Bifidobacterium bifidum is one of the most common probiotic bacteria that are found in the human body. The Bifidobacterium species makes up more than 80% of microorganisms within the intestine, and B. bifidum is the second-most abundant species in the bodies of breast-fed babies. In fact, it makes up around 95% of a newborn’s gut!
Like other Bifidobacterium strains, B. bifidum is anaerobic, which means it doesn’t require oxygen to survive. It’s neither motile nor spore-forming. Most of the B. bifidum in our bodies are found in the colon, lower small intestine, breast milk, as well as in the vagina.
Bifidobacterium bifidum has numerous benefits for the body and mind. It’s been found to reduce the frequency and risk of acute diarrhea, as well as infections from other pathogens such as E. coli. For women, B. bifidum is helpful in maintaining the health of the vaginal tract. Those who suffer from obesity, diabetes and various allergies are found to have lower numbers of Bifidobacterium in their gut.
Bifidobacterium bifidum adheres to the lining of the gastrointestinal tract, where it helps your body to digest certain sugars. It also supports the immune system, warding off pathogens and toxins before they can reach the blood stream. Recent research even shows that Bifidobacterium bifidum reduces the incidence of cold and flu.
In another study, a B. bifidum supplement was found to reduce self-reported stress and diarrhea or gastrointestinal discomfort associated with stress in undergraduate students.
Bifidobacterium bifidum also helps to restore the health of the gut in those with gastrointestinal disorders. Those suffering from acid-related dyspepsia, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and constipation found significant improvement to their symptoms after regular consumption of fermented milk containing B. bifidum. This contributed to an improvement in their psychological health, with many reporting that they felt less angry and hostile.
When tested in mice, B. bifidum supplements were found to increase the population of healthy microbiota, while at the same time reducing harmful bacteria such as Enterobacter and Escherichia coli. It also alleviated symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease, helping to reduce the thickening of intestinal walls. At the same time, B. bifidum helped to control the infiltration of inflammatory cells.
Another important healing benefit of B. bifidum is its ability to improve digestive function in those with H. pylori infection. Supplementation of B. bifidum helps to increase both upper gastrointestinal symptoms and total symptoms in patients with H. pylori infection. Studies in mice show that it also repairs damage to gastrointestinal tissues caused by H. pylori and reduce the spread of the infection.
One of the most-studied benefits of B. bifidum is its ability to help with stress. In a study involving undergraduate students, supplementation with B. bifidum was shown to increase the proportion of “healthy days” per student and reduce the days in which they suffered from colds or flu. The researchers concluded that daily intake of bifidobacteria helped to strengthen the immune system which can be weakened during periods of acute stress.