Amongst different kinds of species and strains of bifidobacteria, how to choose the best one? We think the source is an important thing to consider. Bifidobacteria can be found in both humans and animals; however in nature, Bifidobacterium species that live inside humans are not found in animals and vise-versa.
Many probiotic supplements on the market use strains of animal origin, but at Morinaga, it just makes sense to us that the human body would respond best to bacteria naturally suited to the human intestine! For this reason, our probiotic supplements are made exclusively from strains of human origin.
Our discovery of Bifidobacterium longum BB536 strain started from our research and development of infant milk formula through intensive studies of breast milk and infant nutrition. Though our study we came to understand that breastfed babies tend to have more bifidobacteria in their intestines and bifidobacteria became the focus of our research. Over time, Bifidobacterium longum BB536 was isolated and selected amongst the vast pool of Bifidobacterium strains for its demonstrated clinical effects.
For example, the following study indicates the effects of BB536-supplemented yogurt on intestinal environment and defecation frequency as compared to consuming regular yogurt and no yogurt at all. Over the course of two weeks, the group that consumed BB536-supplemented yogurt demonstrated increased defecation and decreased ammonia content in feces, both signs of healthy digestion. The group that consumed BB536-supplemented yogurt were measured to have a higher percentage of Bifidobacterium in the gut flora at the end of the study:
Yaeshima T. et al, Bioscience Microflora, 16:73-77 (1997)
Control period: Ingestion of 100g standard yogurt/day (2 weeks)
Interval period: No ingestion of yogurt (2 weeks)
Ingestion period: Ingestion of 100g yogurt supplemented with BB536/day (2 weeks)
(including more than 2 X 10^7 of BB536)
a: significantly higher at the p < 0.001% level when compared with the value of interval period
b: significantly higher at the p < 0.001%% level when compared with the value of control period
c: significantly higher at the p < 0.01%level when compared with the value of interval period
d: significantly higher at the p < 0.01% level when compared with the value of control period
In addition to its effectiveness in promoting GI health, Bifidobacterium longum BB536 boasts high stability and a demonstrably longer survival rate under different storage conditions over a span of time. Since they rely on living organisms, a long shelf life can be risky to the effectiveness of any probiotic supplement. When consumers purchase probiotic supplements, they often purchase a large supply—but with less stable product there may be no living bacteria left in the supplements by the time they reach the bottom of the bottle, completely sabotaging the effects they were hoping to receive! However, Morinaga's Bifidobacterium longum BB536 supplement demonstrates long-term stability. See the chart below indicating the sustained survival rate of BB536 over the course of 36 months when stored at room temperature, as compared to two other probiotic supplements:
(Study by Morinaga)
If you have questions about Bifidobacterium longum BB536 or our Bifidus product, please feel free to contact us. We are happy to hear from you!