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Bifidobacteria are considered beneficial or "friendly" bacteria due to their potential health benefits.
Bifidobacterium, with its unique Y-shaped structure, is an ancient genus of bacteria – and one of the first healthy microorgansims to colonize newborns' guts. These fermentation experts break down carbohydrates, fermenting dietary fibers and producing beneficial compounds, making them popular probiotic champions.
These bacteria play a crucial role in maintaining a healthy digestive system by helping to break down complex carbohydrates, fermenting dietary fibers, and producing essential vitamins such as vitamin K and certain B vitamins. They also contribute to the overall balance of gut microbiota.
Bifidobacterium species have been extensively studied for their potential health-promoting properties. They are often included in probiotic formulations, which are dietary supplements or foods containing live microorganisms that confer health benefits when consumed in adequate amounts. Probiotics containing Bifidobacterium strains are believed to support digestive health, boost the immune system, prevent harmful bacteria from colonizing the gut, and alleviate certain gastrointestinal conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
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Hidalgo-Cantabrana, Claudio, et al. "Bifidobacteria and Their Health-Promoting Effects." Microbiology Spectrum, vol. 5, no. 3, 2017. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.BAD-0010-2016.
Jungersen, Mikkel, et al. "The Science behind the Probiotic Strain Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis BB-12(®)." Microorganisms, vol. 2, no. 2, 2014, pp. 92-110. doi:10.3390/microorganisms2020092.