Bifidobacteria – what is it, what is it for and side effects!

Bifidobacteria are a  group of bacteria that normally live in the intestines, they can be grown outside the body and then taken by mouth.

They are commonly used for diarrhea, constipation, a bowel disorder called irritable bowel syndrome, to prevent the common cold or flu , and many other problems, but there is not good scientific evidence to support many of these uses.

How does bifidobacteria work ?

Bifidobacteria belong to a group of bacteria called lactic acid bacteria. Lactic bacteria are found in fermented foods like yogurt and cheese.

They are used in treatments due to “probiotics”, the opposite of antibiotics. Additionally, they are considered “friendly” bacteria and grow and multiply in areas of the body where they would normally occur.

The human body relies on its normal bacteria to do a number of jobs, including breaking down food , helping the body consume nutrients, and preventing the absorption of “bad” bacteria.

Uses and effectiveness of bifidobacteria :

1. Airway infections:

Most research shows that using probiotics containing bifidobacteria helps prevent airway infections such as the common cold in healthy people, including school children and college students. Furthermore, taking it does not appear to reduce the risk of airway infections in hospitalized children and adolescents.

2. Diarrhea in infants (rotaviral diarrhea):

Giving bifidobacteria to infants with rotaviral diarrhea can shorten the duration of this problem by about a day.

3. Traveler’s Diarrhea:

Taking bifidobacteria helps prevent traveler’s diarrhea when used with other probiotics such as lactobacilli or streptococci.

4. Ulcerative colitis:

Research shows that taking probiotics containing bifidobacteria along with lactobacilli and streptococci can increase the remission rate by almost 2-fold in people with active ulcerative colitis. However, most research shows that bifidobacteria is not beneficial in preventing relapse.

5. Weight Loss:

Taking bifidobacteria for 6 months does not improve weight loss in overweight or obese people.

Side effects and safety:

Bifidobacteria are safe for adults and children when taken by mouth properly. In some people, the treatment can upset the stomach and intestines, causing diarrhea, bloating, and gas.

Special precautions and warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking it if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid using.

Weakened immune system: There is some concern that “probiotics” can grow too well in people with a weak immune system and cause infections .

While this has not specifically occurred, there have been rare cases involving other probiotic species such as Lactobacillus. Also, if you have a weakened immune system (eg, you have HIV/AIDS or are undergoing cancer treatment), check with your doctor before use.

Blockage in the intestines:

Two cases of bloodstream infections have been reported in babies who received probiotics through. Also, in both cases, the babies had stomach surgery .

It is believed that the blood infections resulted in the intestinal blockage caused by the stomach surgeries, which allowed them to cross the bloodstream.

In one case, taking it after the intestinal blockage was corrected did not cause another blood infection. Therefore, the risk of bloodstream infections is not a concern for most children who take bifidobacteria . But they should be used with caution or avoided in babies with stomach or intestinal obstructions.

Remedy Antibiotics interact with bifidobacteria :

Antibiotics are used to reduce harmful bacteria in the body. In addition, antibiotics can also decrease the friendly bacteria in the body. Bifidobacteria are a type of friendly bacteria.

Useful links: 

Taking antibiotics along with may reduce effectiveness. Also, to avoid this interaction, take bifidobacteria products at least two hours before or after antibiotics.

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