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Bifidobacterium breve: The Health Benefits of Probiotics

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Bifidobacterium breve: The Health Benefits of Probiotics

Published July 25, 2015


The benefits of probiotics are numerous, but did you know different bacterial strains provide different benefits? While all of them are helpful for digestion, not all probiotics are equal. This fact has led to a lot of confusion on the subject. Let's clear up a few questions and take a closer look at one specific probiotic bacterial strain your body depends on: Bifidobacterium breve.

Bifidobacterium breve: The Health Benefits of Probiotics

For people who are addicted to antibacterial soaps and lotions, it can be a difficult task to understand there may be good bacteria out there. The fact of the matter is, there are. When it comes to bacteria, there's an entire world you may not even know about. And as you'll see in just a moment, B. breve is one of them you want to know.

The term "probiotic" means "for life." All the bacterial strains grouped under this term share one thing in common – they work with your body and have positive effects on your health. Think of them as friendly bacteria. Here's two key benefits:

Aid Digestion

These friendly bacteria digest sugars, starches, and carbs into nutrients your body can easily digest, and they also break down fiber. [1] If you have trouble digesting fiber, it may mean you don't have enough probiotic bacteria in your gut. On top of all this, your gut is the gateway all nutrients pass through to get to every cell in your body. When your gut isn't working right, you lose a lot of these nutrients, and the body is at a greater risk for nutritional deficiency.

Supports Immune Health

It turns out probiotics are your first line of defense against invading bacteria like E. coli, C. difficile, and H. pylori. [2] Considering that 80% of your immune cells are in the gut, it makes sense that probiotics protect the immune response. Probiotics line the surface of your intestines, preventing germs from attacking you and making you sick. And some, like B. breve, even inhibit them from doing anything other than pass through (and out) your digestive tract.

But this doesn't come close to all of the benefits of probiotics. Scientists also report people who have balanced probiotic levels:

  • Are less likely to become depressed. [3]
  • Focus and concentrate more easily.
  • Have fewer blood sugar spikes and instances of high blood sugar. [4]
  • Enjoy healthy, strong bones. [5]
  • Experience fewer allergies. [6]
  • Have better overall heart and vascular health.

And many people report the easing up of skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and acne after taking probiotics. It's unlikely to know whether or not probiotics actually affect skin health directly, but many dermatologists prescribe it when administering antibiotics–a whole other story in itself.

Not All Probiotics Are Equal

Mainstream food manufacturers want you to think all probiotics are the same, but nothing could be further from the truth. Probiotic bacteria differ from one species to another. Some specialize in immune support, some produce vitamins, and some breakdown different types of sugars and fiber.

There's even difference between the strains of the same species. To help add clarity, scientists have added strain identifiers to the end of the name. So you might see L. acidophilus labeled with DDS-1, or B. infantis 36624. Some probiotic strains are little powerhouses. Often, these are bacteria you have when you're born and diminish as you age due to exposure to germs, antibiotics, pesticides, and foods loaded with artificial sugars like HFCS.

Bifidobacterium breve: A Strain You Want

This powerhouse probiotic bacteria plays a key role in your health. B. breve also protects colon function, alleviates constipation, and reduces gas, bloating, and diarrhea. Additionally, it stimulates your immune system, inhibits E. coli, and suppresses the fungus Candida. While there's always a big focus on the positive effect of probiotics on digestion, B. breve has proven effective in reducing oral candida in the elderly. [7] This helps prevent the spread of candida to other areas of the body, like the gut. Researchers speculate that many cases of Irritable Bowel Disease may be a result of a Candida infestation. [8]

Get Your Prebiotics

Organisms like B. breve use fiber, inulin, and natural sugars that you find in fruits and vegetables as food, or prebiotics. Prebiotics feed your probiotic bacteria, keeping them hearty and robust. Simply increasing your fiber intake through whole plant foods can be helpful. Supplementation with inulin or gum acacia can also be extremely helpful for supporting B. breve population.

Your Best Source for Probiotics

Kombucha, water kefir, and raw sauerkraut are excellent food sources of probiotics. Supplements are another way to get the probiotics you need. But make sure it's a high-quality supplement. For B. breve, it should have CFUs (colony forming units) around 3 billion, and your supplement should use microencapsulation to make sure these friendly bacteria survive digestion so you get the best result.

-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM


  1. Balakrishnan M, Floch MH. Prebiotics, probiotics and digestive health. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2012 Nov;15(6):580-5. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e328359684f.
  2. Mondel M, Schroeder BO, Zimmermann K, et al. Probiotic E. coli treatment mediates antimicrobial human beta-defensin synthesis and fecal excretion in humans. Mucosal Immunol. 2009 Mar;2(2):166-72. doi: 10.1038/mi.2008.77.
  3. Mohammadi AA, Jazayeri S, Khosravi-Darani K, et al. The effects of probiotics on mental health and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in petrochemical workers. Nutr Neurosci. 2015 Apr 16.
  4. Al-Salami H, Butt G, Fawcett JP, et al. Probiotic treatment reduces blood glucose levels and increases systemic absorption of gliclazide in diabetic rats. Eur J Drug Metab Pharmacokinet. 2008 Apr-Jun;33(2):101-6.
  5. Kolsoom Parvaneh, Rosita Jamaluddin, Golgis Karimi, and Reza Erfani. Effect of Probiotics Supplementation on Bone Mineral Content and Bone Mass Density. ScientificWorldJournal. 2014; 2014: 595962. doi: 10.1155/2014/595962.
  6. Gui Yang, Zhi-Qiang Liu, and Ping-Chang Yang. Treatment of Allergic Rhinitis with Probiotics: An Alternative Approach. N Am J Med Sci. 2013 Aug; 5(8): 465-468. doi: 10.4103/1947-2714.117299.
  7. Mendonca FH, Santos SS, Faria Ida S, et al. Effects of probiotic bacteria on Candida presence and IgA anti-Candida in the oral cavity of elderly. Braz Dent J. 2012;23(5):534-8.
  8. Mukherjee PK, Sendid B, Hoarau G, et al. Mycobiota in gastrointestinal diseases. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2015 Feb;12(2):77-87. doi: 10.1038/nrgastro.2014.188.

The post Bifidobacterium breve: The Health Benefits of Probiotics appeared first on Dr. Group's Natural Health & Organic Living Blog.

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