B. lactis (Bifidobacterium lactis) is a multi-purpose probiotic bacteria that lives in the gut. It is a powerful strain that has been proven to fight tumor growths, improve digestion, and enhance immune system functions. B. lactis is also responsible for breaking down body waste and aiding in the absorption of vitamins and minerals in the gut.
Wait, it can fight tumors?
That’s right! According to some studies (resources and references below) , B. lactis has been proven to effectively fight cancerous tumors. It does so by increasing tumoricidal activities (in other words, actively killing tumors) in the body.1 It has also been shown to have potential preventative effects for colitis-associated cancer, and it has been proven to provide healing effects on inflammatory bowel disease.2
B. lactis also serves other important functions in regulating the immune system. It can help to reduce the frequency and severity of respiratory diseases. Additionally, it has been shown to increase vaccination immune response in infants of mothers supplemented with Bifidobacterium lactis during pregnancy.3 In other words, these infants become further protected by the vaccine more quickly than infants without Bifidobacterium lactis supplementation.
B. lactis improves digestive conditions in the body
B. lactis is responsible for improving general digestive health and comfort through a variety of important functions. One of the more subtle benefits it has is decreasing leaky gut. This means that B. lactis makes it more difficult for foreign materials to pass through the gut wall and into the rest of the body. By lowering the permeability, B. lactis is able to maintain a tighter leash on what foreign substances make it to the rest of the body and lower the risk of harmful conditions, such as NEC and autoimmune diseases.4
B. lactis has also been shown to offer a number of other digestive benefits. It has been shown to decrease the toxic effects of gluten on the intestinal lining, and it could be involved in the prevention of Celiac disease.5 Like B. bifidum and L. rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium lactis has been shown to help with digestion of lactose in individuals that are lactose intolerant. It is also an integral factor in supporting overall digestion of sugars, fibers, and macronutrients, and it is partially responsible for the absorption of vitamins and minerals in the gut.
B. lactis isn’t a one-trick pony
In addition to fighting tumors, strengthening the immune system, and aiding the digestive system, Bifidobacterium lactis can play a significant role in combating allergies, preventing eczema, assisting with high cholesterol, breaking down body waste, and normalizing blood sugar levels. It offers a wide range of health benefits for children and adults alike, but it is not guaranteed to be naturally present in healthy levels. It is important to supplement with probiotics to guarantee your gut is getting the right balance of healthy bacteria that it needs.
Original post: November 22, 2016. Updated: March 30, 2022.
Waller PA, Gopal PK, Leyer GJ, et al. Dose-response effect of Bifidobacterium lactis HN019 on whole gut transit time and functional gastrointestinal symptoms in adults. Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology. 2011;46(9):1057-1064. doi:10.3109/00365521.2011.584895
Whorwell PJ. Do Probiotics Improve Symptoms in Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome? Therapeutic Advances in Gastroenterology. 2009;2(4 Suppl):37-44. doi:10.1177/1756283X09335637.
Tabbers MM, Chmielewska A, Roseboom MG, et al. Effect of the consumption of a fermented dairy product containing Bifidobacterium lactis DN-173 010 on constipation in childhood: a multicentre randomised controlled trial (NTRTC: 1571). BMC Pediatrics. 2009;9:22. doi:10.1186/1471-2431-9-22.
Chouraqui et al. Acidified milk formula supplemented with Bifidobacterium lactis: impact on infant diarrhea in residential care settings. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2004 Mar;38(3):288-92