Bifidobacterium Lactis – Know the Facts
If someone were to stop you on the street and ask you about probiotics such as Bifidobacterium Lactis, how much would you know or be able to explain? In all truthfulness, probably not that much.
You see, it cannot be denied that we have developed a tendency to more or less think of ourselves as ‘lay health experts’ – after all, you can find out pretty much anything about everything on the internet these days, right?
While this might be true in certain instances, the topic of probiotics remains a much more complex one, with yogurt advertisements and fitness blog posts only scratching the surface of these beneficial bacteria for the wider audience.
Probiotics – Why Do They Matter?
Probiotics are a common and equally crucial presence inside the gastrointestinal, urinary, and vaginal systems alike. The etymology of their name translates into ‘for-life’ bacteria, namely microorganisms which actively contribute to correct digestive patterns, increased immune protection, and even mental stability in the long run (via the gut-brain axis).
Probiotics are usually transferred during the process of natural birth and through breast milk from the mother to the child. ‘Good’ bacteria of this type then proceed to start developing and stabilizing the child’s gut functions, so as to ensure correct nutrient absorption and regular bowel motility for both short and long term periods.
Consequently, many children who are born through a caesarean section procedure often struggle with digestive issues as a direct result of their reduced exposure to beneficial microorganisms.
Aside from intestinal wellbeing, probiotics also ensure screening against microbes, fungi, and viruses through their potent antiseptic properties. Their ‘strategic’ positioning all across the gastrointestinal tract implies that they can counteract pathogens which are either ingested or contracted via the respiratory system. Therefore, probiotics can potentially inhibit the formation of infections inside the nose, throat, lungs, stomach, intestines, and colon too.
From a ‘technical’ standpoint, these living organisms are generally categorized depending on their order, family, genus, and species for easier recognition. Their potency is measured in CFUs or colony-forming units, which designates the number of active cultures existent inside one’s gut or a specific product.
For example, a healthy individual can have between 1 and 100 billion CFUs within their gastrointestinal tract at a certain time, whereas probiotic foods or supplements can contain anything in the range of a few million CFUs and even 50-100 billion CFUs per dosage.
Of course, starting any sort of probiotic supplementation should be first approved by your doctor, since they are best acquainted with your medical history, specific health issues, and personalized nutritional needs.
Why is Bifidobacterium Lactis Important for Your Organism?
In the complex world of probiotics, Bifidobacterium lactis stands as a distinct species in light of its favorable impact on human wellness.
Also known as Bifidobacterium animalis within scientific circles, this probiotic can be attributed with a number of positive characteristics, including:
- Gastrointestinal wellbeing – as most Bifidobacterium genus members, Bifidobacterium lactis has the capacity to ameliorate the digestive process of ‘tough’ milk sugars and diminish lactose intolerance, regularize nutrient assimilation, and normalize bowel motility. Additionally, Bifidobacterium lactis has been shown to regulate overall digestion associated with a number of GI disorders such as IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), for example. This automatically translates into fewer to none symptomatic responses like bloating, gas, diarrhea, visceral pain, etc. Bifidobacterium lactis has been successfully used in treating constipation and distention alike, with an accelerated rhythm of transit being observed even when put in conjunction with long-term gastrointestinal imbalances.
- Immunity boosting – nowadays, probiotics are renowned for their immunomodulatory contributions, with Bifidobacterium Lactis being no exception. Unlike antibiotics, probiotics can distinguish between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria within the organism. This feature then enables them to solely inhibit the growth of pathogens and not affect beneficial bacterial colonies in the process. Studies have revealed that Bifidobacterium lactis supplementation can greatly benefit more health vulnerable individuals (such as the elderly, for example). ‘Friendly’ microorganisms of this sort have also been proven to stimulate immune responses in the case of Helicobacter pylori infections and do away with their more obvious symptoms (severe diarrhea, nausea, belching, abdominal restlessness, etc.).
