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Revista chilena de nutrición

On-line version ISSN 0717-7518


BRUNSER T, Oscar. Role of bifidobacteria in the function of the human body. Rev. chil. nutr. [online]. 2013, vol.40, n.3, pp.303-308. ISSN 0717-7518.

Bifidobacterium animalis ssp lactis Bb12 is a probiotic strain that has received considerable attention from the scientific community. It has tolerance to higher temperatures and lower, acidic pH than other bacteria. When administered for 12 months to infants and children together with S. thermophilus this was associated with lower incidences of acute diarrhea. Studies in different countries and with different experimental designs confirmed these results. It was also shown that its administration did not interfere the growth or the normal weight gain of the children. Bifidobacterium animalis ssp lactis Bb12 was associated with decreases of the fecal excretion of rotavirus during episodes of diarrhea, a fact that represents an epidemiological benefit. Bifidobacterium animalis ssp lactis Bb12 exerts positive effects on manifestations of atopy/eczema, with decreases of the parameters of inflammation such as CD4 in blood serum and eosinophil protein X in urine. This was associated with changes in the extension and severity of the skin lesions. No modifications of the normal growth parameters were observed when Bifidobacterium animalis ssp lactis CNCM I-3446 was given. Administration of Bifidobacterium animalis ssp lactis Bb12 is associated with higher levels of fecal sIgA and calprotectin, which are considered parameters of immune responses and ofthe capacity to launch inflammatory responses. The statements made by some groups that infants under 4 months of age who are not breastfed should not receive probiotics have weak support if it is considered that maternal milk contains a large number and variety of strains of bacteria which may be considered as probiotics. These may not only protect from acute diarrhea but also from upper respiratory infections. Although cases of septicemia due to probiotic have been reported these represent an infinitely small proportion of the total numbers of consumers. No outbreaks have been reported that would point to invasive properties in a strain. It is not advisable to administer any living bacteria to individuals in shock or with innate or severe defects of immunity. However, carriers of HIV or patients with AIDS benefit from probiotic agents. A study carried out in Chile showed that although without evident clinical benefits L. rhamnosus HN001, significantly increased fecal sIgA as a manifestation of improved mucosal defense in the digestive tract.

Keywords : Bifidobacterium animalis ssp lactis Bb12; acute diarrhea; secretory immunoglobulin A; immunity; human immunodeficiency virus (HIV); acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).

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