Sunday, May 10, 2009

Bifidus: Pops Ingredient #43

What is Bifidus? Why is it in the Pops?
Bifidus. Bifidobacteria is an important group of bacteria that resides in the human colon, which is colonized by hundreds of bacterial species. Beneficial bacteria like bifidobacteria are important for gastrointestinal health, and for overall health.

They prevent the overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria, make certain nutrients in the diet more available for absorption, and produce vitamin K. They also stimulate the immune system to protect against gastrointestinal infection, inflammation, and allergic diseases.

Bifidobacteria are the largest group of bacteria in the intestine of infants, but their relative numbers decline in adulthood. Increased levels potential disease-causing bacteria, such as Clostridium perfringens, streptococci, and enterobacteria are found in older adults. This imbalance in healthy versus disease-causing bacteria can result in numerous disorders.

Inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis can be debilitating conditions. Conventional treatments can cause serious side effects; however, people with these conditions have been shown to have reduced numbers of protective probiotic bacteria, such as bifidobacteria.

People with celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder with gastrointestinal symptoms, also have lower numbers of bifidobacterium than healthy people. Although there is no cure yet for celiac disease, probiotics with bifidobacterium help control the symptoms.

Collado MC, Donat E, Ribes-Koninckx C, Calabuig M, Sanz Y. Imbalances in faecal and duodenal Bifidobacterium species composition in active and non-active coeliac disease. BMC Microbiol. 2008 Dec 22;8:232.

Leenen CH, Dieleman LA. Inulin and oligofructose in chronic inflammatory bowel disease. J Nutr. 2007 Nov;137(11 Suppl):2572S-2575S.

Penders J, Thijs C, Vink C, Stelma FF, et al. Factors influencing the composition of the intestinal microbiota in early infancy. Pediatrics. 2006 Aug;118(2):511-21.

Roberfroid MB. Inulin-type fructans: functional food ingredients. J Nutr. 2007 Nov;137(11 Suppl):2493S-2502S.

Tuohy KM. Inulin-type fructans in healthy aging. J Nutr. 2007 Nov;137(11 Suppl):2590S-2593S.

Veereman G. Pediatric applications of inulin and oligofructose. J Nutr. 2007 Nov;137(11 Suppl):2585S-2589S.

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