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Bifidobacteria and Their Health-Promoting Effects

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  • Authors: Claudio Hidalgo-Cantabrana1, Susana Delgado2, Lorena Ruiz3, Patricia Ruas-Madiedo4, Borja Sánchez5, Abelardo Margolles6
  • Editors: Robert Allen Britton7, Patrice D. Cani8
    Affiliations: 1: Department of Microbiology and Biochemistry of Dairy Products, Dairy Research Institute of Asturias, Spanish National Research Council (IPLA-CSIC), Paseo Río Linares s/n 33300, Villaviciosa, Asturias, Spain; 2: Department of Microbiology and Biochemistry of Dairy Products, Dairy Research Institute of Asturias, Spanish National Research Council (IPLA-CSIC), Paseo Río Linares s/n 33300, Villaviciosa, Asturias, Spain; 3: Department of Microbiology and Biochemistry of Dairy Products, Dairy Research Institute of Asturias, Spanish National Research Council (IPLA-CSIC), Paseo Río Linares s/n 33300, Villaviciosa, Asturias, Spain; 4: Department of Microbiology and Biochemistry of Dairy Products, Dairy Research Institute of Asturias, Spanish National Research Council (IPLA-CSIC), Paseo Río Linares s/n 33300, Villaviciosa, Asturias, Spain; 5: Department of Microbiology and Biochemistry of Dairy Products, Dairy Research Institute of Asturias, Spanish National Research Council (IPLA-CSIC), Paseo Río Linares s/n 33300, Villaviciosa, Asturias, Spain; 6: Department of Microbiology and Biochemistry of Dairy Products, Dairy Research Institute of Asturias, Spanish National Research Council (IPLA-CSIC), Paseo Río Linares s/n 33300, Villaviciosa, Asturias, Spain; 7: Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX; 8: Université catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium
  • Source: microbiolspec June 2017 vol. 5 no. 3 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.BAD-0010-2016
  • Received 02 December 2016 Accepted 25 January 2017 Published 23 June 2017
  • Abelardo Margolles, [email protected]
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  • Abstract:

    Bifidobacteria are members of the intestinal microbiota of mammals and other animals, and some strains are able to exert health-promoting effects. The genus belongs to the phylum. , , and constitute the most abundant phyla in the human intestinal microbiota, and being predominant in adults, and in breast-fed infants, where bifidobacteria can reach levels higher than 90% of the total bacterial population. They are among the first microbial colonizers of the intestines of newborns, and play key roles in the development of their physiology, including maturation of the immune system and use of dietary components. Indeed, some nutrients, such as human milk oligosaccharides, are important drivers of bifidobacterial development. Some strains are considered probiotic microorganisms because of their beneficial effects, and they have been included as bioactive ingredients in functional foods, mainly dairy products, as well as in food supplements and pharma products, alone, or together with, other microbes or microbial substrates. Well-documented scientific evidence of their activities is currently available for bifidobacteria-containing preparations in some intestinal and extraintestinal pathologies. In this review, we focus on the role of bifidobacteria as members of the human intestinal microbiota and their use as probiotics in the prevention and treatment of disease.

  • Citation: Hidalgo-Cantabrana C, Delgado S, Ruiz L, Ruas-Madiedo P, Sánchez B, Margolles A. 2017. Bifidobacteria and Their Health-Promoting Effects. Microbiol Spectrum 5(3):BAD-0010-2016. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.BAD-0010-2016.


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Bifidobacteria are members of the intestinal microbiota of mammals and other animals, and some strains are able to exert health-promoting effects. The genus belongs to the phylum. , , and constitute the most abundant phyla in the human intestinal microbiota, and being predominant in adults, and in breast-fed infants, where bifidobacteria can reach levels higher than 90% of the total bacterial population. They are among the first microbial colonizers of the intestines of newborns, and play key roles in the development of their physiology, including maturation of the immune system and use of dietary components. Indeed, some nutrients, such as human milk oligosaccharides, are important drivers of bifidobacterial development. Some strains are considered probiotic microorganisms because of their beneficial effects, and they have been included as bioactive ingredients in functional foods, mainly dairy products, as well as in food supplements and pharma products, alone, or together with, other microbes or microbial substrates. Well-documented scientific evidence of their activities is currently available for bifidobacteria-containing preparations in some intestinal and extraintestinal pathologies. In this review, we focus on the role of bifidobacteria as members of the human intestinal microbiota and their use as probiotics in the prevention and treatment of disease.

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Positive effects of some strains on gastrointestinal functions studied by means of human intervention studies.

Source: microbiolspec June 2017 vol. 5 no. 3 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.BAD-0010-2016
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Visualization of subsp. growth in skimmed milk by using confocal scanner laser microcopy. The staining method was previously reported by Ruas-Madiedo and Zoon ( 167 ); in short, two dyes, rhodamine B (which dyes proteins) and acridine orange (which dyes nucleic acids), were added to the milk at final concentration of 0.001 and 0.002%, respectively. Afterward, stained milk was inoculated (5%) and carefully placed into high-optical-quality plastic μ-Slides (Ibidi GmbH) for direct confocal laser scanning microscopy analysis. The microplates were incubated at 37°C until they reached a pH of ≤4.5, and the confocal microscope Ultra-Spectral Leica TCS AOBS SP2 (Leica Microsystems GmbH, located in the University of Oviedo facilities) was used. Bacteria dyed with acridine orange were visualized with the laser 488 nm ion argon/krypton (green), and proteins (mainly caseins) dyed with rhodamine B were visualized with the laser 543 nm He/Ne (red) but also with the laser 488 nm. Thus, after image treatment, the bacteria are visualized in green and the casein matrix in yellow (combination red and green). The oil immersion objective 63×/1.40 combined with an amplification zoom of 1.58 was directly used (×100 magnification). Microphotographs: a Z-projection (thickness about 10 μm) of 10 slides of an XY-field (bar, 10 μm); a slide of an XY-field (bar, 10 μm); an optical zoom of a region inside the XY-field showed in B (bar, 5 μm).

Source: microbiolspec June 2017 vol. 5 no. 3 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.BAD-0010-2016
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strains used as probiotics with demonstrated effectivity in humans trials

Source: microbiolspec June 2017 vol. 5 no. 3 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.BAD-0010-2016
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Selection of meta-analyses and reviews about the effect of probiotic products containing bifidobacteria on certain diseases

Source: microbiolspec June 2017 vol. 5 no. 3 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.BAD-0010-2016

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