If you think of your lower digestive tract as a pathway through a forest, then the trees along that path would be the various bacteria to which the human body plays host. One of the most useful and friendly bacteria in this environment is the species called "bifidobacterium breve." Also known as B breve, this bacteria is anaerobic and non-motile. Its branches are rod-shaped, looking almost like a cactus in the microscopic view. Once established, B breve is unique in its ability to compete with other bacteria, due to the large variety of molecules it can digest. Some people have a great deal of this helpful bacteria, but others may need a supplement to encourage its presence.
The symbiotic relationship that humans have with bacteria is particularly important in the functioning of the colon. In medical studies, ailments such as antibiotic-associated diarrhea, allergies, gas, and irritable bowel syndrome have been linked to a patient's shortage of the B breve bacteria. The presence of B breve appears to inhibit E coli. B breve is also present in the vagina, where it helps to inhibit overproduction of candida albicans, also known as the primary cause of yeast infections in women.
In young babies who are breast-fed, B breve has been found to make up a majority of the colon's bacteria. It appears that as we age, many people lose a large number of the B breve bacteria until it makes up less than ten percent of the digestive-related bacteria count. Less helpful bacteria which do not have the same immune benefits as B breve may over-colonize the human body during times of illness or stress, but you can change the odds of being a "good host" to B breve. By encouraging the robust workers such as B breve, digestive-related illnesses and their associated discomfort may be discouraged or significantly reduced.
The job of B breve in the digestive tract is to ferment sugars and produce lactic acid as well as acetic acid. B breve is like a champion among probiotic bacteria due to its superior ability to break down many types of food, even plant fibers that are normally considered non-digestible.
Supplementing B breve where it has become a "minority partner" can help to recapture the digestive benefits found in a healthy baby. If B breve can be encouraged in the digestive tract, the occurrence of gas, diarrhea, and bowel irritations may be reduced. Some doctors have referred to these supplements as a way of "promoting your gut health." As a partner in the digestive process, B breve comes to the table as a highly recommended worker.
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