Gut Health

How to Nourish Your Most Important Gut Bacteria

Keystone strains. It might be a new term for you, but it’s a category of gut bacteria that keep you at your healthiest!

And even with all the press around probiotics, keystone strains are rarely mentioned, but they have the biggest impact on your life and health.

 Keystone species have enormous effects on their ecosystems – the environments where they live. They encourage biodiversity, meaning they help many other species thrive. If these special species disappear, they can’t be replaced with something else.

 In fact, without the keystones, the whole ecosystem changes shape, almost always in a negative way. 

 And when it comes to your microbiome – your gut ecosystem also relies special keystone strains to promote diversity and support rich populations of beneficial bacteria (probiotics).


Meet the Keystone Three

Everyone has a different makeup of bacteria in their microbiome, the trillions of bacteria (good and bad) that live in the gut. BUT, the very healthiest people all have strong populations of three strains of beneficial bacteria known as keystone strains:

  1. Akkermansia muciniphila
  2. Faecalibacterium prausnitzii
  3. Bifidobacteria

 These keystone strains mean the difference between good health and bad. All three produce special nutrients that your body needs to keep your gut – and the rest of you – strong and vital.


Bump Up Your Metabolism with A. Mucin

Akkermansia muciniphila, also known as A. mucin, plays a key role in metabolism – how your body transforms food into energy. That means it also has a big effect on your weight, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels.

In fact, researchers saw remarkable results when A. mucin populations were increased in overweight and obese patients. In this clinical trial, results showed:

  • Improved insulin sensitivity
  • Lowered cholesterol
  • Reduced fat mass
  • Decreased hip circumference
  • Reduced body weight

Another study showed that people with more abundant A. mucin had lower blood sugar, lower triglyceride levels, and healthier body fat distribution.  

  1. Prau Protects Your Gut

Healthy guts contain an abundance of Faecalibacterium prausnitzii (or F. prau). This keystone probiotic strain protects your gut, especially the delicate barrier that lines the inside of your colon. (learn more

Your body needs an army of F. prau to keep that barrier healthy and strong so undigested food particles and toxins can’t escape from your gut into your bloodstream.

  1. brauis also the biggest producer of a crucial nutrient, a short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) (link to SCFA blog post)called butyrate. Butyrate reduces intestinal inflammation and nourishes cells in the colon.

People with serious intestinal disorders – like Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and colorectal cancer – have very low F. prau populations. 

The best part? Researchers are starting to believe that restoring keystone probiotic strains could make all the difference.


Bifidobacteria Set the Stage

Members of the Bifidobacteria family are some of the first probiotics to appear in the gut microbiome after birth. These essential keystone bacteria support the developing immune system in the gut and beyond. In fact, a 2019 study showed that infants with high levels of Bifidobacteria had better responses to vaccines at age 2. 

Bifidobacteria also produce SCFAs like butyrate, helping protect you against colon cancer. (Read more) These probiotic warriors also crowd out disease-causing bacteria so they can’t make you sick.

Something interesting about your body is that when you take the right probiotic, your body will supply itself with the correct balance of bifidobacteria…and taking a probiotic with bifidobacteria does NOT mean it will help to restore your gut, since most of those probiotics don’t even make it all the way to the intestines, where they are needed.


Keystone Strains Under Attack

Unfortunately, keystone bacteria are very easily depleted by everyday foes, including

  • Antibiotics
  • Chronic stress
  • Poor diet
  • Glyphosate and other weed killers
  • Pesticides
  • Other environmental toxins 

To keep your keystone populations alive, well, and plentiful, you need to counteract those “depleters” every day.


How to Nourish and Support a Keystone-Rich Gut

Keystone bacteria set the stage for your overall health. Strengthening and supporting these crucial strains can make the difference between wellness and disease, inside your gut and throughout your whole body. So it’s important to give your keystone strains exactly what they need to survive, thrive, and flourish.


Feeding Your Keystone Strains

They’re preferred food is oligosaccharides, special prebiotic fibers (hear more) they coast through your digestive system until they get to your colon, where they preferentially feed the keystone bacteria. Oligosaccharides come in three main forms:

  • Galactooligosaccharides (GOS)
  • Fructooligosaccharides (FOS)
  • Xylooligosaccharides (XOS)

And your keystone strains love their favorite foods. When they get plentiful amounts of these prebiotics, all three types of keystone bacteria thrive and multiply, keeping your gut microbiome in top shape.

Studies show that…

  • FOS increases A. muciniphila populations by 8,000% in just 5 weeks
  • FOS doubles F. prausnitzii populations in just 4 weeks
  • GOS boosts Bifidobacteria numbers by 10% in 6 weeks
  • XOS increases Bifidobacteria populations by 9% in 8 weeks

(Credit: Microbiome Labs)


Just Thrive Precision Prebiotic contains a blend of clinically-tested GOS, FOS, and XOS that specifically nourishes your keystone bacteria. 

Just Thrive Precision Prebiotic helps boost the populations of your keystone probiotic strains to keep you – and your gut – vibrantly healthy.

 Try Just Thrive Precision Prebiotic today so your keystone probiotic bacteria can grow and flourish.