Bifidobacterium longum is a probiotic bacterium with a long list of health benefits, especially for your colon. It is commonly found in adults and children in the GI tracts and female vagina. Tolerance tests show that it is well tolerated as an oral probiotic.
Like other Bifidobacterium species, B. longum is a Gram-positive, non-motile, non-sporulating lactic-acid bacteria that also produces other acids and ethanol.
B. longum is a strict anaerobe for fermentation, but it is also aerotolerant so it can be more versatile than some other bifido species.
At least 28 different strains of this probiotic microbe (solely as B. longum) are catalogued, but the ways in which they are named can be confusing. B. longum is a species, like Bifidobacterium animalis, that has a confusing lineage. As you read on the Bifidobacterium page, Bifidobacterium species are generally very similar genetically, but until recent times, it was not possible to distinguish them by DNA analysis.
However, in 2002, researchers in Japan proposed that B. longum, Bifidobacterium infantis and Bifidobacterium suis are genetically so similar that they are all biotypes of the same species. According to these researchers, the names would then be something like Bifidobacterium longum subsp longum, Bifidobacterium longum subsp infantis, and Bifidobacterium longum subsp suis. And each biotype would then have its own strains.
For the purposes of this website at the current time, you will see B. longum and B. infantis as separate pages since they are listed that way as ingredients in probiotic products. Whenever I know the details of the subspecies, I'll write it, but if no subspecies are given, I'm keeping the names separate.
B. suis was recovered from pig feces, and so far is not as important as the other two B. longum subspecies for humans.
Generally-speaking, B. longum has anti-inflammatory properties that protect the cells lining your mucous membranes from toxins and help some of your immune cells to mature so they can function properly. This probiotic microbe is also present in breast milk, and is one of the first microbes to colonize the infant gut.
It is able to ferment a wide variety of carbohydrates, including lactose and the sugars in cruciferous vegetables, dried beans and some cereal grains that humans cannot digest.
It also has enzymes to digest proteins so that they don’t putrefy in the colon. Putrefaction is not healthy for the colon, as you can imagine. :(
Some of the conditions that B. longum has shown health benefits for are:
Of course, like other probiotics, the benefits of B. longum are strain-specific, so it is best to know the specific strain that will fit your needs.
Coming soon! For more information on the specifics of the probiotic B. longum BB536 strain, including details of what studies have shown, download "The B. longum BB536 Guide."
Coming soon! For more information on the specifics of the probiotic B. longum 5 strain, including details of what studies have shown, download "The B. longum 5 Guide."
Coming soon! For more information on the specifics of the probiotic B. longum R0179 strain, including details of what studies have shown, download "The B. longum R0179 Guide."
B. longum, like other Bifidobacteria, are on the European QPS (Qualifeid Presumptoion of Safety) list.
Additionally, B. longum can cause other microbes that live in the intestines to perform helpful duties that they otherwise wouldn’t do. This suggests that it can communicate with other beneficial bacteria to keep us healthy. However, B. longum does not have any antibiotic resistances that could potentially be transferred to other bacteria.
Bifidobacterium longum is a probiotic species that appears to be destined for use in humans. It is usually found in probiotic-fortified foods and drinks and in probiotic combination supplements.
If you would like to take a simple probiotic formula that has only Bifidobacterium species in it, a good choice is Primadophilus Probifia Pearls by Nature's Way. It contains 1 billion CFU per capsule of B. longum BB536, B. bifidum, B. breve and B. infantis.
For my review of Probifia Pearls, read this page.
A product that contains 30 billion CFU of 6 strains of shelf-stable Bifidobacterium (2-B. lactis strains, B. bifidum, B. breve, B. infantis and B. longum) is Ultimate Flora RTS Senior Care Probiotic from Renew Life. It is gluten- and dairy-free at can be found at
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