Commercial Bifidobacteria probiotics

In my last post, we found that low Bifidobacteria was common across many illness/syndromes deemed to be in the autoimmune family. We also found that Lactobacillus increases as Bifidobacteria increases – in other words they are complementary and cross supporting, with the key observation that Lactobacillus increases inflammation while Bifidobacteria decreases it. This may account for the poor/non success of Lactobacillus probiotics for CFS.

A good list of probiotics available is at CandidaDiet showing various combinations and their alleged content. Alleged? That’s the sad news.

Strains are rarely listed and Contents may not be as advertised!

“A new study by scientists at the University of California has found that contents of many bifidobacteria probiotic products differ from the ingredients listed….16 products.. only one matched the ingredient list .. Some products also contained non-label species” [Source 2015] –OUCH!


Criteria: Studies with only Bifidobacteria probiotics. (There is a probiotic, BIO-THREE, which does not have Bifidobacteria but it does cause an increase according to PubMed [2007] – I have made inquiries with the manufacturer on retail availability in the US)

Probiotic Conditions Study
Bifidobacteria infantis 35624 CFS,ulcerative colitis, Psoriasis reduce systemic pro-inflammatory biomarkers in both gastrointestinal and non-gastrointestinal conditions[2013]
Bifidobacterium breve strain Yakult ulcerative colitis improve the clinical condition of patients with UC [2011]
Bifidobacterium enterococcus; Bifidobacterium lactobacillus (Bifico) ulcerative colitis is effective in preventing flare-ups of chronic UC. [2003]
Bifidobacterium longum Y 10, B. infantis Y 1 and B. breve Y 8 (VSL-3) colitis, crohn’s, IBS, Many StudiesMany Studies “evidence for the use of probiotics in IBD is scarce. Most studies are limited by design or do not show that probiotic treatment is effective. Only a few randomised controlled trials have demonstrated any beneficial effect of probiotic use in IBD; namely, the use of VSL#3 in patients with pouchitis and ulcerative colitis.” [2012]
Bifidobacterium breve strain Yakult, Bifidobacterium bifidum strain Yakult ulcerative colitis has anti-inflammatory effects against ulcerative colitis. [2008]

Apart of VSL-3, there are almost no clinical trials against various conditions. The Japanese Probiotic company, Yakult, appears to be a dominant player in this area.

So, we know that low levels are associated with many conditions, we know that what is labelled on the bottle may not be what is in the bottle, almost no-one give strains, there are few clinical studies…  Welcome to the art of probiotics. 😦

I have assembled a table of species and commercial products below for at least some guidance.  In general, I would not advocate anything containing L. Acidophilus.

Screen Shot 2015-11-26 at 11.42.27 AM

Rules of thumb:

  • Select the one with the most B. Species at a reasonable cost (i.e. Monthly Cost/Species)
  • Change probiotics when you finished a bottle.
  • Try getting different species each time you change

— Key words from above chart/image

NOW Foods Acidophilus/bifidus ProBiota Bifido Life Extension Bifido GI Balance Align Natren Bifido Factor Dairy Free Flora Baby Klaire Labs Ther-Biotic Factor 4 Nestle Beba ProNature Made Digestive Probiotics Advance Dual Support Active Balance High Potency Probiotic Bayer TruBiotics CVS Digestive Probiotics Pearls Elite Florajen 3 Kyo-Dophilus Good FloraLife Start 2 Nature Made Triple Probiotic Nature’s Way Primadophilus Intensive Philips Colon Health Probioplus DDS Five Strain

  • Bifidobacterium animalis
  • Bifidobacterium bifidum
  • Bifidobacterium breve
  • Bifidobacterium infantis
  • Bifidobacterium lactis
  • Bifidobacterium longum