Medicines

Bifidobacteria - What It Is and What It Serves

Bifidobacteria - you what does that name mean, hard to pronounce? Bifidobacteria can still be calledbifidobacteriumand are a group of bacteria that normally inhabit the human gut, although they may also be ingested in the form of a medicament.

Bifidobacteria belong to the group of lactic bacteria, which are found in fermented foods such as cheeses and yogurts and considered probiotic.

What is bifidobacteria used for?

Probiotics are precisely the so-called "good bacteria" that live in the gut, improve our health in general, facilitating the digestion and absorption of nutrients, in addition to strengthening the system immunological.

  • See more:Probiotics - What they are, benefits and tips.

The body also counts on its "normal" bacteria for the decomposition of foods and prevent that the harmful bacteria to the organism take care of the body.

Bifidobacteria are taken to grow and multiply in places where it would normally occur in the body. In addition, probiotics as the substance are generally used when an illness is developed or there is a possibility that it may arise as a result of the death of normal bacteria of the organism.

For example, antibiotic treatments can destroy harmful and disease-causing bacteria, however, they can also kill normal body bacteria found in the gastrointestinal tract and in the urinary.

The theory is that the use of probiotic bifidobacteria during antibiotic treatment can prevent or minimize the killing of beneficial bacteria in the organism and the dominance by malefic bacteria body.

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Other uses for bifidobacteria

Bifidobacteria are also commonly used for diarrhea, for constipation, for a disorder intestinal syndrome, known as irritable bowel syndrome, to prevent colds or flu, and a host of other conditions.

However, the fact that there is no good scientific evidence to support some of these uses should be highlighted. Let's take a look at what this evidence points to in several cases:

- Constipation

Bifidobacteria are considered possibly effective for constipation. Initial research has shown that the species of bifidobacteria called Bifidobacterium breve can reduce constipation in children.

Other research has also found that bifidobacteria (Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis BB-12 and Bifidobacterium longum BB536) may reduce constipation, especially in the mild-gut intestine, in adults. However, there are conflicting results in this regard.

- Irritable bowel syndrome

Use in this sense is also classified as possibly effective. The explanation is that the use of probiotics appears to be useful in relation to the symptoms of the disease, but the types of probiotics used for this purpose deserve attention.

Ingestion of the Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 species for eight weeks was indicated as useful to decrease the symptoms of the disease. In addition, the use of a particular product containing species of bifidobacterium, lactobacillus and streptococcus appears to decrease swelling in people with irritable bowel syndrome.

On the other hand, a combination between Lactobacillus paracasei subsp. paracasei, Lactobacillus acidophilus La5, and Bifidobacterium lactis BB-12 did not improve the symptoms of the condition.

- Pouchite

Pouchitis is a complication that can arise after surgery for ulcerative colitis. It is believed that taking a certain product consisting of a combination of bifidobacterium, lactobacillus and streptococcus can help prevent the problem.

- Infections in the airways

Research has indicated that some species of bifidobacteria may help prevent infections in the airways such as the cold. Some studies have indicated that taking Bifidobacterium bifidum has decreased the number of college students who got the flu or the cold. However, Bifidobacterium longum subsp. children did not work for these people.

Other research has shown that a combination of Lactobacillus acidophilus and a bifidobacterium with milk helped prevent flu and chills in young children attending day care centers. There was another study that suggested that a product with Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum reduced the risk of colds in school-age children.

However, Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis did not reduce the risk of respiratory tract infections in hospitalized children and adolescents.

- Diarrhea

Bifidobacterium bifidum appears to help prevent rotaviral diarrhea in young children when used with Streptococcus thermophiles or Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis BB-12. In addition, bifidobacteria also appear to be useful in preventing traveler's diarrhea when combined with Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, or Streptococcus thermophilus.

On the other hand, it was pointed out that taking together Bifidobacterium bifidum, Bifidobacterium lactis, and Lactobacillus acidophilus or Bifidobacterium longum did not prevent diarrhea caused by antibiotics such as penicillin and clindamycin.

Bifidobacterium longum has been shown to decrease stool frequency and stomach discomfort in people taking the antibiotic erythromycin.

In addition, a large study showed that a combination of Bifidobacterium bifidum, Bifidobacterium lactis, and Lactobacillus acidophilus does not reduce diarrhea in people infected with the bacterium Clostridium difficile.

