Bifidobacterium breve

Keeping Babies Healthy: The Importance of Bifidobacterium breve in the Gut Microbiome


Bifidobacterium breve, commonly known as B breve, is a species of bacteria that resides in the human intestine, particularly in infants. Known to be one of the most abundant bacteria in the gut of newborns, B breve plays a crucial role in the establishment of a healthy gut environment. Extensive research has been conducted over the years to understand the various benefits that this bacterial species offers from the early stages of life.

One of the primary advantages associated with B breve is its ability to protect against harmful pathogens, regulate the immune system, and provide essential nutrients by breaking down non-digestible carbohydrates from the diet. Studies have revealed that B breve is often transmitted from mother to infant, with vaginal birth playing a significant role in this transfer process.

Research conducted by MicrobeMom has confirmed that Bifidobacterium strains, including B breve, are indeed passed from the mother to the baby. Studies have shown that B breve was the most commonly isolated species among Bifidobacterium strains, present in the vaginal samples of mothers, as well as in stool samples from both mothers and infants, and even in breast milk. In fact, B breve constituted a significant portion of the total Bifidobacterium found in breast milk, emphasizing the critical role of the mother’s gut microbiome in nurturing a baby’s gut health.

Bifidobacterium species, including B breve, are known for being among the initial colonizers of the infant gut. They aid in the breakdown of dietary carbohydrates that the infant’s gut is unable to digest, thereby supporting the development of the gut and the immune system. Bifidobacterium has been found to interact with human immune cells and modify immune responses, showcasing the intricate mechanisms through which these bacteria contribute to overall health.

The composition of the human microbiome, including Bifidobacterium species, undergoes constant changes throughout life, influenced by factors such as diet. Bifidobacterium is most prevalent in the early months of life, particularly during breastfeeding when microbial diversity is low. As solid foods are introduced, the microbiota composition shifts, leading to a decrease in Bifidobacterium abundance.

While species like Bifidobacterium adolescentis and Bifidobacterium longum are more common in adults due to their role in degrading plant-derived carbohydrates, B breve and similar species are predominantly associated with infancy. Breast milk, with its complex composition and health benefits, significantly influences the infant microbiota by promoting the growth of Bifidobacterium. Human milk oligosaccharides, found abundantly in breast milk, serve as prebiotics that nourish beneficial bacteria like B breve in the gut.

As a probiotic, B breve is recognized for its positive effects on the host’s health. Its ability to degrade human milk oligosaccharides establishes its importance in sustaining gut health and promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut.
As a supplement, B breve is commonly used to address gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea, often administered alongside other probiotic bacteria like Lactobacillus. It is also available commercially in combination with prebiotics to support overall gut health.

Bifidobacterium breve serves as a vital component of the gut microbiome, particularly in infants, contributing to the development of a healthy gut environment and supporting overall well-being from the earliest stages of life.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research.
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it.