Bifidobacterium breve (B. breve) is a highly beneficial probiotic strain, in fact, it’s one of the most helpful strains out there. This probiotic was originally discovered in infants but resides in our gastrointestinal tracts as adults and is also found in breast milk.
It’s said to help with everything from immune health to reducing inflammation and protecting skin.
But firstly let’s check if its really right for you.
Is Bifidobacterium breve right for me?
Bifidobacterium is a family of lactic acid bacteria that produce vitamins, digest fibres and complex carbohydrates in your food and fight off infections. Within this family, Bifidobacterium breve is one of the most important probiotic strains and has a heap of specific superpowers that may surprise you.
If you’re after a natural alternative to help with immunity, digestion and overall health then this may be the route for you. Probiotics on the whole are considered safe as these friendly bacteria already live in your body and consuming more isn’t an issue – your body will simply flush out the excess.
However, there are a few people who shouldn’t be consuming probiotics
- Anyone with a compromised immune system/taking immunosuppressive medication
- People who’ve had surgery recently
- Critically ill individuals
If you’re still unsure, and as with any new supplement, you should consult your doctor so they can determine if probiotics are right for you by taking your medical history into account. Read on to find out what’s in store for you if you’re able to start consuming a probiotic with B.breve in it.
10 Awesome Health Benefits of Bifidobacterium breve
Skin health and protection
This means that you will see a reduction of oil on your skin but it will maintain its elasticity because of the hydration retention. Acne spots and impurities will also be reduced as your skin is ridded of pore-clogging sebum and dirt.
Additionally, in a few studies done on mice, B. breve was actually seen to reduce damage done by UV rays. Water loss, oxidation and elasticity issues were all significantly reduced so that the permanent damage was lessened compared to the mice who were in the control group.
More study needs to be done on this, but potentially, B. breve will be able to combat the signs of sun damage and ageing of skin – letting you enjoy the sunshine, guilt-free.
Most probiotics species are excellent at reducing inflammation in the body, and B. breve is no exception. It’s especially effective on infants who are being breastfed, the B. breve bacteria will mainly colonise the colon and help anti-inflammatory molecules function optimally.
This is essential to the child developing a good immune system and gives them a better chance at living an allergy free life, which we will discuss further on.
Inflammation within the brain can lead to the development of neurological disorders, like Alzheimer’s, over time. In another study on mice, they were able to determine that the administration of B. breve prevented cognitive deterioration and reduced immune responses that promote inflammation of the brain. Over time, this lack of inflammation on the brain will ensure it stays as healthy as possible.
As mentioned above, B. breve triggers anti-inflammatory responses in infants’ bodies which has actually been shown to boost the immune system and reduce the occurrence of allergies developing.
Further to this, irritating conditions like eczema, dermatitis and atopic sensitisation will be encountered less in children who are consistently consuming this probiotic.
Improves immune system and response
As well as fighting off allergies in infants, their overall immune system will be optimized which is also a benefit that adults will experience when they consume B. breve. Immune response can actually be slowed in this process, meaning that inflammation and reactions to allergies won’t be as quick and symptoms will be lessened – which, in this situation, is a good thing.
70% of your immune system actually hangs out in your gut, it’s made up of beneficial strains of bacteria and yeasts that keep you healthy. Having the right probiotics reinforcing your gut lining means that all of the good stuff will be absorbed from your food and none of the bad, everything harmful or unnecessary will bounce off your gut lining and be flushed out of your body as intended.
If you’ve got an abundance of B. breve in your intestines or you’re taking a probiotic supplement that’s got this strain in it then you’re on the right track to having guts that are protected by the best in the business.
As mentioned above, probiotics are known to have gut healing and protecting superpowers – their main function is to balance the good and bad bacteria in your intestines to help with a bunch of major health aspects. One of these is your digestion – a vital function to help you extract optimum nutrients from your food to give you energy, vitamins and an overall well-being boost.
Along with targeting and improving a bunch of uncomfortable digestive issues, Bifidobacterium breve will also assist with overall digestion including keeping you regular and stopping pesky gas, bloating and cramps that can come from poor digestion of your meals.
In an interesting study, B. breve was used to increase stool frequency and improve stool consistency in children with constipation whilst also reducing their abdominal pain. According to the discussion of this study, it’s thought that B. breve increased water and electrolyte production in the body which combats constipation, and its anti-inflammatory effect reduces sensitivity and pain.
More research needs to be done on this, but probiotics could be a much gentler alternative than laxatives when dealing with constipation. A natural boost of B. breve would be not only easy to consume but completely natural and harmless to the body, unlike laxatives.
Asthma affects around 300 million people across the globe and this number is on the rise. It’s characterised as chronic inflammation of the lungs that results in recurring episodes of sensitivity in the airways where they can become restricted, swollen or blocked with mucus – making it very difficult to breathe. Everyone’s asthma trigger is different but they can even be something as simple as the common cold or pollen. It’s a potentially fatal and very common disease that is generally treated with medications and an inhaler with steroids in it to relax and open the airways quickly.
