May 04 2021
Bifidobacterium longum is a probiotic bacteria. It is mainly found in the gut of humans and most animals and insects. Bifidobacterium longum provides various health benefits and it is often added to food to provide additional health benefits. B. longum can withstand gastric acid and bile because of which it can survive the harsh environment of the stomach. It helps in getting rid of the bad bacteria and other pathogens in the gut lining. For the bad bacteria to cause any harm, they have to latch onto the cells in the gut. B. longum prevents this by latching onto the cells in the gut so that the bad bacteria have nothing to latch onto. Keeping the levels of bad bacteria in the gut under check is essential for maintaining the health of the immune system.
Longum helps in adjusting the pH levels of the gut. Thus it is important for maintaining the health of the gut. By converting sugars into lactic acid, it lowers the pH. It also produces hydrogen peroxide and acetic acid in the gut. By creating different pH levels in the gut, B. longum facilitates the growth of good bacteria and keeps the bad bacteria in check. B. longum makes bacteriocins. These are substances that slow down and prevent bad bacteria from growing in the gut.
Health benefits of Bifidobacterium longum
- Boosting immunity
A strong immune system is essential for maintaining the overall health of the individual. The immune system is especially weak in the very young and the elderly. Studies show that the activity of natural killer cells which are white blood cells that boost immunity increases in those taking B. longum. In elderly people, it has been found that those who took B. longum were less likely to get the flu. In healthy newborns infants who are given formula supplemented with B. longum were established to have a better immune response.
- Fighting infections
Influenza causes serious health problems for the elderly and the very young. In individuals who are at risk of developing flu, B. longum has been shown to play an important role in protecting against respiratory distress. fewer respiratory tract infections were found to occur among formula-fed infants who are supplemented with B. longum.
- Reducing inflammation in the body
The presence of various health conditions such as ulcerative colitis, psoriasis, and chronic fatigue syndrome, increases the markers of inflammation in the body. Using B. longum in these cases has been shown to reduce markers of inflammation thereby providing symptomatic relief.
- Alleviating allergies
longum may help relieve symptoms in those who are allergic to pollen. Research shows that B. longum helps alleviate allergy-related eye symptoms. It also helps in containing the severity of nasal symptoms such as nasal blockages, itching, and runny nose along with throat symptoms.
- Helping with Celiac Disease
Intake of B. longum may help treat Celiac Disease. In individuals suffering from celiac disease, taking B. longum reduced gastrointestinal symptoms such as indigestion, constipation, and acid reflux. In children with Celiac Disease, it was found that B. longum improves the composition of microbes in the gut. It also enhances the immune response in such children.
- Lowering Cholesterol
The presence of high cholesterol levels in the body increases the higher risk of developing heart disease. Hence, it is necessary to lower cholesterol levels. In hyperlipidemic individuals, B. longum showed a significant reduction in total cholesterol.
- Treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
In patients diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome, B. longum reduces intestinal inflammation. It is also effective in treating individual and global symptoms of IBS without significant side effects. B. Longum helps relieve IBS symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, straining, and flatulence.
- Improving sensitive skin
In those whose skin is extremely sensitive to heat, the cold, and chemicals, application of B. longum topically to the skin improves its sensitivity. Studies show that B. longum decreases skin dryness. It also increases skin resistance against physical and chemical triggers which cause skin irritation.
- Improves liver health
In individuals who are at risk of developing serious liver conditions such as fatty liver disease, liver cirrhosis, and scarring of the liver, using B. longum has been found to significantly improve liver function.
- Helping with chronic kidney disease
Normal functioning of the kidneys is crucial for removing extra phosphorus from the blood. In chronic kidney disease, kidneys can no longer filter phosphorus from the blood. This causes the accumulation of phosphorus and makes the calcium enter the blood vessels, eyes, lungs, and heart increasing the probability of developing strokes and heart attack. In patients undergoing hemodialysis, B. longum reduces phosphorus levels in the blood.
- Preventing cancer
Short-chain fatty acids are the substances that are produced when good bacteria in the gut lining digest fibre thereby decreasing the chances of colon cancer. Research shows that there was an increase in the production of short-chain fatty acids when B. longum was ingested in healthy individuals thus preventing cancer.
- Alleviating anxiety
Chronic anxiety leads to higher cortisol levels in the body. It also negatively affects memory. In people with anxiety disorders, B. longum decreases cortisol levels and reduces anxiety. Also, it improves memory .
- Reducing depression
In addition to regular exercise, taking B. longum may help alleviate the symptoms of depression.
- Reducing constipation associated with weight loss
Various weight loss regimens may disrupt the gut microbiome, resulting in gut dysbiosis. This in turn causes constipation. Studies show that individuals on a diet and exercise program in a combination with B. longum and prebiotics had less constipation.
- Preventing diarrhea associated with antibiotic treatment
Diarrhea is a common side effect of antibiotic therapy. Research shows that B. longum helps in reducing the incidence of antibiotic-associated diarrhea.
- Alleviating lactose intolerance symptoms
lactose-intolerance causes painful cramps and bloating after consuming dairy products. In patients with lactose intolerance, those consuming milk containing B. longum experienced less flatulence.
How to Increase Bifidobacteria in the gut
- Taking a probiotic - By taking a probiotic containing Bifidobacteria and by consuming polyphenols.
- Eating foods high in fibre - Fruit, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains are rich in fibre.
- Eating foods that contain prebiotics - Onions and garlic, contain prebiotics that helps Bifidobacteria thrive.
- Exercising: One of the benefits of exercising may be increasing the amount of Bifidobacteria in the gut.
- Alvizia one daily multivitamin supplements for women contain bifidobacterium longum which helps in improving overall health.