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Bifidobacteria species are probiotics ("good" bacteria) that live in the intestines. They may help with diarrhea, constipation, and other intestinal disorders.

"Good" bacteria such as bifidobacteria can help break down food, absorb nutrients, and fight off "bad" organisms that might cause diseases.

Bifidobacteria are commonly used for diarrhea, constipation, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). They're also used for preventing the common cold or flu, and lots of other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support many of these uses. There is also no good evidence to support using bifidobacteria for COVID-19.

Natural Medicines rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.
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  • Constipation.  Oral Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis seems to be beneficial for constipation. It is unclear if other bifidobacteria species are beneficial.
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  • Helicobacter pylori.  Oral bifidobacteria, when used in combination with most standard eradication regimens and lactobacillus, seems to improve H. pylori eradication. It is unclear if oral bifidobacteria reduces adverse effects associated with standard eradication regimens.
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  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).  Oral bifidobacteria, especially Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 (Align or Bifantis), seems to be beneficial for IBS. It is unclear if bifidobacteria is beneficial for improving anxiety or depression in patients with IBS.
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  • Respiratory tract infections.  Most clinical research shows that taking bifidobacteria may reduce the risk of respiratory infections in otherwise healthy individuals, but the effect appears to be species-dependent. In patients who are not otherwise healthy, bifidobacteria has not demonstrated a benefit.
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No data available.
No data available.

When taken by mouth: Bifidobacteria are likely safe for healthy adults. In some people, treatment with bifidobacteria might upset the stomach and intestine, causing diarrhea, bloating and gas.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy: A specific strain of bifidobacteria, Bifidobacterium bifidum, is possibly safe when taken by mouth appropriately for 6 weeks while pregnant. There isn't enough reliable information about the safety of taking other strains.

Breastfeeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if bifidobacteria is safe to use when breastfeeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Children: Bifidobacteria are likely safe for healthy children when taken by mouth appropriately. Although there have been cases of blood infection with bifidobacteria in critically ill infants, these cases are rare.

Weakened immune system: Some probiotics have caused blood infections in a small number of people with weakened immune systems. This includes people with HIV/AIDS or cancer, or people who are taking medications to prevent rejection of a transplanted organ. There is a chance that bifidobacteria might also increase the risk for infection. If you have a weakened immune system, talk with your healthcare provider before taking bifidobacteria.

Blockage in the intestines: Bifidobacteria has caused blood infections in a small number of infants who have had stomach surgery. It is thought that this is because the intestines became blocked, and the bacteria crossed into the blood stream. Bifidobacteria should be used cautiously or avoided in infants with stomach or intestinal blockages.

Antibiotic drugs

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Antibiotics are used to reduce harmful bacteria in the body. Antibiotics can also reduce friendly bacteria in the body. Bifidobacteria are a type of friendly bacteria. Taking antibiotics along with bifidobacteria might reduce the effectiveness of bifidobacteria. To avoid this interaction take bifidobacteria products at least two hours before or after antibiotics.

There are no known interactions with herbs and supplements.

There are no known interactions with foods.

In adults, bifidobacteria has most often been taken by mouth alone or together with other probiotics, especially lactobacillus, in doses of 3-20 billion colony-forming units (CFUs) daily, for up to 16 weeks. In children, bifidobacteria has most often been taken by mouth alone or together with other probiotics, especially lactobacillus, in doses of 2-10 billion CFUs daily, for up to 12 weeks.

B. Bifidum, B. Breve, B. Infantis, B. lactis, B. Longum, Bifido, Bifido Bacterium Longum, Bifidobacterias, Bifidobactérie, Bifidobactéries, Bifidobacterium, Bifidobacterium adolescentis; Bifidobacterium animalis, Bifidobacterium bifidum; Bifidobacterium breve; Bifidobacterium infantis; Bifidobacterium lactis; Bifidobacterium longum, Bifidum, Bifidus, Bifidus Brevis, Bifidus Infantis, Bifidus Longum, Bifidobacteria Bifidus, Lactobacillus Bifidus, L. Bifidus, Probiotic, Probiotique.

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