The Benefits of Bifidobacterium and Foods Rich in This Good Bacteria

The Benefits of Bifidobacterium and Foods Rich in This Good Bacteria

The Benefits of Bifidobacterium and Foods Rich in This Good Bacteria

Bifidobacterium is a group of bacteria that lives in your gut. It improves gut health and is found in yogurt, kombucha, and other fermented foods.

Bifidobacterium is a group of bacteria that lives in your gut. These bacteria and other microorganisms work to keep your body healthy. An imbalance can be harmful.

So, what role does Bifidobacterium play?

Your gut microbiome is a complex population of microorganisms that evolved to live in your gastrointestinal tract. It includes many microorganisms, determined by factors such as your DNA, mother’s microbiota, birthplace, childhood environment, and childhood diet.

What does your microbiota do?

You have almost 1 trillion bacterial cells in a single gram of material from your large intestine.

Your microbiota can be “good” and “bad.” A balanced microbiome greatly benefits your health by promoting nutrient metabolism, protecting you from harmful bacteria, boosting your immune system, and supporting gastrointestinal health.

Unfortunately, health conditions, diets, and long-term use of antibiotics can cause dysbiosis — an imbalance in your microbiome that puts you at risk.

How does your microbiota work?

The exact mechanisms aren’t fully understood, but their benefits are well-researched.

Microorganisms feed on the food you eat, gaining nutrition. Through their digestive processes and your body working together, your microbiome is formed.

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What is Bifidobacterium?

Bifidobacterium is one of the dominant genera of bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract. There are more than 50 species of bifidobacteria.

Bifidobacterium is most prevalent in babies who are 3 to 4 months old because human milk contains bifidobacteria and oligosaccharides.

What are the benefits of Bifidobacterium?

A thriving population of Bifidobacterium has extraordinary benefits. It may prevent or treat colorectal cancer, prevent diarrhea caused by antibiotics or bacterial infections, reduce symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease, improve bowel movement regularity, and relieve other gastrointestinal inflammatory conditions.

How to get more Bifidobacterium

You have two options to get more of this good bacteria: eat more fermented foods or take probiotic supplements.

Generally, dietary changes are the best way to introduce more Bifidobacterium into your microbiome. Probiotics come with potential risks.

Risks of probiotics

Probiotic supplements aren’t vetted by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, so quality can vary. Consult a doctor before trying probiotics to avoid imbalancing your microbiome.

Along with Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium is one of the most widely used probiotics.

QUESTION

Foods with Bifidobacterium

Fermented dairy products are the most common way to get more bifidobacteria.

What is a fermented dairy product?

The most popular fermented dairy product is yogurt, which contains Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Kefir, fermented cheese, sour cream, and other dairy products that undergo fermentation can also contain bifidobacteria.

Other fermented foods with bifidobacteria

If you don’t like yogurt or dairy products, there are other fermented foods you can eat to get bifidobacteria, including kimchi, kombucha, miso, tempeh, pickles, and sauerkraut.

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How to identify food with bifidobacteria

Foods with probiotics may contain Bifidobacterium, but its presence is not guaranteed. Check the label for the abbreviation "B." followed by the species name. The most common strains are:

Always double-check the packaging. It will tell you if it contains probiotics and which live cultures the manufacturer used.

What about prebiotics?

Prebiotics serve as nutrition for your gut microorganisms. Eating a balanced diet with foods like inulin supports Bifidobacterium in your microbiome.

The importance of a healthy microbiome is undeniable. You can bring balance with fermented foods and nutritious, prebiotic foods.

Bifidobacterium is one of the dominant genera in your microbiome and provides many benefits.

Sources:

Frontiers in Microbiology: "Bifidobacteria and Butyrate-Producing Colon Bacteria: Importance and Strategies for Their Stimulation in the Human Gut," "Bifidobacteria and Their Role as Members of the Human Gut Microbiota."

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: "The Microbiome."

Harvard Health Publishing: "How to get more probiotics," "Want probiotics but dislike yogurt? Try these foods."

Michigan State University: "Probiotics & Prebiotics – Foods & Supplements."

Microbiology Spectrum: "Bifidobacteria and Their Health-Promoting Effects."

World Journal of Gastroenterology: "Role of the normal gut microbiota."

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