Novel Microbe Targeted in Obesity: Patrice Cani PhD Reports to IPA

IPA AdminIPA News, Market Trends

Among thousands of  weight loss strategies–mostly futile–microbes offer hope. Solid research supports the role of gut microbes in the inflammation, fat metabolism and metabolic disorders linked to obesity.

Patrice Cani PhD of Brussels, Belgium shared his research on a novel new target last month at the 2016 Probiotics Symposium at Harvard. Prior studies revealed that abundance of Akkermansia muciniphila, a mucin-degrading bacterium, was inversely associated with body fat mass and glucose intolerance in mice.

Would it have similar action in humans?
Encouraging news was reported in the journal Gut in March of 2016.


  • 49 overweight and obese adults
  •  6 week calorie reduction (CR) period followed by 6 week weight stabilization diet


  •  At baseline, “A. muciniphila was inversely related to fasting glucose, waist-to-hip ratio and subcutaneous adipocyte diameter.”
  •  After CR, those with higher baseline A. muciniphila showed greater improvement in insulin sensitivity markers and other clinical parameters.


A. muciniphila is associated with a healthier metabolic status and better clinical outcomes after CR in overweight/obese adults.
So how to get more of these healthy microbes?
–prebiotics increased the abundance of A. muciniphila by ∼100-fold in obese mice.


–increase of A. muciniphila and decreased ratio of Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes when mice were fed 1% Concord grape polyphenols in a study reported in Diabetes in 2015.

Listen to Dr. Patrice Cani discuss his findings  last month at the 2016 Probiotics Symposium at Harvard in the above video.