In the last few years, it’s been discovered that B. breve may be a suitable aid for asthma-sufferers, although more research is needed. Its anti-inflammatory effects rival that of a commonly used steroid medication for asthma inhalers called Budesonide. Combined with Lactobacillus rhamnosus, these two probiotic strains were able to regulate the immune response and reduce lung resistance in chronically asthmatic mice – a very promising result.
Helps with antibiotic associated diarrhoea
Diarrhoea is not only extremely uncomfortable but very inconvenient as well. In a 2004 study, healthy infants were given a formula with B. breve in it for about 5 months. At the end of the period it was seen that these infants had less visits to medical centres, less cases of dehydration and the severity of their diarrhoea episodes was noticeably less.
In the above mentioned study, the episodes of diarrhoea were antibiotic-related meaning the episodes were caused by the antibiotics killing off all the bacteria in the gut, including the good stuff, giving bad bacteria the chance to re-populate, take over and wreak havoc.
However, the diarrhoea incidences were alleviated because Bifidobacterium breve was being administered at the same time and so had the chance to re-populate the gut quickly – before the bad bacteria could throw off the balance.
Reduces candida in the body
Candida is a yeast that, when overgrown, can cause very uncomfortable symptoms and infections in places all over your body – orally, vaginally, in the nose and even simply on your skin. Whilst yeast infections are generally harmless with mild to moderate symptoms, babies, the elderly and anyone with a compromised immune system can be fatally attacked by this yeast.
Bifidobacterium breve is among some of the best probiotic strains for fighting off candida and reducing it in the body. When choosing a probiotic to prevent and help reduce the severity of a candida infection you should get a product with the Bifidobacterium breve strain in it, as well as others like Lactobacillus rhamnosus, L. lactis and B. bifidum to give your body the best chance at fighting off the bad bacteria and creating a healthy gut flora. Some good strains can be found within the products in our review of the best probiotics for women.
Antibiotics may sometimes be prescribed for these kinds of infections, however, these will kill off all bacteria and allow the chance for the bad bacteria to re-colonize the body before the good bacteria does – leading to another infection. Probiotics are a healthy, natural and effective way of keeping candida at bay in your body to prevent infections but also assist with a speedy recovery if one occurs.
Can help fight obesity and weight gain
Obesity is thought to be associated with chronic, low-grade inflammation in the body. To try and combat this, a study gave obese individuals Bifidobacterium breve capsules over 12 weeks. By the end of this time, their fat mass had decreased more drastically than the placebo group. Liver function and inflammatory reactions were also improved over this period with no adverse reactions of any kind being noted after blood work was completed.
More research is needed, but early results show that B. breve may also improve metabolic function, allowing fat to be burned quicker and food to be converted into fuel more efficiently instead of being stored as fat. In addition to this, it’s also been suggested that this strain of probiotic can help with improving cholesterol levels, fasting glucose and insulin function.
This isn’t to say that B. breve is a miracle fat loss supplement, but it can help to retrain your body to use food and fat correctly, especially in those who are obese, and can help to boost your metabolism.
Are there any side-effects to taking B. breve?
When it comes to consuming a probiotic, chances are that you’re going to be consuming a few different strains in one product. As such, we’re going to note a few health warnings from this broader standpoint.
Luckily, probiotic supplements don’t hang around in your body for long. They are flushed out with normal bodily functions and, as mentioned earlier, if there’s too many then your body will simply get rid of them naturally so you don’t need to worry about overdoing it.
Possible side effects when consuming probiotics:
- Mild digestion issues – Gas and bloating accompanied with mild cramps commonly occur within the first 2 weeks of taking a new probiotic supplement as your body is getting used to it. This should disappear on its own but get yourself down to the doctor for a chat if they don’t or if your symptoms are anything worse than slightly uncomfortable.
- Allergic reactions – When choosing a probiotic supplement, check the labels to see if there are any allergens in there that you are intolerant to. Soy, dairy or egg can sometimes be found in probiotic supplements and it’s always better to be on the safe side.
- Risk of infection – If you’ve recently undergone surgery or have a compromised immune system then you could be at risk of infection, so it’s best to avoid taking probiotics of any kind until your doctor has given you the all clear.
Probiotics are an awesome and effective natural remedy for digestion and immune related issues. They live in your gut and safeguard your health when they’re outweighing the bad bacteria, healing you from the inside out. Different strains of probiotic are better at helping with different health aspects.
If you’re on the lookout for powerhouse probiotic strains then you can’t go past Bifidobacterium breve. From relieving constipation and reducing diarrhea to fighting off weight gain and candida in the body, this strain is one of the best on the market today. We would recommend purchasing a probiotic product that contains B. breve combined with a few other different strains so you can get a full range of health benefits across the spectrum.
Writer, Product Tester.
Adele is a budding content writer with a passion for all things health and fitness related. In her time off Adele enjoys reading, travelling and exploring Sydney’s culinary delights.