- Is a powerful probiotic
- Improves the digestive system
- Prevents the gut from colonization of harmful bacteria
- Useful for people suffering from Crohn’s disease
- Improves the health of individuals with lactose intolerance
- Useful in treating allergic reactions
- Beneficial for the treatment of diarrhea and constipation
- Provides protection against colon cancer
B. longum is a powerful probiotic and establishes an excellent symbiotic relationship with the human host. It has the ability to produce lactic acid, which acts as a growth inhibitor of harmful and unwelcomed bacteria. Further, it aids in the prevention of various diseases and allergies, helps fight against diarrhea, and plays an important role in the reduction of cholesterol. Additionally, it can stimulate the immune system, help prevent cancer and reduces the symptoms of lactose intolerance. B. longum is part of the normal flora of the vagina and intestines, and is found in high amounts in yoghurt. B. longum has been found to be present in the GI tract of infants and is one of the early inhabitants of gut microflora of newborns. It is transferred from human milk to breastfed babies, and provides the necessary army of “good bacteria” in infants’ GI tracts.
B. longum has been genetically programmed to produced number of beneficial compounds that have significant effects on the health of human body. According to Schell et al. (2002), B. longum has the ability to produce 19 types of amino acids from ammonium and other precursors, including fumarate, oxaloacetate, and phophoenolpyruvate. B. longum can synthesize purines, pyrimidines, folic acid, nicotinate, and thiamin. It provides a natural and reliable source for these bioactive compounds and helps maintain a healthy relationship between gut microflora and the host. Regular consumption of B. longum-fortified products can lead to improvement in digestive health and gastrointestinal tract functioning. L. longum forms a protective barrier on the epithelial layer of the gut and intestine and reduces the chances of colonization and permeability of “bad” bacteria into the bloodstream. L. longum lowers the pH in the GI tract and provides an acidic environment that is beneficial for the enzymes that carry out food digestion, yet harmful for the growth of other bacteria that can cause disease.
B. longum-based probiotics are widely used for relieving constipation and for preventing diarrhea. In a study carried out by Amenta et al. (2006), they found that the consumption of an L. longum probiotic supplement known as zir fos, led to the reduction in symptoms associated with constipation caused by a weight control diet. In their study, they tested five different treatments on five groups of patient suffering from constipation (diet-based). The group utilizing zir fos, which is a combination of B. longum W11 and FOS Actilight, showed the greatest improvement in the severity of constipation, as compared to other groups that were given laxatives and healthy diets.
B. longum is regarded as the probiotic of choice for treating a number of allergic reactions and inflammatory disorders. According to Xiao et al. (2007), the consumption of B. longum showed a visible decrease in the symptoms associated with an allergic disorder known as Japanese Cedar Pollinosis (JCPsis). It is a Type I allergic reaction mediated by an IgE antibody and is triggered by the exposure to Japanese cedar pollen. Regular consumption of B. longum-fortified milk or powder can control allergic reactions and decrease the severity of symptoms associated with pollen allergy, including runny nose and eyes, cough, asthma, and fatigue. Steroids and antihistamines that are normally used for the treatment of allergic disorders do less good and more harm, which is why the B. lactis probiotic has become the ultimate cure for allergic disorders, especially pollen allergies.
As it is part of the normal flora of the vagina, it provides defense against the development bacterial or fungal infections or the inflammation of the vaginal tract (vaginitis). In addition to the antimicrobial characteristics of B. longum, these amazing bacteria have shown great potential for antitumor or anticancer activity. According to Chong (2014), the use of B. longum- supplemented diets has shown to have preventive effects against the development of colon cancer and reduces the risk of cancer up to a significant level. B. longum also have positive neurological effects and help ease symptoms of anxiety and depression (Messaoudi et al., 2011).
Chong, E.S. (2014). A potential role of probiotics in colorectal cancer prevention: review of possible mechanisms of action. World J Microbiol Biotechnol., 30(2), 351-74.
Messaoudi, M., Lalonde, R., Violle, N., et al. (2011). Assessment of psychotropic-like properties of a probiotic formulation (Lactobacillus helveticus R0052 and Bifidobacterium longum R0175) in rats and human subjects. Br J Nutr., 105(5):755-64.
Schell, M.A. et al. (2002). The genome sequence of Bifidobacterium longum reflects its adoption to the human gastrointestinal tract”. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA.
Xiao, JZ et al. (2007). Clinical Efficacy of Probiotic Bifidobacterium longum for the Treatment of Symptoms of Japanese Cedar Pollen Allergy in Subjects Evaluated in an Environmental Exposure Unit”. Allergology International.