The world today, despite its farmaceutical advances and modern medicine, is still susceptible to disease. This is the reason medical scientists are making efforts to discover new ways to treat various illnesses that affect the population. In 2007, researchers at the Louvain Drug Research Institute of University of Louvain came upon gut bacteria, the so-called Akkermansia muciniphila.
Researcher Patrice Cani and his team, working together with professor Willem de Vos Wageningen, studied the intestinal bacteria and realized that it is capable of restraining the evolution of not only obesity but also type 2 diabetes in mice. Ten years later, the researchers pasteurized the bacteria and observed that in that form it protects better against numerous causes of cardiovascular diseases, such as the resistance to insulin, high cholesterol or fat storage in the adipose tissue.
After the laboratory tests on mice proved successful, the team collaborated with the Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc and proceeded to test the bacteria on humans.
This Gut Bacteria Species Fights Cardiovascular Diseases
The people who volunteered were all overweight and presented high risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. They were placed into three groups, each group being given a type of substance. One group received placebo, another one live bacteria, and the third one pasteurized bacteria as alimentary supplements. After three months in which they took the pills, without changing their daily habits, the researchers were glad to determine that the bacteria had no side-effects on humans.
Even more, the experiment validates the experiments on lab mice. By taking pills of the pasteurized Akkermansia, the bacteria hindered the health the of the subjects to decline. If anything, the bacteria lessened the inflammation of the liver and the cholesterol levels and some of the subjects even lost weight. The health of the volunteers that were given placebo kept declining.
As cardiovascular diseases are the main cause of death all over the world (between 71% and 85% of people over 60 have cardiovascular disease), the research is like an oasis of hope in the midst of a diseased world.