- Mortality of preterm infants

Adding bifidobacteria Bifidobacterium breve to baby formula does not decrease the death rich for premature babies.

- Child development

Formulas containing Bifidobacterium longum BL999 plus probiotics or giving Bifidobacterium longum BB536 with Lactobacillus rhamnosus or Lactobacillus paracasei, does not appear to improve the growth of babies.

- Ulcerative colitis

Some research has indicated that certain products with the combination of bifidobacterium, lactobacillus and streptococcus or a Bifidobacterium bifidum and Lactobacillus acidophilus helps control symptoms and prevent recurrence of colitis ulcerative.

- Blood infection (sepsis) in preterm infants

The addition of Bifidobacterium breve in baby formula did not reduce the risk of sepsis in preterm infants.

- Eczema (scaly and itchy skin)

While some research has shown that giving Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis BB-12 reduces the severity of eczema in young children, it is believed that the combination of Bifidobacterium longum BL999 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus does not prevent the condition in young children with history of the disease.

- High cholesterol

Initial research suggests that taking milk with Lactobacillus acidophilus 145 and Bifidobacterium longum BB536 lowers bad cholesterol (LDL) in people with high cholesterol. The problem is that this also seems to reduce good cholesterol levels.

This is undesirable because good cholesterol is one that travels through the bloodstream and removes the bad cholesterol from where it should not be.

People who have high levels of HDL usually have a lower risk of developing heart disease, while those with reduced rates of good cholesterol have these increased chances.

- Allergy to Japanese cedar pollen

Some research suggests that taking Bifidobacterium longum BB536 during the so-called pollen season may decrease symptoms in the nose and eyes caused by the condition. However, there are conflicting results in this regard and this species of bifidobacteria does not appear to reduce throat symptoms or sneezing associated with Japanese cedar pollen allergy.

- Necrotizing enterocolitis (infection in the lining of the intestine caused by bacteria)

One study showed that taking Bifidobacterium infantis along with Lactobacillus acidophilus helped prevent necrotizing enterocolitis in critically ill young children. On the other hand, the formula with Bifidobacterium breve BBG-001 given to premature babies did not aid the prevention of the disease.

- Prevention of infections after exposure to radiation

Preliminary research indicates that the antibiotic-resistant species, Bifidobacterium longum, may help improve short-term survival in the treatment of radiation sickness. In combination with antibiotics, bifidobacteria appear to help prevent dangerous bacteria from growing and causing a serious infection.

- Other cases and conditions

In addition, evidence that bifidobacteria may be useful for the following conditions is considered insufficient:

  • Aging;
  • Mastitis (chest pain, possibly from an infection);
  • Cancer;
  • Lactose intolerance;
  • Liver problems;
  • Mumps;
  • Lyme disease;
  • Stomach problems;
  • Improvement of intestinal and stomach symptoms of newly diagnosed celiac disease in children;
  • Fungal infections in people with leukemia who are following a chemotherapeutic treatment;
  • Replacement of beneficial bacteria to the body removed by diarrhea.

Caring for bifidobacteria

It is considered likely safe for adults and children when ingested orally in appropriate amounts. However, before you start using bifidobacteria for any purpose, consult your doctor to have sure that it is really indicated for you, can not harm you and at what dosage and frequency can it be used.

However, when undergoing treatment with the substance, some people may suffer with disturbance in the stomach and intestine, experiencing problems such as diarrhea, bloating and gas.

As there is not enough reliable information to determine the safety of bifidobacteria in women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, it is recommended that avoid its use.

In addition, people with a weakened immune system, such as those who have HIV / AIDS or are undergoing cancer treatment, should consult their physician before using bifidobacteria.

This is because there is concern that probiotics will grow too well in people with weak immune systems, causing infections, although the effect has been observed on rare occasions.

If you are using any type of medication (especially antibiotics), supplement or product consult the doctor to see if the substance in question can not interact with bifidobacteria.

Additional references:

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  • https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-891-BIFIDOBACTERIA.aspx
  • https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/natural/891.html
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4908950/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2937518/

Have you ever heard of bifidobacteria? Have you used any type for one of the purposes listed above and had good results? Comment below!

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