If you're looking to support your gut health and overall well-being, including Bifidobacterium lactis in your diet is an excellent place to start. This prebiotic has been clinically shown to support gut health and digestion, and because the gut is so closely related to the immune system, prebiotics such as these can help support optimal immune function. Keeping these in balance will help your long-term health goals.
As a probiotic strain of bacteria commonly found in the human gut, Bifidobacterium lactis or B. lactis has been shown to have numerous beneficial effects on human health.
B. lactis is a lactic acid bacterium belonging to the Bifidobacterium genus, which is known for its ability to survive in the gastrointestinal tract and the colon. This means that B. lactis is able to reach the lower intestine, where it can have the most significant impact on gut health.
It's understood that while the immune system is in many parts of the body, it mainly exists within our gut. We need healthy gut flora to not only maintain proper digestion but also to support our immune function. B. lactis has been shown to have immune-supporting properties and improve gut health. In particular, B. lactis has been shown to help support the immune system by promoting the production of immune cells and their activity.
Let's look at some of the main benefits this prebiotic has to offer to keep our health on track.
Improved digestive health
B. lactis may help with discomfort from common bloating and mild constipation. This is likely due to its ability to break down complex carbohydrates in the gut, which can improve digestion.
Complex carbohydrates can be difficult for the body to digest, and their breakdown can lead to the buildup of gas, causing discomfort. By breaking down these complex carbohydrates, B. lactis can support digestion, leading to improved overall gut health and a better absorption of essential nutrients from our diet.
Another important way in which B. lactis improves gut health is by producing beneficial compounds such as short-chain fatty acids. Short-chain fatty acids are produced when B. lactis breaks down certain types of dietary fiber, which is essential to our digestive health. They have been found to reduce oxidative stress in the gut, promote gut barrier function, and support the normal growth of other beneficial bacteria in the gut.
Enhanced Immune Function
B. lactis can also promote gut health by supporting the immune system. B. lactis can interact with immune cells in the gut and promote the production of cytokines. The immune system is the body’s natural response to perceived threats and environmental stressors. B. lactis can help to minimize common oxidative stress in the gut and can also help support the overall immune response.
B. lactis has also been found to stimulate the production of T-cells, which play an important role in immune health. These cells help keep the immune system from overreacting to immune threats.
B. lactis does this by interacting with immune cells in the gut called dendritic cells. These cells take in pieces of B. lactis and show them to T-cells, which can then start making more regulatory T-cells. These rT-cells help control oxidative stress and support immune health balance.
Support Cognitive Function and Mental Health
More studies are needed, but some suggest there could be a benefit to cognitive function and mental health support. There is a complex relationship between the gut and the brain known as the gut-brain axis. B. lactis can help balance this axis by producing compounds that interact with the nervous system and influence mood. This prebiotic may promote brain neurotransmitters, such as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which have been linked to improved mood and reduced everyday stress. Additionally, having a healthy gut means better absorption of nutrients such as vitamin B12, which is important for healthy brain function.
B. lactis can be taken in various forms, including probiotic supplements and fermented foods. The dosage and form of B. lactis may vary depending on the individual and their specific health needs. Probiotic supplements containing B. lactis may come in the form of capsules or powders.
Fermented foods that contain B. lactis include yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi. These foods can be incorporated into a healthy diet to increase the intake of beneficial bacteria. When choosing fermented foods, it's important to look for products that contain live and active cultures, as the beneficial bacteria in these products can vary depending on the manufacturing process.
B. lactis is generally considered safe for most people, and side effects are uncommon. However, some people may experience mild gastrointestinal symptoms when they first start taking B. lactis. These symptoms usually subside after a few days as the body adjusts to the new bacteria. It is important to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplements or making changes to your diet.
Incorporating prebiotics into your diet can have numerous benefits for your overall health and well-being. Prebiotics, such as Bifidobacterium lactis, provide food for the beneficial bacteria in your gut, which can support improved digestion and immune function and possibly support mental health. You can promote the normal growth of these beneficial bacteria and support your gut health with prebiotic and probiotic supplements. Adding prebiotics to your diet is a simple way to promote optimal digestive health and is part of a well-balanced diet.