How many times you read on the pack of yogurt or other drinks that the product contain bifidobacteria? It happens quite often, but what are bifidobacteria exactly? An introduction is needed, in our gut there are about tens of thousands of billions of bacteria. This large population forms the so called gastrointestinal microbiota, that is considered an organ of human body. When the microbiota is healthy and balanced it can works correctly and can perform all its functions, the best known is the digestion but it is also a barrier against pathogens, it synthetizes vitamins such as K, B8 and B9, namely the folic acid, plays a role in the metabolism of cholesterol and regulates the immune system (from the book of Nicola Sorrentino, Fat Inside). It may happen that, as a consequence of medicines, stress or infections this microbiota modifies and dysbiosis may happen with the predominance of some types of bacteria that usually are less present and that promote inflammations, such as Escherichia coli, while other bacteria with anti-inflammatory properties tend to decrease. A change in the microbiota causes gastrointestinal problems, allergies, weakness but also obesity (The Human Microbiome Project Cosortium, Nature, 2012). In order to restore the microbiota it is important to take probiotic supplements that may be helpful to counteract the pathogen bacteria. Together with lactobacilli another type of this good and beneficial bacteria is represented by bifidobacteria. The bifidobacteria have anti-inflammatory properties, support the immune system and have a protective role against pathogens and toxins. In addition to this, the bifidobacteria are useful in case of diarrhea and constipation but that aren’t caused by external factors, for this reason this type of bifidobacteria may be useful in case of irritable bowel syndrome. Bifidobacteria tend to decrease with age and in case of poor health conditions, while are in higher quantity in breast-fed children. In order to integrate the bifidobacteria probiotic supplements can be a good choice, you can find them in herbalist’s or chemist’s shops. To produce the probiotic supplements the more common types of bacteria are animalis, breve, bofidum, longum and lactis. The probiotic supplements should be taken without food, better in the morning, and the treatment should be continued for at least 3-4 weeks. Finally, the settlement of this bacterium may be promoted by some substances, called prebiotic, such as inulin contained in artichokes and chicory. Eating these foods is really beneficial for the intestinal health.
Useful in case of diarrhea and constipation caused by irritable bowel syndrome, support for the immune system, anti-inflammatory substances, against toxins and pathogens.