Caister Academic Press

Probiotic properties of bifidobacteria

Maddalena Rossi, and Alberto Amaretti
from: Bifidobacteria: Genomics and Molecular Aspects (Edited by: Baltasar Mayo and Douwe van Sinderen). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2010)


Bifidobacteria are major components of the indigenous bacterial population present in the human gut and are arguably most relevant to the health-promoting properties that have been attributed to elements of this microbiota. They exert a range of beneficial health effects, including the regulation of intestinal microbial homeostasis, the inhibition of pathogens and harmful bacteria that colonize and/or infect the gut mucosa, the modulation of local and systemic immune responses, the repression of procarcinogenic enzymatic activities within the microbiota, the production of vitamins, and the bioconversion of a number of dietary compounds into bioactive molecules. This chapter summarizes the reported health-promoting properties of members of the genus Bifidobacterium and discusses what research is still necessary for an in depth understanding of the probiotic function. In fact, although experimental evidence of the probiotic effectiveness of bifidobacteria has a long history, little information is available on the molecular mechanisms underlying the health-promoting claims, especially on such complex phenomena as anticarcinogenic and anti-inflammatory effects read more ...
Access full text
Related articles ...