A microbe discovered 15 years ago shows promise in reducing health risks associated with overweightness and obesity in those struggling to lose weight. A study published this month in Nature Medicine used an oral supplementation of Akkermansia muciniphila, a bacteria that breaks down proteins in the intestines, containing ten billion colony forming units (CFUs) in 32 overweight and obese patients.
After three months of supplementation, blood markers for liver dysfunction, body inflammation, and total cholesterol were reduced, while insulin sensitivity was improved. Those taking the oral formulation also experienced a 5-pound weight loss. While weight loss was not statistically significant over the time of the study, metabolic markers were significantly improved. Researchers conclude that A. muciniphila is well-tolerated, safe, and could be a meaningful tool in improving the health of obese and overweight patients.
Takeaway: While A. muciniphila supplementation may seem worthwhile for improving health parameters in overweight individuals, keep in mind that there is no magic pill to improve health and induce weight loss. Daily exercise, as well as a balanced, veggie-centric diet can result in exponential improvements in health parameters, and while a probiotic may be able to give you a little extra push in the right direction, real change begins in your kitchen!
For more information on what types of foods to eat for microbially focused weight loss, check out Dr. Chutkan’s book The Microbiome Solution for a complete dietary plan.