The gastrointestinal tract is home to trillions of microorganisms, with a large focus often placed on the beneficial bacteria species. Different types of healthy bacteria thrive in the gut, each with its own particular functions. In this post, we turn our focus to Bifidobacterium Lactis.
Researchers have already found that a low number of Bifidobacterium species in the gut may increase the risk of certain diseases. On the other hand, increasing the intake of Bifidobacterium species may assist in the prevention of many illnesses. In some cases, the intake of these species might also be a useful strategy in the treatment of some conditions.
Benefits Of Bifidobacterium Lactis
There are several benefits already associated with increasing the intake of Bifidobacterium Lactis.
The probiotic strain has been shown to assist with the digestive process. A study by the Journal of Digestive Diseases provides prove behind this claim. The study included a total of 371 adult participants. The participants were divided into groups in order to determine how effective Bifidobacterium Lactis truly is.
The study found that B. Lactis probiotic strains may provide several benefits for the digestive function in the human body. Self-reported digestive comfort was significantly improved among the adult participants who took a supplement that contained Bifidobacterium Lactis. General symptoms of gastrointestinal problems were also significantly improved in the group who received the probiotic supplement.
Protection from infection
An increase in Bifidobacterium Lactis in the digestive tract also seems to be an effective way of defending the body against certain infections. One study looked at how this particular probiotic strain would act against a common infection, known as Salmonella typhimurium. The study was conducted among mice subjects.
The researchers agree that Bifidobacterium Lactis is a highly effective probiotic strain that helps to create a resistance in the body to the Salmonella typhimurium bacteria. Further studies in human subjects are still needed for more accurate results. This study does, however, hold promising findings.
Improved immune response
The elderly may also greatly benefit from an increase in B Lactis. One study looked at how this probiotic strain would affect the elderly population. A total of 25 elderly participants were involved in the study. The age range was 60 to 83 years among the participants. The participants were divided into groups. One group received a daily dose of milk that contained Bifidobacterium Lactis.
The study was conducted over a six-week period. A 12-week follow-up was also made. Participants who consumed the milk supplemented with the Bifidobacterium Lactis probiotic strain had experienced a significant improvement in their general immune function. Another finding noted by the researchers is that short-term intake of B. Lactis already yields impressive results.
The elderly would not be the only audience who can benefit from the probiotic in terms of immunity. Another study, published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, showed that B Lactis could also be beneficial for strengthening the immune system in younger individuals too. The study particularly showed improvements in cellular immune responses among a group of participants provided with a daily Bifidobacterium Lactis supplement.
B. Lactis also seems to yield an anti-inflammatory effect in the human body. One study provided study participants with a special probiotic yogurt formula. The yogurt was supplemented with Bifidobacterium Lactis. It was found that the probiotic strain had an anti-inflammatory effect on the study participants.
Two specific markers used to consider inflammation in the body was reduced in participants who consumed the Bifidobacterium Lactis yogurt. The inflammatory markers noted by the researchers included:
- Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha)
- Lipopolysaccharide (LPS)
Another study showed that there might be an improvement in conditions like collagenous colitis in patients who take a Bifidobacterium Lactis supplement.
The study lasted for a period of 12 weeks. Several factors were taken into account. A total of 29 individuals were part of the study. Among these, 21 were provided the daily probiotic supplement. The remaining eight participants received a placebo.
Bowel frequency reduced by more than 50% in the group who took the Bifidobacterium Lactis supplement. Other benefits were also noted, particularly in terms of the collagenous colitis.
Side Effects Of Bifidobacterium Lactis
Bifidobacterium Lactis is generally considered a safe and highly effective strain of probiotics. There are a few side effects that have been associated with this particular probiotic strain, however. People who experience adverse reactions when taking a Bifidobacterium Lactis supplement will usually have no need to be concerned. The side effects are generally considered to be mild.
In some people, stomach upset may occur. A person may also experience bloating, as well as gas. In some cases, diarrhea has also been noted. These side effects generally only occur for a few days. Once the body gets acquainted with the change in bacterium species in the gastrointestinal tract, the side effects tend to subside.
It should also be noted that Bifidobacterium Lactis is not advised for people with a weak immune system. This is the case with HIV. People who are receiving treatment for cancer also have weaker immune systems.
Best Sources Of Bifidobacterium Lactis
B. Lactis is readily available in a large number of probiotic supplements. These supplements are often advised for people who do not consume enough foods that contain this particular species of bacteria.
It is important to note that there may be a higher risk of side effects when taking supplements that contain this probiotic strain, compared to eating more foods that are rich in Bifidobacterium Lactis bacteria.
The most common way for people to obtain more Bifidobacterium Lactis would be to consume a higher amount of fermented milk products. Greek yogurt is an excellent example of a fermented milk product that contains the probiotic strain.
B. Lactis is a relatively common strain of probiotics. This is a beneficial bacterium that may assist in providing several potential benefits to the body. The bacterium may assist with digestive function and plays a role in the regulation of immune functions.