Bifidobacterium bifidum, known as B. bifidum, is a strain of bacteria commonly used as a probiotic. Probiotics are living microorganisms that simulate the beneficial bacteria found in the gastrointestinal tract of humans. B. bifidum is one of many bacterial strains that occur naturally in the gut flora, living in the colon. The inclusion of B. bifidum in a dietary regimen provides the host with a variety of benefits.
B. bifidum aids in the synthesis of B-complex vitamins and vitamin K in the intestines. This synthesis protects the body from deficiencies of these vitally important nutrients. The primary function of vitamin K is to regulate the blood clotting process. Vitamin K is also necessary to improve bone health, prevent bone fractures and reduce the risk of bleeding associated with long-term antibiotic use. B-complex vitamins are also essential to good health as they aid in energy production, promote normal growth and development, metabolize protein and carbohydrates, maintain nervous system function and aid in the creation of red blood cells.
Improved Immunity and Digestion
Supplementing the diet with B. bifidum helps improve digestion and enhance the immune phagocytic activity of the human body. First, B. bifidum promotes bacterial balance and optimal digestion, thereby discouraging the production of histamine, a chemical responsible for triggering an allergic reaction. Second, B. bifidum enhances the body's natural antibody immune response. Therefore, regular B. bifidum in the diet fights against intestinal pathogens, digestive irregularities and histamine production, ultimately improving the body's immunity and avoiding the onset of allergic reactions.
Alcoholic Liver Restoration
According to "Probiotics Restore Bowel Flora and Improve Liver Enzymes in Human Alcohol-Induced Liver Injury: A Pilot Study," liver disease caused by excessive alcohol consumption is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. It accounts for 40 percent of deaths from cirrhosis and between 10 percent and 35 percent of hepatitis cases. Over-consumption of alcohol is associated with increased gut permeability, bowel and liver interactions, altered intestinal flora and significantly reduced numbers of B. bifidum, among other beneficial bacteria. This study indicated that short-term supplementation with B. bifidum resulted in restoration of bowel flora and notable improvements in alcohol-induced liver injury when compared to standard therapy alone.
Probiotics such as B. bifidum are especially effective in the treatment of diarrhea, including infectious diarrhea and diarrhea associated with antibiotic use. The probiotics are even safe for children with diarrhea. The restoration of bacterial symbiosis within the gastrointestinal tract as a result of probiotic supplementation results in a decrease in stool frequency, fecal weight and abdominal cramps.
The article "Bifidobacterium as Probiotic Agents -- Physiological Effects and Clinical Benefits" states that bacterial irregularity of the intestinal flora influences the creation of cancer cells by producing enzymes that transform normal cells into active carcinogens. Harmful bacteria in the colon promote tumor production and tumor transformation in the gut. Evidence suggests that probiotics such as B. bifidum protect the host from activities within the body that cause the growth and transformation of healthy cells into cancer cells.
- "Prescription for Nutritional Healing"; Phyllis Balch; 2006
- "Journal, Indian Academy of Clinical Medicine"; Probiotics in Health and Disease; S. Anuradha and K. Rajeshwari; January-March 2005
- "Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics"; Bifidobacterium as Probiotic Agents -- Physiological Effects and Clinical Benefits; C. Picard et al.; September 2005
- "Alcohol"; Probiotics Restore Bowel Flora and Improve Liver Enzymes in Human Alcohol-Induced Liver Injury: A Pilot Study; I. Kirpich et al.; December 2008