Bifidobacterium bifidum

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Form: Bacteria
Food sources: Sourdough breads, fermented foods like kimchi. 

Benefits of Bifidobacterium bifidum

  • Overall gut health
  • Management of certain inflammatory gastrointestinal conditions
  • Immune health

What is Bifidobacterium bifidum? 

Bifidobacterium is a family of friendly bacteria that live in our intestines. The Bifidobacterium genus (family) has the ability to break down complex carbohydrates in the gut, and as a result of the fermentation process, lactic acid is produced. Lactic acid helps to lower the pH level of the gut, which creates the right environment for good bacteria to flourish while inhibiting the growth of pathogenic (disease causing) bacteria or yeasts. Pathogenic bacteria do not grow in a low pH (acidic) environment, and so the outcome helps maintain a healthy balance of intestinal flora and overall gut health.

Bifidobacteria have been associated with the production of a number of potentially ‘health promoting’ metabolites including short-chain fatty acids, conjugated linoleic acid and bacteriocins.

Foods that contain high levels of fibre are important to include in your diet, as they have the ability to help Bifidobacterium thrive. Examples of foods rich in fibre include broccoli, lentils, dates and apples. Fermented foods are also great sources of Bifidobacterium, such as sauerkraut, kimchi, sourdough bread and other fermented vegetables. Fermented foods, such as milk kefir, naturally contain lactic acid bacteria and these also naturally help support the growth of Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli.

As we age, Bifidobacterium levels decline quite drastically and this could explain the common gastrointestinal difficulties experienced by older individuals. Hence why it is so important to adopt and maintain a diet rich in wholefoods that provides a wide variety of fibre from multiple sources. There are many different strains of Bifidobacterium, including 'Bifidobacterium 'longum', 'breve', 'lactis' and 'bifidum'. Bifidobacterium bifidum in particular is very popular for gut health and overall wellbeing. In clinical research, Bifidobacterium bifidum has been shown to restore the intestinal microbiome balance (dysbiosis), which is valuable in health conditions such as colitis.

Studies also show Bifidobacterium bifidum may exert anti-inflammatory properties and positive outcomes in conditions such as Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD) by generating antioxidant enzymes which helpe lower inflammatory cytokines, and maintain the gut's epithelial barrier. Alongside other bacterial strains, Bifidobacteria bifidum has also been shown in some studies to help support the immune system by modulating the host immune response.