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Bifidobacteria and their role in human health


There is a growing consensus on the beneficial effects of bifidobacteria in human health. It is now clear that bifidobacteria that exist in the large intestine are helpful for maintenance of human health and are far more important thanLactobacillus acidophilus as beneficial intestinal bacteria throughout human life. In other words, the reduction or disappearance of bifidobacteria in the human intestine would indicate an “unhealthy” state. Oral administration of bifidobacteria may be effective for the improvement of intestinal flora and intestinal environment, for the therapy of enteric and hepatic disorders, for stimulation of the immune response, and possibly for the prevention of cancer and slowing the aging process. However, for consistent and positive results further well-controlled studies are urgently needed.

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Mitsuoka, T. Bifidobacteria and their role in human health. Journal of Industrial Microbiology 6, 263–267 (1990).

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Key words

  • Bifidobacterium
  • Intestinal flora
  • Human health
  • Human disease
  • Prevention of cancer