Bifidobacterium bifidum, abbreviated B. bifidum (more about abbreviating microbes can be found here ) is a fairly common probiotic bacteria in humans. It has some uncommon health benefits, in that it appears to have mostly anti-inflammatory effects in the body.
Like other Bifidobacterium species, B. bifidum is a Gram-positive, non-motile, non-spore forming, rod-shaped lactic-acid bacteria that also produces acetic acid, ethanol, and other acids. It lives best in low-to-zero oxygen environments.
Bifidobacterium bifidum was the only bifido species known prior to the early 1960’s, even though Bifidobacterium have been known since approximately 1900. Before that time, determination of a microbe was performed with a microscope rather than by cultivation and identification of sub-cultures. It was difficult to plate Bifidobacterium on a microscope slide because of the strict anaerobic requirements of many of the species.
In the 1960’s, microscopes were improved to allow anaerobic conditions. As technology advanced, it became apparent that there were many species of Bifidobacterium besides bifidum, and some of the previously-called “bifidum” microbes were actually some other species! So unless researchers went back and re-identified those microbes, it’s unknown if the properties they attributed to Bifidobacterium bifidum really belonged.
Over 45 different strains of Bifidobacterium bifidum are known, and some may have unique characteristics, but most share many similar properties. As mentioned on the Bifidobacterium page, bacteria in this species are generally very similar genetically. However, differences between strains do exist, so it is best to try to find the strain that meets your needs.
B. bifidum is generally able to produce the enzyme lactase, which may help with lactose intolerance. In fact, lactase-producing genes from Bifidobacterium bifidum species are routinely inserted into other microbes like Bacillus subtilis or E. coli to produce genetically-engineered bacteria for concentrated lactase enzyme production at an industrial scale.
It is one of the 4 species typical for infants, although it is not the dominant bifido species in infants. It found frequently in adults, although not all adults have it.
As you can see, each person really is a unique individual with their own unique flora!
Some people mistakenly called this microbe "bifidus", or they may call the Bifidobacterium species "bifidus", so sometimes it's hard to know as a consumer exactly what microbe is listed.
B. bifidum as a species is on the European QPS (Qualified Presumption of Safety) List and is generally thought to be safe.
As a whole species, B. bifidum generally have anti-inflammatory properties that protect the cells lining your mucous membranes from toxins. They also help some of your immune cells to mature so they can function properly. This is one species that nearly everyone can benefit from.
However, some research published in 2013 showed that glycopolymers from a B. bifidum strain interact with autoimmune thyroid antibodies. Whether this is a protective effect or a contributing effect remains to be seen as research on this subject continues.
There are numerous studies to support this bacterium as a probiotic.
You will most likely find B. bifidum as one of several species of beneficial bacteria, rather than the only species, in probiotic supplements and foods.
|Kirkman Bifido Complex from my dispensary is from a quality manufacturer with exhaustive testing methods, It does not contain soy, wheat, casein, gluten, milk, corn, egg, yeast, gelatin, artificial flavorings, artificial colorings, peanuts, tree nuts or fish.|
If you're looking for a simple probiotic formula that has only Bifidobacterium species in it, a good choice is Primadophilus Probifia Pearls by Nature's Way. It contains 1billion CFU per capsule of B. longum BB536, B. bifidum, B. breve and B. infantis.
To read my review of Probifia Pearls, go here.
B. bifidum requires the strictest anaerobic conditions of all the Bifidobacterium species, so some researchers question the ability of it to survive in food products. So if you see a product that is freely exposed to air and that boasts that is contains this beneficial bacteria species, you are wiser than to fall for that marketing misrepresentation. Save your money and shop for something else.
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