Bacteria are known to be harmful to our health, but is this the whole story? Bacteria can cause infections and also put us at risk for other diseases like stomach ulcers. However, some bacteria are an exception to this and Bifidobacteria are among them.
Bifidobacteria are the group of microorganisms called probiotics, which naturally live in the intestine and stomach of humans. These bacteria help the body perform certain essential functions like digestion and fighting harmful bacteria.
One of the species of Bifidobacteria, named Bifidobacterium bifidum, has received the attention of researchers in the last few years for being potentially beneficial for our health. Here is a brief discussion about whether Bifidobacteria can be actually useful for our body and how these organisms can help us avoid diseases.
What are the Health Benefits of Bifidobacteria?
Protects Against Harmful Organisms
Studies have revealed that Bifidobacteria could play a role in protecting the vital tissues of the body against serious infections. Bifidobacteria can act as probiotics and improve the digestion of foods in the stomach and intestine. These organisms would also promote a healthy gut flora and thus, strengthen the immunity.
Several research studies conducted to assess the benefits of Bifidobacteria have confirmed the ability of these strains to prevent infections. Bifidobacteria has shown promise in the treatment of gastric and peptic ulcers by controlling the infections caused due to another bacterium, Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). It may also help to relieve the symptoms of digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), constipation, and promote the restoration of the intestinal microbiota after antibiotics and chemotherapy.
It may also help to inhibit the progress of IBS by supporting the body’s natural healing mechanisms and reduce the risk of chronic issues such as ulcerative colitis, colorectal cancer, and Crohn’s disease.
Several research studies aimed at evaluating the beneficial effects of Bifidobacteria on the vital tissues and cells have indicated that these organisms might help to improve immunity and enable the body to fight infections more efficiently.
Researchers have noted that there are several strains of these bacteria, each having a unique ability to influence the functions of the immune system. Some strains of Bifidobacteria would boost the immunity by recruiting a higher number of white blood cells at the site of infections to fight off the harmful organisms, while some others would help by controlling inflammation by recruiting a fewer number of white cells.
These effects of Bifidobacteria can play a critical role in clearing the infections in a shorter duration while also providing relief from symptoms like redness, rashes, itching, and swelling that occur as a result of inflammation.
Regular use of probiotics containing these healthy bacteria is expected to curb the frequency of infections. This is why patients who are likely to develop recurrent infections due to factors such as a weak immunity, diabetes, and the long-term use of steroidal drugs are advised to use probiotics containing Bifidobacteria on a regular basis.
Supports Skin Health
Bifidobacteria have found application in the management of skin issues such as eczema. Eczema is a chronic skin disease marked by recurring episodes of severe itching and scaling. Research studies have suggested that Bifidobacteria might play a role in reducing the risk of eczema. This study has shown that the use of probiotics containing Bifidobacteria by pregnant women could also help to reduce the risk of eczema in babies.
This effect of Bifidobacteria can be particularly beneficial for those who have a family history of eczema or other autoimmune disorders. During this study, the researchers treated the mothers having a family history of eczema with a placebo or the pills of B. bifidum for 4 to 8 weeks prior to their expected date of delivery.
After delivery, the infants were treated with one tablet of B. bifidum a day for about 6 months. Only 18.2% of infants who were treated the B. bifidum developed eczema while about 40% of infants treated with placebo developed this condition. These results point to the effectiveness of Bifidobacteria in the prevention of eczema.
The use of Bifidobacteria can be coupled with other immunity-boosting supplements such as BioPro-Plus to improve the benefits further. BioPro-Plus could complement the immunity-boosting effects of Bifidobacteria and help you avoid infections and other health issues linked to a weak immunity.
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