The role of Akkermansia muciniphila
in the mucus layer
- short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) such as propionate and acetate
- amino acids
- important factors, and
- vitamins as by-products of this fermentation.
This makes them accessible to the host and other gut bacteria. Because it supplies nutrients to other gut bacteria, Akkermansia muciniphila can be considered a keystone species. This bacterium is often associated with a good gut barrier function, even though it feeds on mucin. Moreover, supplementation with Akkermansia muciniphila has been associated with a restoration of the gut barrier function in mouse models of obesity. Indeed, optimal Akkermansia muciniphila levels:
- maintain the normal permeability of the gut;
- prevent pro-inflammatory toxins from entering the bloodstream;
- prevent chronic tissue inflammation (e.g. in liver and fat tissues) involved in metabolic disorders.