0006), which has been widely studied. Evidence shows that this bacterial species has clinical benefits for people with type 2 diabetes.
- Bifidobacterium infantis 100, which supports digestive health by breaking down complex carbohydrates and producing short-chain fatty acids: like Butyrate.
- Chicory inulin, a prebiotic to help feed the probiotic strains, so they can thrive in your gut and get to work doing their job.
The rock-star of the 5 probiotic strains is Akkermansia muciniphila (“Akkermansia”), and with Pendulum Glucose Control, Akkermansia is now available for purchase.
Akkermansia lives in—and plays a role in protecting/regulating—the inner lining of your gut, (which is often called the ‘mucus layer’). This mucus layer of the gut helps keep partially digested food particles and other substances inside your gut.
When your gut is not healthy, these substances escape into the rest of your body—a phenomenon known as “leaky gut,”5 which results in:
- Heightened inflammation
- Gastrointestinal distress, and
- The development of obesity and Type 2 diabetes.
Akkermansia also helps metabolize fiber into Butyrate-producing bacteria within the gut. (Remember: Butyrate is a key molecule needed for balancing insulin and glucose levels.)
Low Akkermansia levels in your gut can make you susceptible to a wide variety of health issues—including Type 2 diabetes. If you restore Akkermansia—along with other beneficial microbes—you may be able to help your body manage the aforementioned issues.
Final Thoughts on Gut Health
Researchers continue to find connections between the gut microbiome and human health. However, data from decades of research make one thing clear: Cultivating a healthy microbiome is an important part of managing Type 2 diabetes.
When we think about health and disease, we often forget the bacteria residing deep within our guts and the crucial role that plays. But the past couple of decades have revealed just how important the gut microbiome is. It’s a rich ecosystem teaming with life; and, like all ecosystems, it needs to be nurtured.
We can care for our gut microbiome with things like exercise, a fiber-and whole-food-rich diet, and probiotics. When we do that, we encourage a happy microbiome where our gut bacteria protects us and helps keep us healthy.
You can subscribe to Pendulum Glucose Control and get a supply delivered to your doorstep each month. Save 15% on your membership today with code THORNE.
*Pendulum Glucose Control is a probiotic medical food designed to help minimize blood sugar spikes and lower A1C in people with type 2 diabetes taking metformin, compared to placebo. Clinical trial results published in the BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care medical journal. BMJ Open Diabetes is ranked in the Top Quartile (25%) of all journals, which is the highest-possible ranking bestowed by an independent watchdog group called Academic Accelerator.
- Gurung, Manoj et al. “Role of gut microbiota in type 2 diabetes pathophysiology.” EBioMedicine vol. 51 (2020): 102590. doi:10.1016/j.ebiom.2019.11.051 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S235239641930800X
- Tilg, Herbert, and Alexander R Moschen. “Microbiota and Diabetes: An Evolving Relationship.” Gut, vol. 63, no. 9, 2014, pp. 1513–1521., doi:10.1136/gutjnl-2014-306928. https://gut.bmj.com/content/63/9/1513
- Tai, Ningwen et al. “The role of gut microbiota in the development of type 1, type 2 diabetes mellitus and obesity.” Reviews in endocrine & metabolic disorders vol. 16,1 (2015): 55-65. doi:10.1007/s11154-015-9309-0 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4348024/
- Marik, Paul E, and Rinaldo Bellomo. “Stress hyperglycemia: an essential survival response!.” Critical care (London, England) vol. 17,2 305. 6 Mar. 2013, doi:10.1186/cc12514 https://ccforum.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/cc12514
- Geerlings, Sharon Y et al. ``Akkermansia muciniphila in the Human Gastrointestinal Tract: When, Where, and How?.” Microorganisms vol. 6,3 75. 23 Jul. 2018, doi:10.3390/microorganisms6030075 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6163243/
- “Ingestible Pill with Osmotic Engine Explores Unknown Microbiome.” Cambridge Core, www.cambridge.org/core/journals/mrs-bulletin/news/ingestible-pill-with-osmotic-engine-explores-unknown-microbiome.
- Zhou, Kequan. “Strategies to promote abundance of Akkermansia muciniphila, an emerging probiotics in the gut, evidence from dietary intervention studies.” Journal of functional foods vol. 33 (2017): 194-201. doi:10.1016/j.jff.2017.03.045 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30416539/
- Gomes, Aline Corado et al. “Gut microbiota, probiotics and diabetes.” Nutrition journal vol. 13 60. 17 Jun. 2014, doi:10.1186/1475-2891-13-60 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24939063/
- Everard, A., et al. “Cross-Talk between Akkermansia Muciniphila and Intestinal Epithelium Controls Diet-Induced Obesity.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 110, no. 22, 2013, pp. 9066–9071., doi:10.1073/pnas.1219451110. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/236740944_Cross-talk_between_Akkermansia_muciniphila_and_intestinal_epithelium_controls_diet-induced_obesity
- Harvard Health Publishing. “How to Get More Probiotics.” Harvard Health, www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-get-more-probiotics.
- Xu, Yu, et al. “Function of Akkermansia muciniphila in Obesity: Interactions With Lipid Metabolism, Immune Response and Gut Systems.” Frontiers in Microbiology, vol. 11, 2020, doi:10.3389/fmicb.2020.00219.
- Gurung, Manoj et al. “Role of gut microbiota in type 2 diabetes pathophysiology.” EBioMedicine vol. 51 (2020): 102590. doi:10.1016/j.ebiom.2019.11.051
- Tilg, Herbert, and Alexander R Moschen. “Microbiota and Diabetes: An Evolving Relationship.” Gut, vol. 63, no. 9, 2014, pp. 1513–1521., doi:10.1136/gutjnl-2014-306928.
- Tai, Ningwen et al. “The role of gut microbiota in the development of type 1, type 2 diabetes mellitus and obesity.” Reviews in endocrine & metabolic disorders vol. 16,1 (2015): 55-65. doi:10.1007/s11154-015-9309-0
- Kolterman, Orville G., et al. “758-P: Medical Food (MF) with Butyrate Producing (BP) Mucin Regulating (MR) Microbes Improves Glucose Control (GC) in T2D.” Diabetes, vol. 68, no. Supplement 1, 2019, doi:10.2337/db19-758-p.
- Harsch, Igor, and Peter Konturek. “The Role of Gut Microbiota in Obesity and Type 2 and Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus: New Insights into ‘Old’ Diseases.” Medical Sciences, vol. 6, no. 2, 2018, p. 32., doi:10.3390/medsci6020032.
- Perraudeau F, McMurdie P, Bullard J, et al. Improvements to postprandial glucose control in subjects with type 2 diabetes: a multicenter, double blind, randomized placebo-controlled trial of a novel probiotic formulation. BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care. 2020;8:e001319. doi: 10.1136/bmjdrc-2020-001319.
- Ortega, Miguel A et al. “Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Associated with Obesity (Diabesity). The Central Role of Gut Microbiota and Its Translational Applications.” Nutrients vol. 12,9 2749. 9 Sep. 2020, doi:10.3390/nu12092749 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7551493/
- Liu, Hu et al. “Butyrate: A Double-Edged Sword for Health?.” Advances in nutrition (Bethesda, Md.) vol. 9,1 (2018): 21-29. doi:10.1093/advances/nmx009 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29438462/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29438462/