Bifidobacterium health benefit in probiotic supplement pills
June 22 2016 by
Ray Sahelian, M.D.

The gut microbiota is a complex ecosystem composed of hundreds of different bacterial species that altogether play an important role in the physiology of their host. In the past few years the complete genome sequence of a number of bacterial strains isolated from the human gastrointestinal tract has been established including that of Bifidobacterium longum NCC2705 isolated from the feces of a healthy infant. Bifidobacteria are among the first species to colonise the human gastrointestinal tract and as such are believed to play an important role in gut homeostasis, overall gastrointestinal health, and normal development.

Products to buy online
Now Foods, 8 Billion Acidophilus & Bifidus, 120 Veggie Caps

Friendly bacteria for the gut
There are a number of bacteria that are friendly and helpful to humans. If you wish to know learn about these friendly bacteria, visit the following web pages: acidophilus bacteria, or the web page probiotics. By ingesting friendly or good bacteria, it is possible that they could displace the harmful bacteria in the gut.

Bifidobateria and Probiotics in Health and Disease
Like its better-known cousin acidophilus, the bifidobacteria group (often simply called bifidus) is considered a "probiotic." Bifidobacteria are one of the hundreds of beneficial bacteria that inhabit the body's intestinal tract, and help to fight off infection.
     Probiotic bacteria with bifidobacteria are effective in preventing and reducing the severity of acute diarrhea in children. They are also useful in antibiotic associated diarrhea but not for elimination of Helicobacter pylori. In inflammatory bowel disease, especially ulcerative colitis, probiotics with bifidobacteria offer a safe alternative or addition to current therapy. Bifidobacteria have been used to prevent urogenital tract infection with benefit and, perhaps more intriguingly, to reduce atopy in children. Probiotics do not always work.

Despite the generally accepted importance of bifidobacteria as probiotic components of the human intestinal microflora and their use in health promoting foods, there is only limited information about their phylogenetic position, physiology and underlying genetics. In the last few years numerous molecular approaches have emerged for the identification and characterization of bifidobacterial strains.

Types or strains
Bifidobacterium adolescentis

Is there a benefit in using bifidobacterium infantis over using bifidum in the treatment of IBS? I have been using Align for the last two years with good results, but bifidobacterium bifidum is much less expensive.
    I am not aware of enough research on this topic to know the answer.


Health Benefit of Prebiotics for bifidobacteria growth

There is increasing awareness that bacteria in the human gut play an important role in maintaining health, both within the gastrointestinal tract and the rest of the body. One can increase the number of good bacteria in the body in two main ways: By taking probiotic supplements or eating yoghurt which directly supply good bacteria to the colon, or by ingesting prebiotics which help stimulate the growth of good bacteria.
   Prebiotics are food ingredients, mostly complex carbohydrates that are not digested, that stimulate the growth or activity of certain bacteria in the colon. The types of bacteria most often stimulated are bifidobacteria and lactic acid bacteria. These are considered good bacteria and can provide various health benefits.


Immune system improvement, benefit to common cold and flu
Br J Nutr. 2015. Bifidobacterium bifidum R0071 results in a greater proportion of healthy days and a lower percentage of academically stressed students reporting a day of cold / flu: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.

Interactions with dietary supplements
Are there any interactions with using a bifidobaterium supplement with 5-HTP supplement or lipoic acid?
    I don't see any problems using it with these supplements.

Dosage and daily dose

I have had skull fractures, infections and vitamin / mineral / amino acid deficiencies and have had a very hard time recovering form 17 rounds of antibiotics. A recent test showed that I had very little to none Bifidobacterium. I started taking a probiotic that has 15B Billion CFU of: Bifidobacterium longum BB536 (morinaga strain), Bifidobacterium bifidum, Bifidobacterium breve, Bifidobacterium infantis. Do you know if a person can take more than 15B CFU a day or is that too much. I am starting to feel quite a bit better and would like to recover faster, so that is why I would like to take more, especially in light of the test that shows I am really deficient in this good bacteria. Do you know the maximum dosage of Bifido you can take daily?
    Such studies are not yet available yet to my knowledge.


Q. Is there any interaction between Lactobacillus, bifidobacterium preparations and antimicrobial spices such as cinnamon, ginger, garlic etc? Do you think regular use of these spices (1000 mg cinnamon, 500 mg ginger, 1000 mg garlic etc / per day ) may kill Lactobacillus and decrease the effects of Lactobacillus supplementation?
   A. A reader of this website emailed us this information which is interesting: After a lot of research I finally found 2 studies on the antimicrobial effects of garlic on beneficial bacteria, specifically probiotic bifidobacteria. I thought this might be of interest as your site says: "I can't say for sure since I have not seen any studies". African Journal of Microbiology Research Vol. 7(8), pp. 669-677, 19 February, 2013. Antibacterial effect of hydrosoluble extracts of garlic (Allium sativum) against Bifidobacterium spp. and Lactobacillus acidophilus. Results show that garlic does have antimicrobial effects against bifidobacteria, with fresh garlic extract being the most potent. This is a significant information as many consumers may take probiotics and garlic simultaneously, which would therefore decrease the viability and hence the affectivity of the probiotics. This then becomes a huge disadvantage to the consumer. Therefore from this study we conclude that garlic exerts antibacterial activity against bifidobacteria. Caution is therefore needed when using probiotic bifidobacteria and garlic simultaneously. However, further research investigating the effect of food constituents on the antibacterial activity is recommended. "It also states: "sensitivity of bifidobacteria to garlic preparations differed between strains " . 2nd test I found: This person did their own test, and his conclusion: "No question, on the right side of the blood agar there are far fewer bacterial colonies than on the left side. So we can infer that the alkaloids of garlic block the growing of beneficial bacteria of probiotic and/or kill a lot of them. This probiotic contains several strains of beneficial bowel bacteria: Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. casei, L. lactis, L. bifidus and Enterococcus faecium. I think that, of these, one or two strains are resistant to alkaloids of garlic. The garlic cannot destroy them, so they are able to survive and even multiply. "This little experiment has demonstrated that:- the alkaloids of garlic do indeed kill a large amount of probiotic bacteria,- if we use a probiotic that contains several different strains of bowel bacteria, the odds are that some strains among them are resistant to garlic, so they survive the alkaloids of the garlic and are able to multiply in the bowel."