Health Benefits of Bifidobacterium
Bifidobacterium offers a wide range of health benefits. This genus of microbes performs a variety of functions that help stabilize the microbiome. They use a special weapon to prevent potentially harmful microbes from invading your gut.
- Improves diarrhea and constipation
Taking probiotics with B. infantis or B. bifidum for 8 weeks seems to reduce the symptoms of Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS. IBS is often characterized by abdominal discomfort or pain with changes in the consistency and frequency of bowel movement. Those who suffer from IBS may experience constipation or diarrhea. Taking probiotic supplements may also reduce the incidence of:
- Antibiotic-related diarrhea
- The severity of pain and bloating among patients with IBS
- Duration and severity of all-cause infectious diarrhea
Taking probiotic products with B. breve can reduce constipation in children 3 to 16 years of age. B. longum with milk or yogurt, when taken for two weeks, increases the number of bowel movements in adults prone to constipation.
- Decrease your risk from cancer
Species like B. animalis, B. breve, and B. longum can decrease the risk of recurrent colon cancer. Similarly, a combination of B. bifidum and L. acidophilus can prevent diarrhea among women with cervical cancer.
- Boost immunity
Bifidobacterium can alter the composition of the gut microbiota, thus, help in boosting the immune system. Alteration in the gut microbiota helps prevent autoimmune diseases like:
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Metabolic syndrome
- Celiac disease
The health of the gut is attributed to a lot of factors, including having healthy bacteria. It has been established that healthy bacteria play a part in improving immune function, supporting gut health, and possibly reducing the risk of specific diseases. Bifidobacteria protects young children against many diseases by stimulating the immune system and acidifying the gut through the production of lactate and short-chain fatty acids.
- Improved bioavailability of certain minerals
The consumption of functional foods containing Bifidobacteria may help improve the bioavailability of certain minerals like zinc, iron, and calcium.
- Prevent skin problems
Using probiotic supplements that contain B. lactis can prevent skin problems in infants and children like eczema. Eczema is a common skin disorder that results in swollen, red, and itchy skin. Some studies indicate that people with eczema have a lower range of microbes in their gut compared to people who do not have this condition.
Using probiotic supplements with Bifidobacterium is purported to protect against inflammation and immune dysfunction, two factors that contribute to eczema.
- Reduces risk of GI infections
Probiotics along with antibiotics are often used together to reduce the risk of GI infections and prevent the death of good bacteria. Some studies have found that treatment with a probiotic containing Bifidobacterium may help to treat infections, such as Clostridium difficile, by decreasing diarrhea.
- Reduce the effects of ulcer caused by certain bacteria
Taking probiotic supplements with Bifidobacterium and other probiotic bacteria can reduce the side effects of an ulcer because of H. pylori infection.
- Prevent necrotizing enterocolitis
Probiotics with B. infantis and L. acidophilus help prevent NEC or necrotizing enterocolitis among critically ill infants.