What Is Bifidobacterium? Is It the Same as Bifidus?

What Is Bifidobacterium? Is It the Same as Bifidus?

Bifidobacterium belongs to a group of bacteria that normally live in the intestines and is one of the main families of good bacteria. You may also have heard of Bifidus and wondered ‘is Bifidus the same as Bifidobacterium?’. The answer is yes, as this bacteria species is also known as Bifidus.

Bifidobacterium species are naturally present within gut microbiota with up to 10% in adults and 80% in babies. There are several different sub-species of Bifidobacteria, such as B. breve, B. bifidum, B. longum, B.infantis, and B. lactis, and each of them have different roles to play. The Bifidobacterium group is one of the main members of the so called ‘lactic acid bacteria’ family as their fermentation mainly produces lactic acid.

While this group of bacteria naturally lives in our intestines, it can also be grown outside the body and consumed as part of food, or food supplements. If you’re looking to include more cultures into your daily diet, read on to learn more about the types of Bifidus and the foods you can find them in!


The different sub-species of Bifidus

As mentioned, there are different strains of Bifidus and each one is found naturally in different places.

  • B. bifidum – interestingly, there are two types of Bifidus bifidum that exist in the human gut. One type is predominant in adults, and the other one is predominant in infants.

  • B. infantis – this strain is most commonly present in the intestinal microbiota of breast fed infants and is also found in the human vaginal tract.

  • B. longum – this one also exists in two forms, depending on whether it comes from the microbiota of an adult or an infant. It is one of the 10 most prevalent species in human microbiota.

  • B. animalis – is commonly found in the microbiota of several mammals and birds. It is more aerotolerant and resistant to acidic conditions and elevated temperatures than most other human bifidobacterial strains, which explains why many of them are widely used for commercial applications.

  • B. asteroides – did you know that even bees have their own Bifidobacteria?

  • B. asteroides is found in the intestinal tract of western and Asiatic honeybees!


Now that you know where these Bifidus strains come from, let’s take a look at how you can actually incorporate them into your daily life.

Where can we find Bifidobacterium?

Bifidobacterium occurs naturally in the mammalian gut, as well as in other living creatures such as birds and honeybees. It can also be found in food products (Bifidobacterium animalis) or food supplements.

When it comes to food, Bifidobacterium rarely occurs naturally. Instead, it must be added to food under the right temperature and conditions. Bifidobacterium, as well as other lactic acid bacteria, are often used in the fermentation of milk, cheese, kefir, yogurts and sour cream.


Bifidus in Yogurt

Yogurt is a popular choice for those looking for fermented foods. Yogurt (or fermented milk) that contains yogurt cultures can also include bifidobacterial. And thanks to the versatility and taste of this dairy delicacy, it’s a simple way to enjoy food that is full of life.

Activia is a yummy choice for a yogurt with billions of exclusive cultures that has been lovingly crafted not just with the traditional yogurt cultures Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus but also with billions of exclusive Bifidobacterium.  It contains a specific species of Bifidobacterium** that Danone scientists have been working with for over 30 years. The Bifidus is added to milk and cream at a specific temperature and fermented for hours until it reaches high numbers and the milk is transformed into deliciously creamy yogurt.

And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, there’s an added bonus: this Bifidus is known to reach your gut alive, so each time you have a pot of Activia you are treating yourself to food full of life! 

With Activia, we challenge you to love your gut* and make this simple daily change as an easy way to love yourself well.

**Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis CNCM I-2494 strain was isolated from fermented milk products by Danone, in France in 1985 and included in the Danone Collection under the reference DN-173 010. This strain is now referred as B. lactis CNCM I-2494 which is the number attributed by the National Collection of Micro-organism Cultures of the Pasteur Institute in Paris where the strain has been deposited in 2000.

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2021 Danone Ltd. All Rights Reserved. *Activia contains calcium which contributes to the normal function of digestive enzymes. Enjoy as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.

†Contains naturally occurring sugars.

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