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A milestone for people at risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes

Published on
September 10, 2021

One in two people is overweight and has several cardiovascular risk factors. Soon, this part of the population will be able to draw on the beneficial effects of a new natural ingredient; the pasteurised Akkermansia muciniphila bacteria, from the Belgian company A-Masnia Biotech, a co-spin off of Wageningen University & Research and UCLuvain. It has proven health effects in humans and has been found safe as a food ingredient by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

This new food ingredient is expected to be marketed as a food supplement in 2022. An answer to the global health crisis and a unique example of value creation and cooperation in the application of knowledge from Wageningen University & Research.

Akkermansia is the first next-generation beneficial bacteria with significant health effects in humans approved by the EFSA. The bacteria restore the gut barrier function, thereby leading to reduced inflammation and eventually better control of fat storage, glucose metabolism and energy expenditure.

The bacteria was first discovered, isolated and characterised from the human gut microbiota in 2004, in the laboratory of Prof. Willem M. de Vos, Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Wageningen University & Research, one of the co-founders of A-Mansia. Shortly thereafter, together with the team of Prof. Patrice D. Cani, UCLouvain, Brussels, Belgium another co-founder of A-Mansia, they discovered the beneficial health effects.

"Products based on Akkermansia muciniphila open the door to a new generation of nutritional supplements, rooted in a deep understanding of microbiome function, a crucial milestone" says Prof. Willem M . de Vos, Microbiology@Wageningen University & Research.