Bifidobacteria are one variety of "good" bacteria that live in a healthy intestinal tract. Since bifidobacteria exist naturally in your gastrointestinal system, you might guess that nature intends
bifidobactera to serve a specific purpose there, and your guess would be correct. Along with many of the other gut flora, which is the collective term for the bacteria that occur naturally in your intestines, bifidobacteria aid in the food digestion process.
Unfortunately, not every person has a perfectly functioning intestinal tract. In a 1992 study, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), a division of the Center for Disease Control, reported that 5.9 percent of respondents to a National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) questionnaire on digestive disorders had experienced functional colon issues at one time or another. (1) Because bifidobacteria keep healthy digestive systems working properly, researchers have taken an interest in the possibility that supplemental bifidobacteria might help boost the digestive systems of those suffering functional colon issues.
As with all probiotics, the bifidobacterium microbe is only classified as a probiotic when it is: administered live; capable of surviving the administering process and subsequently growing; and administered in an amount proven to provide health benefits to the recipient
What are the Benefits of Probiotic Bifidobacterium
Researchers know that bifidobacteria exist in healthy digestive systems, but the performance of individual sub-strains has not been thoroughly identified. In 2006, researchers from the University of Manchester School of Medicine conducted a study on the effects of B.
An additional ongoing clinical trial is evaluating the effects of B.
What are the Sub-strains of Bifidobacterium
- B. breve
infantis(also known as B. liberorumand B. lactentis)
Environmental and food origin:
- B. minimum
- B. cuniculi
- B. magnum
pseudolongum subsp. Pseudolongum
pseudolongum subsp. Globosum
- B. pullorum
thermophilum(also known as B. ruminale)
The Future of Bifidobacterium
Bifidobacterium is already a solid contributor to the commercial probiotic population. Dannon has seen marketing success with its Activia line of yogurts, featuring B.
(1) Vital and Health Statistics of the National Center for Health Statistics. Advance Data Number 212, 1992.
(2) Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations / World Health Organization. Health and Nutritional Properties of Probiotics in Food including Powder Milk with Live Lactic Acid Bacteria.
(3) Gerhard Reuter. The Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium Microflora of the Human Intestine: Composition and Succession. Current Issues in Intestinal Microbiology, 2(2): 43-53, 2001.
(4) PJ Whorwell, et. al. Efficacy of an encapsulated probiotic Bifidobacterium
(5) Shin Fukudo, MD,
(6) Mark Underwood, MD. The Impact of Oligosaccharides and Bifidobacteria on the Intestinal Microflora of Premature Infants. Ongoing Clinical Trial reported at Clinical Trials.gov, A service of the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
(7) C Gore, et. al. Bifidobacterium
(8) Frederic Krzewinski (original),
(9) Mary Ellen Sanders. The Pros of Probiotics. California Dairy Dispatch, 2007.
For more information:
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