What is Akkermansia muciniphila?

“We are at the beginning of a Gut-Microbiome Renaissance.”

That’s how Kristin Neusel, MS, RD, LD, CDCES, describes the current state of health and wellness.

 Pendulum—a San Francisco-based biotech company—is at the heart of the “Gut-Microbiome Renaissance” with its assortment of probiotics formulated with Akkermansia muciniphila: Glucose Control, Akkermansia, and Metabolic Daily.

Which Probiotic Containing Akkermansia is Right for You?
Well that depends on what issues you’re hoping to target.

Glucose Control 
Helps lower A1C levels and post-meal glucose spikes in type 2 diabetes
Get Glucose Control

Keystone strain reinforces the gut barrier lining to improve digestive health
Get Akkermansia

Metabolic Daily
Optimizes metabolism to help break down fiber, sugar, and carbohydrates
Get Metabolic Daily 


But before we dive into the Pendulum assortment of probiotics formulated with Akkermansia, let's start with the basics...

What is Akkermansia?
Hippocrates famously stated that “all disease begins in the gut.” 2,400 years later— and through the gut microbiome—we're finally discovering what Hippocrates meant. The gut microbiome didn’t even show up on anybody’s radar until the 1990s, and only recently has there been any effort to inform people of the role the gut microbiome plays on overall health. In 2004, it was discovered that lower Akkermansia muciniphila levels in the gut were connected to metabolic syndrome. Today, continued research into Akkermansia has changed how we approach gut health.
  • Akkermansia is a unique and novel probiotic strain that’s naturally found in your gastrointestinal tract 
  • Akkermansia directly interacts with the gut lining and helps regulate the mucus lining of your gut
  • Akkermansia helps maintain your gut lining  
Akkermansia belongs to the phylum (a classification of bacteria) Verrucomicrobia. It’s the only type of this phylum found in human stool samples. In healthy people, Akkermansia accounts for up to 4% of intestinal bacteria. In less-healthy people, Akkermansia is less abundant
How does Akkermansia support your health?
Your gut microbiome is an ecosystem that’s home to trillions of bacteria—some good and some bad. While a well-balanced gut microbiome supports a healthy body, the opposite is true for a poorly balanced gut microbiome.

So what does this have to do with Akkermansia?

  • The lining of your intestines is made up of epithelial cells, i.e. the cells that cover the surfaces of bodily organs
  • These epithelial cells are covered in a slimy mucus layer that’s rich in a protein called “mucin” 
  • Akkermansia loves mucin, and actually uses it for energy

“Akkermansia is like Pac-Man,” says Neusel. “Think about Akkermansia spending all day just munching on your mucin layer. It’s kinda gross, but we want this to happen.”

  • The more mucin that Akkermansia eats, the more it encourages epithelial cells to make additional mucin
  • This additional “mucin making” is what strengthens your intestinal wall, which is critical for your health
After it was discovered, Akkermansia muciniphila immediately caught the attention of the health-and-wellness community for two reasons:
  1. It was a probiotic strain that’s incredibly beneficial for gut health
  2. It was a probiotic strain that was only available from Pendulum in the form of Glucose Control
Fast forward to today, and in addition to Glucose Control, there is now both Akkermansia as a single-strain probiotic, and Metabolic Daily as a multi-strain probiotic. No matter which Pendulum probiotic you choose, Akkermansia muciniphila optimizes the balance of your gut-mucus layer, and helps maintain a healthy ecosystem of beneficial bacteria in the gut microbiome
How can you increase Akkermansia levels in your gut? 

There are two main ways to increase Akkermansia levels in your gut:

  • Taking a prebiotic such as Polyphenol Booster to encourage more Akkermansia to grow, and/or eating a diet rich in polyphenols (more on this later!)
  • Taking a probiotic that contains Akkermansia, such as Akkermansia, Glucose Control, or Metabolic Daily
Why are Akkermansia supplements so hard to find?