- Oral health – Bifidobacterium lactis colonies can be found at the level of the oral cavity as well, where they both help in the early stages of digestive decomposition (when combined with mastication and saliva) and act towards maintaining local health readings within optimal levels. Recent research has discovered that Bifidobacterium lactis probiotics can suppress the formation of Streptococcus overgrowths (which otherwise lead to mouth ulcers and throat infections). In addition, sustained oral supplementation of this beneficial bacterium can reduce the amount of dental plaque and diminish inflammation linked with periodontal diseases without inducing any unwanted side effects.
- Urogenital screening – as mentioned before, probiotics are not only important for gut support, but also for maintaining the urinary and vaginal systems healthy and pathogen-free. This area is particularly vulnerable in the face of infections and illnesses due to poor hygiene or internal imbalances of different kinds. The latest findings regarding Bifidobacterium lactis have demonstrated that this particular probiotic can aid decrease the formation of kidney stones, as well as improve urinary functions over time. Furthermore, oral or local administration of Bifidobacterium lactis should help minimize Candida albicans overgrowths, which are frequently linked to symptoms such as urogenital discomfort, itching, swelling, and abnormal secretions (predominantly in women).
- Cardiovascular protection – in this day and age of excess and heavily processed foods, cardiovascular issues are becoming an alarming normality for most adults. Unfortunately, unhealthy eating habits and lack of physical exercising take their toll on your heart and arteries, which tend to become clogged and stiff over time. In an attempt to bypass more ‘traditional’ treatments for this disorder, studies have managed to connect regular employment of Bifidobacterium lactis probiotics with improved weight loss, reduced inflammation, and ameliorated blood lipids, all clear indicators of a better cardiovascular state.
- Diabetes management – the same culinary excessiveness in terms of fatty and sugary foods leads to the formation of diabetes over time, with strict dieting and insulin boosting becoming a routine regime for people who suffer from this health problem. Luckily, investigations currently argue that enhancing your internal Bifidobacterium lactis count should substantially augment your lipid and glucose metabolism, as well as normalize cholesterol levels, lower the need for insulin, and boost hepatic functions over time.
- Mental stability – probably one of the most interesting and surprising benefits pertaining to Bifidobacterium lactis is its positive impact on mood and mental wellness. Not many people are aware of this, but the human neurological network is closely interconnected to the gut via the vagus nerve, which more or less defines what is nowadays recognized as the gut-brain axis. And, because an imbalance in one side of the ‘scale’ is automatically reflected onto the other, specialists have tried to pinpoint the mechanisms of their relationship in order to figure out how to improve upon both systems. What they found out was that probiotics like Bifidobacterium lactis play a significant part in minimizing the effects of depression, anxiety, and other types of behavioral disorders. These afflictions are often correlated with long-term gastrointestinal distress caused by IBS, IBD or Crohn’s disease, for instance, with Bifidobacterium lactis being able to ameliorate their symptoms during prolonged exposure.
Where Can You Get a Good Bifidobacterium Lactis Boost?
- Probiotic supplements – technological advancements in the field of probiotic enhancers have recently permitted manufacturers to put out better quality products than before, which maintain Bifidobacterium lactis cultures alive for longer periods. In addition, these supplements can be found in the shape of pills, liquid drops, powder sticks, tablets, etc., depending on your preferred administration format. Probiotic supplements are thus easy to integrate into almost any lifestyle regime as a result of their practicality that usually combines small dosages with higher CFUs numbers than you would otherwise get from other sources.
- Brine-pickled vegetables – if you want to go more ‘natural’ with your Bifidobacterium Lactis intake, then fermented vegetables is definitely the way to go in this sense. Regardless of your veggie combination, the result should be an organic and consistent probiotic boost with each new dish. Just be sure to select a brine base for your pickle mix instead of a vinegar one because this latter one tends to kill off the beneficial bacteria as time passes. Probiotic-friendly choices are brine pickles, sauerkraut, and brine olives, as well as Asian cuisine staples such as Kimchi (spiced veggies), Umeboshi (brine preserved plums), Miso paste and soup (made from soybeans fermented in salt), and Kombucha tea (slightly fermented green or black tea).
