Probiotic popularity has been thrust into the health and fitness spotlight recently and for good reason. These healthy bacteria can assist with so many major and minor health concerns and improvements that it’s almost too good to be true. Bifidobacterium bifidum (B. bifidum) is a species of probiotic that’s known for its many specific health benefits.
- So what is Bifidobacterium bifidum?
- Is Bifidobacterium bifidum right for me?
- Benefits of Bifidobacterium bifidum
- Are there any side-effects to taking B. bifidum?
- Bifidobacterium bifidum probiotic products
So what is Bifidobacterium bifidum?
This strain of probiotic is one of the most common and comes from the group ‘Bifidobacteria’, which hang out in your intestines and stomach. Like all probiotics, they are good bacteria that confer a huge amount of health benefits onto their host, a.k.a, you.
Their main functions are to improve your overall digestion and bolster your immune system from the inside-out, but they also have a lot of other cool superpowers which we’re going to explore in detail later on.
Probiotics like B. bifidum can be consumed in fermented food and drinks or as a supplement in powder, tablet or capsule form. When the balance of your ‘gut flora’ is out of whack, the bad bacteria can take over and cause all kinds of havoc. Consuming probiotics daily is a great way to prevent this, but keep reading to find out exactly what B. bifidum can do for you.
Is Bifidobacterium bifidum right for me?
When considering a new supplement, you need to make sure it’s going to agree with your body before you start consuming it regularly. Probiotics in general are considered safe; you can’t overdose on them, they’re already present in your body so you’re accustomed to them and they’re a natural, beneficial substance. Speak to your doctor if you’re unsure and please avoid probiotics if you:
- Are critically ill
- Have a compromised immune system or are taking medication that suppresses your immune
- Have undergone surgery recently
Benefits of Bifidobacterium bifidum
So now you know what it is and you have a good idea of if you want to start using probiotics or not. If you’re not convinced, read on to see exactly what B. bifidum can do inside your body and how it does it so well.
With 70% of your immune response coming from your gut, it’s no wonder that probiotics have a huge hand in maintaining a healthy immune system. In particular, studies show that B. bifidum actually modulates the natural immune response so it’s working optimally.
It’s also been suggested that B. bifidum is able to employ white blood cells and direct them to exactly where they need to be so that they can fight off infections as quickly as possible – reducing their duration and intensity.
A 2004 medical article shows the results of a test completed on several different types of cancer cells where B. bifidum was able to actually slow their growth. More research is needed on this subject but it shows us exactly how strong this probiotic strain is!
Helps with IBS and IBD symptoms
Probiotics reinforce gut lining in the body to make sure the barrier is strong enough to defend against unwanted nasties that could aggravate our intestines. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a disorder where imbalances in intestinal flora and a weak intestinal barrier can lead to the intestines becoming irritated and triggering painful and inconvenient symptoms – B. bifidum is shown to help these symptoms in many people.
In a study of 122 patients with irritable bowel syndrome, half were given B. bifidum for 4 weeks whilst the other half were given a placebo. At the end of the trial, around half the members in the group that were given the probiotic reported less bloating, discomfort and urgency to use the bathroom.
Irritable bowel disease (IBD) has symptoms that are very similar to IBS and so the two often get confused for one another. However, IBD is different in that it stems from underlying physical damage that doctors can see, like ulcers or chronic inflammation and is generally treated with powerful medication, unlike IBS which is generally treated with lifestyle changes.
Despite these differences, a test on mice over 4 weeks was completed and showed that B. bifidum was able to control the immune response to reduce intestinal inflammation which lessened the symptoms of the disease – very similar to its effects on IBS sufferers.
Lowers occurrence of eczema in infants
Eczema is a skin condition that causes redness, itching and drying of the skin. It is extremely uncomfortable as the skin does not absorb moisture as well as normal individuals, meaning it gets dry very easily and can trigger a flare-up at anytime. Around 20% of children below the age of two will experience eczema and it generally starts in the first 6 months of their lives.
In a medical trial, 112 pregnant women were given a daily supplement containing B. bifidum and a couple other probiotic strains around 4 weeks before delivery and up to 6 months afterwards. Each infant from these pregnancies was breast fed for the first 3 months and monitored closely. Promising and exciting results showed that these children had significantly lower incidences of eczema than the placebo group. More research is needed to further confirm these results and the effects on adults (if any) but B. bifidum seems to be able to combat eczema in infants very effectively.
Can help to reduce stress
Everyone gets stressed, it’s normal and natural – but that doesn’t mean it’s enjoyable and we shouldn’t try to combat it. A study that analyzed stress associated with having the cold or a flu, showed that a group of students consuming the probiotic strains B. bifidum and B. infantis had reduced illness symptoms and reported getting more hours of sleep than the control group.
Extra sleep combined with a health boost resulted in the students stress levels being lower than those who weren’t consuming the probiotics over a 6 week period. A similar study also showed that stress-related diarrhea symptoms were also decreased – these results show that B. bifidum boosts health to subsequently minimise stress.
