I've recently watched two presentations on YouTube (this and this) about Akkermansia municiphila, a commensal bacteria that feeds on the mucus of the gut.

What I find confusing is their claim about stabilizing Akkermansia and making it commercially available via pasteurization.

How can it be used as a priobiotic if they pasterize it? Doesn't that make it inactive?


1 Answer 1


This is interesting since Akkermansia muciniphila is a strict anaerobic and does not produces spores (which was my first thought on it). However, digging up the original publication (see reference 1) solved the question:

Unexpectedly, we discovered that pasteurization of A. muciniphila enhanced its capacity to reduce fat mass development, insulin resistance and dyslipidemia in mice. These improvements were notably associated with a modulation of the host urinary metabolomics profile and intestinal energy absorption. We demonstrated that Amuc_1100, a specific protein isolated from the outer membrane of A. muciniphila, interacts with Toll-like receptor 2, is stable at temperatures used for pasteurization, improves the gut barrier and partly recapitulates the beneficial effects of the bacterium.

The effect on the experimental animals by these bacteria seems to be mediated by the Amuc_1100 protein which interacts with the Toll like receptor 2 and is responsible for bacteria-host interactions. It turned out that the protein is stable at the temperatures used for pasteurization.

The pasteurized bacteria seems to influence the energy expenditure and decreased the the food efficency (see reference 2):

We confirmed that daily oral administration of pasteurized A. muciniphila alleviated diet-induced obesity and decreased food energy efficiency. We found that this effect was associated with an increase in energy expenditure and spontaneous physical activity.

However why this effect can be seen with the pasteurized bacteria still seems unknown (at least I haven't found a scientific article yet).


  1. A purified membrane protein from Akkermansia muciniphila or the pasteurized bacterium improves metabolism in obese and diabetic mice

  2. Pasteurized Akkermansia muciniphila increases whole-body energy expenditure and fecal energy excretion in diet-induced obese mice


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