Typically, we humans do everything we can to avoid dreaded bacteria. We keep travel-sized germ-x with us everywhere we go and if something says antibacterial on the label we are there. Some of us even take antibiotics like candy.
But, what if it’s actually healthier not to do these things so consistently? What if you are killing off essential bacteria that you actually need? What if I told you that some of these bacteria like Bifidobacterium lactis could actually help you lose weight, promote a healthy digestive system, and even protect against the common cold? Pretty impressive for bacteria, right?
A lot of us have the wrong idea about bacteria. In this article, we will cover what exactly Bifidobacterium lactis is and what it can do for you and your family.
What is Bifidobacterium Lactis?
Bifidobacterium lactis is an interesting type of bacteria that is receiving a lot of attention in the health world for its many unique benefits. Bifidobacterium lactis also known as B. lactis is a healthy type of bacteria.
Your body is home to trillions of microorganisms. Some of these microorganisms are harmful and can cause various problems and illnesses. However, some of these tiny guys are helpful and essential for maintaining a healthy body.
The good and bad bacteria colonize in different parts of the body like the gut, skin, and mucous membranes. In fact, it is believed there are ten times more bacterial cells than human cells. B. lactis in particular typically live in the intestines. Everything runs smoothly as long as these little communities of bacteria are balanced with both good and bad bacteria. But, if there are more bad bacteria than good, problems can start to arise.
B. lactis is one of the good guys. It is a strain of probiotics. There are many different strains of probiotics that have unique effects on the body. So, why is B. lactis so special?
Where the Bifidobacterium lactis probiotic really shines is for gut health. For example, a study in 2015 found that B. Lactis created changes in gut motility, hypersensitivity, and leaky gut. The study concluded that B. lactis may improve gastrointestinal well-being and decrease the frequency of gastrointestinal symptoms.
Bifidobacterium lactis probiotics have been discovered to promote health in a variety of other different ways as well which we will get more into in a moment.
How Does it Work?
Bifidobacterium lactis belongs to a larger family of bacteria called lactic acid bacteria. Lactic acid bacteria much like their name suggests, produce lactic acid. The human body counts on its normal supply of bacteria to perform many different jobs like breaking down foods, helping the body take in nutrients, and helping to prevent harmful bacteria from taking over.
The problem is that these good bacteria can be easily wiped due to several reasons. One major contributor to killing them off is antibiotics. Antibiotics are the opposite of probiotics—they kill bacteria. While antibiotics in many cases are helpful and necessary, they don’t only kill bad bacteria they kill good bacteria as well. This gives the harmful bacteria a chance to grow back faster and stronger and take over yet again.
People consume B. lactis probiotics to grow and multiply them in areas of the body where they are found naturally. This helps rebuild good bacteria and restores balance to the microbiome. In the case of antibiotics, one theory is that taking B. lactis while on antibiotics or right after a round of antibiotics will also help prevent the death of good bacteria and will keep the bad from taking over.
B. lactis can be found in fermented foods like yogurt and cheese. But, it is almost impossible to know how much live bacteria you are consuming with these products and if they will make any difference. Some people choose to take Bifidobacterium lactis in the form of a probiotic supplement to be sure they are getting the number of effective bacteria they need.
Bifidobacterium Lactis Benefits
A Bifidobacterium lactis probiotic may be especially helpful in maintaining a healthy digestive tract but, its benefits don’t stop there.
An imbalance in gut bacteria can be associated with many different serious health conditions. Adding good bacteria into the ecosystem can help tip the balance in favor of your health instead of letting disease take over.
For example, one study found that B. lactis reduced the fat mass and glucose intolerance in rats. Overall, the research suggests that B. lactis mat help improve blood sugar balance and promote a healthy weight.
Believe it or not, at least 70 percent of our immune system is in the gut. Therefore, many doctors believe that one of the biggest influences on immune function is the gut microbiome. Studies have suggested that taking B. lactis along with a few other strains of bacteria can help significantly reduce inflammation in the body and promote a healthy immune response.
Bifidobacterium lactis probiotics are also believed to be possibly effective for:
- Relieving constipation
- Reducing IBS symptoms
- Preventing diarrhea or shortening the duration of diarrhea
- Preventing or help fighting infections
- Promoting oral health
- Promoting heart health
Side Effects of Bifidobacterium Lactis
In general, taking probiotic supplements that contain Bifidobacterium lactis are safe for both adults and children when taken by mouth appropriately. However, you should consult your pediatrician before giving a child any type of supplement including probiotics.
After taking probiotics, some people may experience an upset stomach causing diarrhea, bloating, or gas. While this can be uncomfortable, it should go away with some time as your body gets used to the new bacteria. However, if your symptoms are painful or worsen, you should consult your physician.
You should also speak to your doctor before taking probiotic supplements if you are pregnant or nursing or if you have a weakened immune system or blockage in the intestines.
Final Thoughts on Bacterium Lactis
It’s truly incredible how probiotics can contribute to keeping a person healthy and happy.
To help make Bifidobacterium lactis probiotics even more effective, focus on creating a happy home for them so they can grow and benefit you to the best of their abilities. This means including more healthy foods in your diet, getting plenty of sleep, and reducing stress in your life.
The better the environment you can create for these friendly bacteria, the more likely they are to remain and flourish.