- Produces many biologically active compounds
- Secretes vitamins, including B12 and nicotinic acids
- Improves the immune system
- Produces folic acid
- Helps in the treatment of ulcerative colitis
- Aids in the metabolism of amino acids and fatty acids
- Useful for the treatment of diarrhea
- Beneficial for nervous system health
- Aids in the treatment of inflammatory bowel syndrome
B. infantis is a widely used “good bacteria” with outstanding health benefits. It is present in high numbers in the gut of infants who are exclusively breastfed (Roger and McCarteny, 2010). It has the unique ability to digest complex oligosaccharides, which are termed human milk oligosaccharides (HMO), and are present in human milk (Underwood et al., 2015). It can improve the growth and metabolism of an individual, can produce red blood cells (RBCs), and is helpful in curing anemia. Further, it aids in the proper functioning of the nervous system and brain, can fight harmful bacteria, and is an effective treatment for colitis and inflammatory bowel syndrome. According to Whorwell et al. (2006), the use of B. infantis strain 35624 as a probiotic showed positive results in reducing and relieving the symptoms of inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS). The regular use of B. infantis-based probiotics also aid in the treatment of colitis, as the bioactive compounds produced by these bacteria reduce the permeability of the colon and have anti-inflammatory effect on the epithelial lining of the gut (Ewschuk et al., 2008).
B. infantis produces certain metabolites that have anticancer or antitumor activity. According to Sekine et al. (1995), the cell wall extracts of B. infantis showed antitumor activity in murine and induced certain cytokines that alter the kinetics of tumor cells in vivo. B. infantis has the ability to produce folate, thiamine (vitamin B1), and nicotinic acid. According to Noda et al. (1994), B. infantis secretes biotin, along with other useful bioactive compounds. Biotin acts as an important coenzyme in the synthesis of amino acids (valine, isoleucine), fatty acids, as well as in the process of gluconeogenesis.
Groeger et al. (2013) have reported that Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 has the ability to improve the immune system and modulate the inflammatory processes beyond the gut. B. infantis produces beneficial immunoregulatory compounds. These compounds have shown to lower the blood C-reactive protein (CRP) levels in different inflammatory diseases. B. infantis also produces certain enzymes that can digest fat globulins present in human milk, and it plays a vital role in the development of the nervous system (Park et al., 2005). It has the ability to colonize the infant gut and the mucosal layer of the intestine, and eradicates harmful bacteria (Kavanaugh et al., 2013). Regular use of B. infantis-supplemented probiotics has proven beneficial for the treatment of symptoms related to inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS). It improves the digestive functions and improves the overall health of the gastrointestinal tract. Patients suffering from celiac disease have also benefited from the use of B. infantis, as it reduces the expression of alpha defensing in celiac disease (Pinto-Sanchez et al., 2016). In a similar study carried out by Javed et al. (2016), it was discovered that the oral intake of B. infantis-based probiotics decrease the inflammatory symptoms in individuals suffering from ulcerative colitis.
Ewaschuk, J.B., Diaz, H., Meddings, L., Diederichs, B., Dmytrash, A., Backer, J., Langen, L.V., Madsen, K.L. (2008). Secreted bioactive factors from Bifidobacterium infantis enhance epithelial cell barrier function. American Journal of Physiology – Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology, 295 (5), G1025-G1034
Kavanaugh, D.W., O’Callaghan, J., Butto, L.F. (2013). Exposure of subsp. to milk oligosaccharides increases adhesion to epithelial cells and induces a substantial transcriptional response. PLoS One, 8: 67224.
Park, E.J., Suh, M., Ramanujam, K., Steiner, K., Begg, D. & Clandinin, M.T. (2005). Diet-induced changes in membrane gangliosides in rat intestinal mucosa, plasma and brain. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr, 40, 487–95
Pinto-Sánchez, M. I., Smecuol, E.C., Temprano, M.P.R., Sugai, E., González, A.R.D., Moreno, M.L., Huang, X., Bercik, P., Cabanne, A., Vázquez, H., Niveloni, S., Mazure, R., Mauriño, E., Verdú, E.F. & Bai, J.C. (2016). Bifidobacterium infantis NLS Super Strain Reduces the Expression of [alpha]-Defensin-5, a Marker of Innate Immunity, in the Mucosa of Active Celiac Disease Patients.
Roger, L.C. & McCartney, A.L. (2010). Longitudinal investigation of the fecal microbiota of healthy full-term infants using fluorescence in situ hybridization and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis. Microbiology, 156: 3317–3328
Whorwell, P.J., Altringer, L., Morel, J., Bond, Y., Charbonneau, D., O’Mahony, L., Kiely, B., Shanahan, F. & Quigley, E.M.M. (2006). Efficacy of an Encapsulated Probiotic Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 in Women with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. The American Journal of Gastroenterology, 101, 1581–1590