Bifidobacterium breve (B. breve) is one of the most helpful probiotic bacteria in the human body. Amongst probiotic bacteria, it is unique in its ability to compete with other harmful bacteria due to the large variety of molecules that it can digest. It makes up the majority of bacteria in the colons of babies that are breast fed, which is one of many reasons that breast-fed babies tend to have healthier immune systems than non-breast fed babies. Some of the primary functions of B. breve in the digestive tract are to ferment sugars, produce lactic acid, and produce acetic acid, but B. breve serves a number of other important digestive and regulatory functions.https://humarian.com/conditions/diarrhea/
B. breve helps you say no to gut problems
Medical studies have linked B. breve shortages to many common digestive ailments in the gut, such as antibiotic-associated diarrhea, allergies, gas, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). B. breve appears to inhibit the growth of E. coli. It has shown to assist in digestion, as it has a superior ability to break down many types of food compared to other probiotic bacteria, including plant fibers that are normally considered non-digestible.
One study has shown that B. breve is effective in increasing the frequency of bowel movements in children suffering from constipation. This same study also showed that the children had less abdominal pain as a result.1
B. breve helps to support a healthy immune system much like other probiotic bacteria in the gut. It helps to promote respiratory health, skin health, and it helps to inhibit overproduction of some of the primary culprits of yeast infections in women. Studies have shown that supplementation with B. breve can help to protect from infection and inflammation.2 This could be especially beneficial for those suffering from irritable bowel disease (IBD). It could also help to prevent intestinal injury in people that are undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
One of the more exciting findings discovered in the last couple of years involves B. breve as a possible aid in those suffering from asthma. One such study indicates that B. breve has strong anti-inflammatory properties that are similar to budesonide, a steroid medication commonly used in inhaler form to treat chronic asthma.3
B. breve is important, but are you sure you have enough of it?
B. breve concentrations in people can vary greatly. Some people are born with large concentrations of B. breve, but some are born with hardly any at all, primarily dependent upon the mode of delivery… vaginal birth versus cesarean delivery. Even in people that were born with large quantities of B. breve, many tend to lose a large number of their B. breve population as they age over time. For many adults, it will eventually make up less than 10% of digestive related bacteria, allowing room for less helpful bacteria to over colonize the gut during times of stress, leading to sickness or prolonged recovery. This is yet another reason why regular probiotic supplementation is so important for reliable gut health.
Ezaki S, et al. Allergol Int. 2012 Mar;61(1):107-13.
Van der Aa LB, et al. Allergy. 2011 Feb;66(2):170-7.
Van de Pol MA, et al. Allergy. 2011 Jan;66(1):39-47.
Van der Aa LB, et al. Clin Exp Allergy. 2010 May;40(5):795-804.
Taniuchi S, et al. Journal of Applied Research. 2005;5(2):387-96.
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