- Dairy products – it would seem that the most ‘logical’ source of probiotic acceleration is that of dairy produce. As the name actually suggests, Bifidobacterium lactis can be successfully linked to improved milk processing via fermentation processes. In these instances, lactic acid is employed to decompose the oligosaccharides found in milk, therefore alleviating lactose intolerance and normalizing digestive rhythms. Bifidobacterium lactis is also often used as a starter culture for products like natural yogurt, kefir, buttermilk, and soft cheeses. A word of caution: when wanting to make sure your probiotic boost is the real deal, check for dairy varieties which add their beneficial microorganisms after pasteurization is completed (since elevated heat kills off live bacteria).
- Other sources – as previously pointed out, probiotics can be added to certain foods and drinks before commercialization, irrespective of whether or not they are a natural presence in that product’s makeup. As a result, you could enhance your Bifidobacterium lactis colonies through items such as sourdough bread, pistachios, cured meats, dark chocolate, and wine. Again, be on the lookout for products which specifically supplement the probiotic organisms after the pasteurization process for maximum colony potency.
Can Bifidobacterium Lactis Cause Side Effects too?
Unfortunately, Bifidobacterium lactis supplementation of any variety can cause side effects and/ or health issues for certain categories of individuals.
For instance, some people experience symptoms like abdominal pain, cramping, gas, bloating, and overall discomfort when starting a dietary regime based on a higher quantity of Bifidobacterium lactis probiotics than they would otherwise ingest. These are normal in the sense that they represent your body’s attempts at balancing out the new bacterial colonies, which means that they should wear off after a couple of days into the new eating or dietary enhancer regime.
In the same line of though, Bifidobacterium bacteria – and probiotics in general – do not interact well with the whole spectrum of antibiotics, this medicine frequently diminishing the effectiveness of the ‘good’ microorganisms by a considerable amount.
On the other hand, more severe outcomes have been observed when Bifidobacterium lactis was utilized by persons diagnosed with the short-bowel syndrome or those exhibiting a compromised immune system (as a direct consequence of cancer treatments, HIV/AIDS, etc.). These conditions allow for dangerous instances of bacterial translocation, which could then transform into life-threatening episodes of sepsis (blood intoxication). Medical attention is hence mandatory if you are in any of these positions or if you are undergoing any type of long-term drug-based treatment.
The same level of caution is advised in the case of pregnant or nursing mothers since the effects of Bifidobacterium lactis in these conditions have not yet been studied enough so as to be considered completely safe and recommended.
Bifidobacterium Lactis – Overall View and Conclusions
It has become distinctly clear by now that Bifidobacterium lactis represents a highly valuable probiotic component within the overall economy of the human body as a result of both its local and general influence.
From digestion and immunity to dental maintenance and mental stability – as well as an array of other health benefits – Bifidobacterium Lactis appears to express all the potential needed for an alternative therapy aimed at wholesomeness and happiness.
So, next up you meet with your doctor, be sure to ask them how Bifidobacterium Lactis could help you in particular towards achieving a sounder body, more peaceful mind, and overall increased quality of life. Chances are you won’t regret it!
Probiotic Supplements That Contain Bifidobacterium Lactis:
- Earth’s Pearl Probiotics
- NOW Probiotic-10
- 1MD Complete Probiotics Platinum
- CRI Naturals ActBiotics
- Sedona Labs iFlora Multi-Probiotic
- Naturo Sciences Ultrabiotics 15
- Probium Probiotics Multi Blend 12B
- Nutrition Now PB8 Probiotic
- Renew Life Ultimate Flora Critical Care
- Florajen4Kids™ Probiotic
- Dr. Mercola Complete Probiotics
- PureBiotics Dynamic Nutrition
- Nature’s Bounty Probiotic 10
- Perfect Biotics Probiotic America
- Nucific Bio X4