A group of Belgian doctors and nutritionists question the information around the food supplement containing the bacterium Akkermansia Muciniphila, associated with weight control.
A group of Belgian doctors and nutritionists questioned on Monday the legality of information about a food supplement containing a probiotic, called Akkermansia Muciniphila, associated with “weight control”.
This dietary supplement from the Belgian firm Metagenics has been on the market since September. It contains Akkermansia Muciniphila bacteria which was developed by a spin-off from UC Louvain called The Akkermansia Company. Akkermansia was the subject of a study in 2019. According to a group of doctors and nutritionists who sent a communication to the Belga agency, this study did not demonstrate a tangible health benefit from taking the probiotic.
“If the company is sure of the science behind Akkermansia municiphila, it can apply for authorization at European level”.
The FPS Public Health recalls for its part that the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has not authorized any claims suggesting beneficial nutritional properties for this bacterium. The firm has the right to communicate on the benefits of two other ingredients present in the product, namely green tea and chromium, but not to induce any effect of Akkermansia Muciniphila, underlines the FPS Public Health.
However, this is what the firm did, which falls under the “non-compliant allegation”, according to the SPF, which points in particular to displays in pharmacies or the product’s website, which have since been partly adapted. “If the company is sure of the science behind Akkermansia municiphila, it can apply for authorization at European level, which will be evaluated by EFSA before possible authorization, if the allegation is proven. The Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (Afsca) has been informed of the non-conformities and is closely following this file with our experts” further noted the FPS Public Health.
“This product is completely different from probiotic products.”
When the campaign was launched a few weeks ago, Professor Patrice Cani of UCLouvain, who worked for a long time on the beneficial effects of the bacterium, had indicated that although remaining classified as a food supplement and not as a medicine, “the product was completely different from probiotic products”, speaking of a “bacteria of new generation”.
The Akkermansia Company, which hired a CEO Swedish, Michael Oredsson, has entered into an agreement with the Ostend pharmaceutical firm Metagenics Europe for the distribution of its product in the Benelux. Akkermansia has raised €18 million in Series A funding and is preparing a new round.