Akkermansia is hard to find as a probiotic supplement because it’s what is called an anaerobic strain, meaning it needs to be grown in an oxygen-free environment (like your gut). This makes Akkermansia unique, as most probiotics on shelves can tolerate oxygen.

Prior to Pendulum, there weren’t any existing processes that could be used to grow Akkermansia at scale. That is, until Pendulum hired specialized microbiologists to create an oxygen-free manufacturing process that successfully grows large amounts of Akkermansia muciniphila.

It’s because of Pendulum’s cutting-edge science that the next-generation beneficial bacteria known as Akkermansia muciniphila is now available to the public, and why it’s ONLY available from Pendulum. 

Are there foods that contain Akkermansia?

There are no foods that contain Akkermansia. That is, you can’t eat your Akkermansia to increase your levels of this beneficial bacteria. The only way to increase your Akkermansia levels is by taking either Glucose Control, Akkermansia, or Metabolic Daily.

Are there foods that help boost existing Akkermansia in your gut lining?

An important thing to remember is that Akkermansia isn’t found in food. However, it does feed on fiber. While there are many types of fiber-containing foods, research shows that the ones that best support Akkermansia growth are:

Polyphenol-rich foods 

Certain antioxidants found in foods (known as polyphenols) may also encourage the growth of Akkermansia. You can eat food rich in polyphenols, or take a daily Polyphenol Booster which has been shown to help increase Akkermansia levels in the gut in in vitro testing. A few polyphenol-rich foods are:

  • Apples
  • Beans
  • Berries
  • Cloves
  • Cocoa powder
  • Coffee and teas
  • Dark chocolate
  • Flaxseed
  • Grapes
  • Green tea
  • Nuts
  • Olives
  • Peppermint
  • Plums
  • Red wine

Prebiotic fibers 

These are fibers that support Akkermansia in your gut. There are a number of prebiotic-rich foods that you can incorporate into your diet, including:

  • Asparagus
  • Bananas
  • Barley
  • Chicory root
  • Dandelion greens
  • Flaxseeds
  • Garlic
  • Leeks
  • Jerusalem Artichoke
  • Jicama Root
  • Oats
  • Onions
  • Seaweed
  • Soybean
  • Yacon root
  • Wheat bran
How Often Should You Take Akkermansia?

Glucose Control is taken twice daily with food. Both Akkermansia and Metabolic Daily are taken once daily with food.

Are there side effects to Akkermansia?

There can be mild gastrointestinal side effects when you begin taking any probiotic. This is common as you are altering the composition of your microbiome, however, any side effects are temporary.

Is Akkermansia used for the management of type 2 diabetes?

Akkermansia as a stand-alone probiotic is not used for the management of type 2 diabetes. 

People looking to help control their diabetes should instead consider Glucose Control, which has been shown to help lower A1C levels and post-meal blood-glucose spikes in people with type 2 diabetes taking metformin.  

If gut health and Akkermansia levels are your goal—Akkermansia is a better product for you, and if you’re looking to optimize your metabolism, then Metabolic Daily is your best choice.

Is Akkermansia FDA approved? 

No. Neither foods nor medical foods are required to obtain premarket approval by the FDA. Pendulum probiotics are Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS), which means that it is generally considered safe by qualified scientific experts under the conditions of its intended use.

Where Can You Buy Akkermansia? 

You can ONLY buy live Akkermansia from Pendulum, and there are three products to choose from:

Glucose Control 
Helps lower A1C levels and post-meal glucose spikes in type 2 diabetes
Get Glucose Control

Keystone strain reinforces the gut barrier lining to improve digestive health
Get Akkermansia

Metabolic Daily
Optimizes metabolism to help break down fiber, sugar, and carbohydrates
Get Metabolic Daily 

To learn more about Akkermansia and gut health, follow Pendulum on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Instagram.

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