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Probiotic bacteria such as bifidobacteria are now being introduced into many fermented food products and supplements. The consumption of fermented dairy products containing probiotics has increased in the past decades. Bifidobacteria have been a part of human nutrition for centuries, however in recent years they have been more closely studied for their potential to improve human health and treat disease.
Anaerobic bacteria (bacteria that can survive without oxygen) belonging to the Bifidobacterium species are beneficial for the well-being of the host both in infancy and in later years. It has been shown that bifidobacteria are the predominant \'friendly\' bacteria present in the colon of breast fed infants. Bifidobacterium longum is one of the major strains of friendly bacteria found in infants and consumption of fructooligosaccharides (FOS) can help to increase the population of bifidobacteria in the colon. FOS is found in many foods including bananas and most vegetables, wheat, onions and garlic and it is recommended that we consume at least 3 grams per day.
Babies are born axenic (sterile), and the colonisation of the digestive tract by population of microorganisms specific to each person is done in the first few days of life. The most significant changes in the intestinal flora take place from birth until weaning and again in the later stages of life.
In between, the microbial population of the dominant flora remains relatively stable and prevent potentially pathogenic bacteria from adhering to the intestinal wall. This has been termed \'the barrier effect\'.
However, the balance of bacteria in the digestive tract remains fragile and susceptible to lifestyle changes. Factors such as stress, change in diet and drug intake (antibiotics), can disturb this balance. Any imbalance can result in various disorders including bloating, intestinal pains, nutritional deficiencies and constipation. Also, a disruption of the barrier
These disorders can be very severe, such as in the case of pseudomembraneous colitis (a serious type of diarrhoea) induced by the pathogenic bacteria Clostridium difficile due to the elimination of the barrier effect following a course of antibiotics. One of the most important characteristics for a probiotic bacterium is the ability to inhibit the growth of pathogens.
Bifidobacteria have potential probiotic activity that is generally related to inhibition of pathogens, maintenance and restoration of normal intestinal flora and an increased immune response. Supplemental Uses Immunity Research has shown that Bifidobacterium longum adheres to intestinal
This prevents pathogenic bacteria from sticking to the intestine a causing damage. (1) B.Longum has also been shown to increase the production of a compound released by immune cells called tumour
Probiotic bacteria such as Bifidobacterium species are
Bifidobacterium longum has been shown to be useful for
Probiotics, which include bifidobacterium longum, may
Oral supplements increase energy intake and promote weight
A number of studies have been carried out on the effect
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
The role of probiotics in IBS has been well researched.
B. longum is of human origin. Bifidobacterium longum
Moreover, B. longum has been widely consumed in dietary
Contra-Indications and Interactions
Levels of Bifidobacteria decrease during administration
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