Doctors, scientists, and nutritionists are continually discovering how the gut microbiome influences our health – but we can influence its health too.
Consider that one-third of the gut microbiome is consistent among adults, while the other two-thirds are unique to each of us, based on accumulated exposures to the environment, dietary patterns, physical activity, health conditions, and medications taken. Many of these are under our control.
We have even more control over our gut health when we introduce probiotics. In this post, we’ll explore how specific probiotic strains can target type 2 diabetes and address overall gut health.
Type 2 diabetes has a new path
Eating a diverse fiber-rich diet, exercising, sleeping at least seven hours a night, and minimizing use of antibiotics, all contribute to greater health inside and out. But sometimes conditions such as type 2 diabetes make the microbiome vulnerable and in need of additional support.
Probiotics have come a long way. There are now specific, evidence-based strains that can help manage blood sugar spikes, and prevent the onset or worsening of gut dysbiosis that may be present in individuals with metabolic syndrome. Ground-breaking scientific discoveries have uncovered the connection between type 2 diabetes and the gut microbiome, and identified the specific bacterial strains needed to restore gut function necessary for blood sugar balance.
Science has shown that many people with type 2 diabetes have deficient levels of the following bacterial strains that can be restored with Pendulum Glucose Control, the first medical probiotic designed to help people with type 2 diabetes manage their A1C and blood sugar levels by addressing gut microbiome imbalances:
- Strains that aid in strengthening the gut lining
- Strains that produce the beneficial postbiotic, butyrate
In addressing butyrate, it’s helpful to understand that important compounds known as postbiotics are created when specific probiotic bacteria in the gut digest and break down prebiotic fibers from the diet.
Each capsule of Pendulum Glucose Control delivers a proprietary blend of five targeted “beneficial bacterial strains” plus a prebiotic (food to fuel the bacteria) that arrive safely in the gut microbiome, by virtue of the enteric-coated capsule. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, performed in people with early-onset type 2 diabetes using metformin and Pendulum Glucose Control, demonstrated statistically significant reductions of -0.6% A1C and -32.5% after-meal blood-sugar spikes (AUC).1
The five probiotic strains + a prebiotic in Pendulum Glucose Control are:
- Akkermansia muciniphilaWB-STR-0001
- Anaerobutyricum hallii WB-STR-0008
- Clostridium butyricumWB-STR-0006
- Clostridium beijerinckiiWB-STR-0005
- Bifidobacterium infantisBi-26 or SD-6669
- Chicory inulin (prebiotic)
Together, these strains support the production of short-chain fatty acids—especially butyrate—which plays a key role in preventing sugar spikes. They also help strengthen the intestinal mucin layer.
When it comes to supporting a healthy gut mucin barrier, Akkermansia muciniphila is the hero strain and not only functions in Pendulum Glucose Control, but has been isolated into its own formulation. Akkermansia thrives in the gut lining and can be taken by anyone who wants to improve their overall gut microbiome health.
Akkermansia is a keystone strain in the gut
Akkermansia muciniphila may be taken on its own to optimize the balance of the gut mucus layer, help maintain a healthy ecosystem of beneficial bacteria in the gut microbiome, and replace lost Akkermansia levels in the gut.
In healthy people, Akkermansia accounts for up to 4% of intestinal bacteria. In less-healthy people, Akkermansia is less abundant2, and some people have none at all. Although certain foods encourage the growth of Akkermansia, it is not present in food at significant levels. For people with no Akkermansia or who do not eat a consistent diet rich in Akkermansia-promoting foods, the only way to directly increase Akkermansia levels is by taking Pendulum Glucose Control or Pendulum Akkermansia.
How does Akkermansia work? Intestinal lining is made up of epithelial cells (i.e. the cells that cover the surfaces of bodily organs). Epithelial cells in the gut are covered in a mucus layer that is rich in a protein called mucin. Akkermansia loves mucin and uses it for energy. The more mucin that Akkermansia consumes, the more it encourages epithelial cells to make additional mucin, which strengthens the intestinal wall, critical for health.
Taking Akkermansia seems like a no-brainer, but until recently it was impossible to find. This is because Akkermansia is an anaerobic strain that needs to be grown in an oxygen-free environment (like the gut) and required challenging manufacturing techniques to develop it at scale.
Pendulum hired specialized microbiologists to create an oxygen-free manufacturing process to successfully grow large amounts of Akkermansia. The resulting pills are shelf stable, but last longer with refrigeration. Each daily dose of both Pendulum Glucose Control and Akkermansia contain live AFUs (a measurement of live bacteria equivalent to CFUs) at recommended amounts when stored properly.
From probiotics to lifestyle
While Pendulum Glucose Control and Pendulum Akkermansia can be game changing to gut health, all people should consider taking them in the context of their overall health. Once “missing” beneficial bacteria is restored, it’s important to practice and maintain good gut stewardship through purposeful lifestyle choices.
Probiotics, after all, introduce colonies of living organisms that need fuel. Eating polyphenol-rich foods is one proven way to complement probiotic use. Pendulum has registered dietitians on staff to advise on meal planning and offer individual coaching, but here are some of the foods to add:
- Cocoa powder
- Coffee and teas
- Dark chocolate
- Green tea
- Red wine
And prebiotic fibers will feed Akkermansia specifically and help repair and strengthen the gut:
- Chicory root
- Dandelion greens
- Jerusalem Artichoke
- Jicama Root
- Yacon root
- Wheat bran
If probiotics can alleviate symptoms of a disease and rebuild gut health, what about reversing aging across the body? Maybe – all of our systems are related. And we’re certainly in the middle of a “Gut-Microbiome Renaissance,” as Kristin Neusel, MS, RD, LD, CDCES and Pendulum’s Direct of Nutrition Programs, described it, where new innovations continue to show that making small changes can lead to big differences, with little risk of harm.
For now, no one should have to tolerate abdominal pain, bloating, loose stools, constipation, heartburn, and nausea,3 the telltale symptoms of gut health challenges. Healthcare professionals know best, but probiotics are the newest tool in their arsenal of therapeutics. If you would like to purchase Pendulum’s probiotics, use the coupon code KF20 to receive 20% off of the first bottle of your subscription!
If you have any questions, feel free to contact the Pendulum team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pendulum Therapeutics is the San Francisco-based biotech company behind the medical probiotic Pendulum Glucose Control, as well as Pendulum GI Repair and Pendulum Akkermansia. They have innovated these precision probiotics to deliver on their mission of bridging medicine and nature. Learn more at pendulumlife.com
Dr. Gundry devoted one of his recent podcasts to this group also, so I am certainly not questioning the effort and diligence that went into the specific formulations to treat particular conditions. The big problem, for many of us, is that we cannot afford the $85.00 – $215 per one month supply to test out the products.
Dr. William Davis in his recent book describes how we can make our own fermented cultures of particular probiotic strains with a prebiotic fiber and half and half, and just one pill to get it started. Then we can use 2 tbsp of the previous batch to start a new batch. Instead of the oven or a yogurt maker I started using sous vide stick, and quickly realized I can make a chuck roast more tasty and more tender than a expensive steak, and so the device pays for itself in a few months.