Bifidobacterium Longum is a type of bacterium that naturally occurs in the human stomach and as a multi-purpose probiotic. People can take the probiotics, or “good” bacteria, to alleviate any infections or immunological diseases that affect the GI tract including plenty of other conditions such as constipation, diarrhea, the flu, and the cold.
With almost 20% of the entire U.S. population suffering from autoimmune diseases like arthritis and lupus, the interest in this live microorganism has skyrocketed, making it the go-to choice for boosting overall health and reducing the incidence of autoimmune infections.
Due to its supposedly beneficial properties for the overall health, Bifidobacterium Longum has managed to remain in the spotlight for the last few years.
But, is it really worth it, or will it do more harm than good? We’ve decided to analyze all the facts and research on this bacteria up-to-date and see whether this probiotic can live up to expectations.
Here are the benefits and side effects of Bifidobacterium Longum, you should know about.
Bifidobacterium Longum: What Can It Offer for Your Health?
As more and more people are using this probiotic to boost their overall health, it’s no wonder why many would like to know about the benefits it can offer. Even though there is only limited research on what this bacteria can actually do, it does have substantial evidence of all its popular uses.
Some of the most common reasons why people choose this probiotic is for the following benefits:
- Relieves constipation
- Prevents lung infections
- Useful for IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)
- Boosts the immune system
- Prevents eczema
While people also rely on this probiotic to treat digestive tract infections, specific types of diarrhea, and restore the GI tract after chemo, more research is necessary to confirm the full extent and potential benefits this bacteria could have for the human body.
More than 4 million people or 2% of the U.S. population frequently suffer from constipation, making it the most prevalent digestive issue in the country, easily outnumbering any other chronic digestive illnesses.
Based on research, Bifidobacterium proved helpful for boosting the stool frequency in children with CIC or chronic idiopathic constipation. Plus, it showed extremely positive results in reducing the pain in the abdomen, balancing the consistency of the stools, and greatly decreasing the chance of leakage from poor bowel control. From all the 20 children that were analyzed in the study, none of them had experienced any adverse effects.
Prevents Lungs Infections
Many people are susceptible to recurring respiratory tract infections. In fact, 1 billion people have chronic respiratory problems around the globe; 210 million of them suffer from pulmonary disease and 300 million from asthma.
Based on statistics, Bifidobacterium Longum in the form of an oral probiotic can reduce the impact of respiratory tract infections, including any imbalance in the gut flora. Probiotics such as these have shown multiple benefits in boosting the immune response and the overall health of the immune system, making the host less prone to pneumonia.
Useful for IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
Based on a randomized control study, this probiotic can notably alleviate the symptoms of IBS and boost the wellbeing of individuals. The results showed that out of 122 volunteers with IBS symptoms, 62 took a placebo, and the rest received a pill that contained Bifidobacterium Longum on a daily basis.
After four weeks, 11% of the volunteers that took the placebo noticed a relief in the IBS symptoms, while 47% of those that had taken the probiotic experienced positive results. The probiotic quickly overshadowed the placebo group with a lot more positive effects.
Different research also showed similar results. The probiotic proved beneficial in containing the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome in human tissue samples. Even though more research is necessary to confirm the effects of the probiotic, so far, the results are optimistic.
Boosts the Immune System
Multiple studies indicate the Bifidobacterium Longum could have the potential to strengthen the immune system. In fact, one particular research noted that various strains of probiotics have the potential to sway the immune system.
Some cells will engage the white blood cells to defend the system from invading organisms and improving immunity, while others will engage some of the remaining white blood cells to soothe inflammation. However, more human trials are necessary to figure out the full effect of this probiotic for the white blood cells.
Several studies have shown the potential of Bifidobacterium Longum in preventing eczema in individuals prone to various skin conditions. By using the probiotic on a daily basis and at a young age, there is a chance that individuals might prevent the onset of eczema.
However, that heavily depends on allergens, postnatal, prenatal diet, and antibiotics. As long as the skin is not exposed to these triggers, this kind of probiotic could have a substantial impact on treating and preventing eczema.
Do Side Effects Occur When Using This Probiotic?
The Bifidobacterium Longum is considered safe for consumption for healthy adults and children with very few possible adverse effects. In some cases, the probiotic did cause infection; however, that infection appeared as a result of an already debilitated immune system. Therefore, it’s best to consult a doctor before implementing this probiotic in your diet
Individuals who should be wary of taking Bifidobacterium are:
- Pregnant or nursing women
- Individuals with a poor immune system
- Older adults
- Anyone with serious health conditions
- People taking prescription meds
This probiotic does show some extremely useful benefits for the overall health. It has the potential to keep people healthy and treat multiple issues. But, more research is needed to prove its full effect. Even though side effects are rare, it’s still important that you consult with a doctor first before taking it.
Ahmed successfully completed his degree in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Alexandria, Egypt. He is passionate about all things health. He is also a surgery resident and fitness enthusiast.