Has antioxidant properties
B. bifidum was shown to have strong antioxidant and antibacterial effects when given to mice over a month. An antioxidant is a substance that protects your cells against free radicals, which are molecules produced when your food is broken down or you’re exposed to tobacco smoke and radiation. These free radicals can lead to heart disease, accelerated ageing and some cancers so increasing antioxidant activity in the body can lower your risk of these and many other health problems.
Helps with allergy symptoms
Specifically, B. bifidum helps with symptoms of allergies that inflame and obstruct the nasal passages by redirecting allergens to induce a more regulated and healthy response – this has been demonstrated in guinea pigs. Sneezing and nasal obstruction were significantly reduced with even just a small dose of this probiotic, showing it’s effectiveness for targeting allergy symptoms to do with the nose.
You may not have heard of this bacteria, but it can live in your digestive tract. If Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is there for long enough, it can cause ulcers in the lining of your stomach and small intestine, sometimes leading to stomach cancer.
About two thirds of the population actually have H. pylori in their body, so infection is common but most people won’t experience any symptoms. If you do experience symptoms, you’re able to take medication to try and eradicate the bacteria but by this time the damage may already have been done.
To combat this occurring, taking a daily probiotic with B. bifidum will prevent the bacteria from adhering itself to your gut lining and making itself at home and inhibits any kind of damage that the pathogen tries to inflict on you.
Are there any side-effects to taking B. bifidum?
Generally when you consume probiotics, you will be consuming it combined with a few different strains that all have different properties and health benefits. As we mentioned briefly above, you cannot accidentally overdose on probiotics because your body will easily flush out any excess. However, if you’re new to taking probiotics then there are a few things you should look out for:
- Temporary digestion issues – Some minor cramping, gas and bloating can be experienced in the first couple weeks but shouldn’t be anything more than a bit uncomfortable. If these symptoms hang around longer than that or you have any kind of pains then your body may not be coping with the new probiotics and you should change up the product you’re using or stop entirely. Consult your doctor if this occurs as they’ll be able to give you the best advice moving forward.
- Allergic reactions – As with all allergies, make sure you check the label of your new probiotic to see if there are any common allergens included. Sometimes soy, dairy or egg can be found in probiotic products.
- Risk of infection – Anyone who’s recently undergone any kind of surgery or has a compromised immune system should steer clear of probiotics.
Bifidobacterium bifidum probiotic products
To give you an idea of what you can buy on the market right now, we’ve looked at a couple of the top products containing B. bifidum and broken down the pros and cons for you.
OmniBiotics Flora Renew Probiotics
Packed with probiotics
This probiotic supplement from OmniBiotics packs quite the punch with 34 billion colony forming units (CFU) per capsule and 14 different probiotic strains. This is an awesome amount of probiotic power that’s going to give you health improvements across the board thanks to its diversity and volume
No refrigeration necessary
This is an important factor for many people but not many probiotic products have this feature. If you’re on the go and like to take your supplements with you in case you forget to take them before leaving the house, then this might be the product for you. It also comes with a 100% money back guarantee if you’re not seeing the results you want – showing that the company is confident in what they’ve created.
Price: $18.95 (30 capsules) on Amazon
- 34 billion CFU per serving
- 1 capsule a day (can be increased to 2)
- 14 different probiotic strains
- No need for refrigeration
- Money back guarantee
- No added vitamins or minerals
Hyperbiotics PRO-15 Probiotics
15 targeted strains
As the name suggests, Hyperbiotics PRO-15 packs a huge 15 different strains of probiotic across the Bifidobacterium and Lactobacilli families, this means you’re going to get a full spectrum of health benefits no matter what you’re taking these probiotics for. Each serving (1 pearl) has 5 billion CFU which is a good dose of friendly bacteria, but if that’s not enough you can take up to 3 pearls a day.
This is a life saver for those of us who have trouble swallowing large capsules, tablets or pills. Pearls are a fraction of the size and so much easier to swallow. They also contain time delay release technology which means your probiotics won’t be released until they’re exactly where they need to be – avoiding exposure to harsh stomach acid that would like to kill them before they reach your gut.
Price: $24.95 (60 capsules) on Amazon
- 15 strains
- One pearl daily which can be increased if needed
- Pearls are easy to swallow
- Vegetarian, non-GMO, lactose, gluten and yeast free
- Preservative free and no artificial colours/flavours
- Only 5 billion CFU per pearl
B. bifidum is one of the most common and powerful strains of probiotic, coming from the ‘Bifidobacteria’ family that are known for boosting immune and digestive efficiency overall. B. bifidum has a few specific properties that are super beneficial for all different kinds of individuals – like reducing symptoms of allergies, IBS, IBD, fighting off harmful bacteria and free radicals with its strong antioxidant properties, reducing stress and even reducing the occurrence of eczema in infants.
If you’re looking for a new probiotic product then it’s a great idea to get one with this strain included. Even if you’re not affected by any of the above issues, your immune system and your digestive system will thank you for it. And remember, always consult your doctor if you’re unsure about starting probiotics or exactly which brand you should be looking at.
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.