The gut microbiome is home to trillions of bacteria, some of which are more beneficial to us than others. When we talk about ‘good gut health’, we are often talking about the relative levels of ‘good gut bacteria’, which are types that support various functions of the body. For instance, certain types of good gut bacteria can produce important nutrients that keep the body performing at its best, supporting the digestive and non-digestive systems alike. Bifidobacteria are a type of ‘good gut bacteria’ that are fed by prebiotics or dietary fibre, such as Bimuno®. They can be important to our health and wellbeing, so why not learn more about it?

The gut microbiome contains trillions of bacteria in an ever-shifting composition. The colonies of bacteria are understood to have a key role in health and wellbeing. We used to think of the term ‘bacteria’ as being inherently negative, but as the science behind gut health continues to evolve and develop, we now understand that our gut bacteria are essential to the body’s functions and performance. Gut bacteria have been connected to areas such as the immune system, cognitive and mental health, and even sleep. Bifidobacteria have been a subject of study for many years and are thought to be a particularly valuable bacteria to the body. So much so, that while the bacteria are usually found natively in the gut, shoppers can now buy supplements and functional foods with bifidobacteria built in as a functional probiotic ingredient. So, what makes bifidobacteria so useful to the body?

Bifidobacteria

Competitive exclusion

Your gut is a finite space – it can only hold a certain level of bacteria. When bifidobacteria are abundant, there is less space for potentially ‘bad gut bacteria’.

Development & modulation of the immune system

When we think of immunity, the digestive system isn’t usually the first image to spring to mind. However, around 70% of your body’s immune system is in the gut! Studies1 demonstrate that bifidobacteria ‘communicate’ with the immune system.

Nutrients & metabolites

Good gut bacteria can support the digestive system to produce and absorb vitamins and minerals. Bifidobacteria break down the non-digestible carbohydrates (fibre) to produce short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) that the body need for various functions, including providing the cells in the large intestine with energy!

Neurotransmitters

We are getting a clearer picture of how our good gut bacteria can support mental health and wellbeing – but what does that look like? In essence, bacteria in the gut microbiome can ‘speak’ to the brain through the central nervous system; a relationship known as the gut-brain axis. It’s clear that bifidobacteria are one of the heroes of the gut, with a diverse and abundant range of benefits to wellbeing; so how can we give them a helping hand?

One answer lies in prebiotic supplements, such as Bimuno®!

Bifidobacteria are nourished by non-digestible prebiotic fibre (also known as dietary fibre), which stimulates their growth. Prebiotic fibre can be found naturally occurring in foods such as Jerusalem artichokes, shallots and whole grain oats. A food-first approach is encouraged to increase dietary fibre, and as a result, prebiotics. For some, it can be difficult to meet the recommended daily fibre intake, which is where a prebiotic supplement could be useful. Now is an ideal time to take a closer look at gut health - and a key part of this is understanding the importance of our good gut bacteria. Looking to learn more about these microbes that help keep our bodies performing at their best? Click here to discover more from the Bimuno website.

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