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 Science Index

 Bifidobacteria

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Title
Regulatory effects of bifidobacteria on the growth of other colonic bacteria.
Author
Gibson GR; Wang X Address MRC Dunn Clinical Nutrition Centre, Cambridge, UK.
Source
J Appl Bacteriol, 1994 Oct, 77:4, 412-20
Abstract
In the human large intestine bifidobacteria are a numerically important group of micro-organisms which are considered to exert a range of biological activities related to host health. One aspect is the inhibitory effect of these bacteria on other species, possibly excluding long term colonization by invasive pathogens. It has been suggested that the mechanism of inhibition carried out by bifidobacteria is related to the fermentative production of acids such as acetate and lactate. Experiments reported in this paper attempted to address this theory. Co-culture experiments whereby Bifidobacterium infantis was incubated with Escherichia coli and Clostridium perfringens, in a variety of fermentation systems, indicated that the bifidobacterium was able to exert an inhibitory effect not necessarily related to acid production. Further studies showed that eight species of bifidobacteria could variously excrete an anti-microbial substance with a broad spectrum of activity. Species belonging to the genera Salmonella, Listeria, Campylobacter and Shigella, as well as Vibrio cholerae, were all affected. These results show that bifidobacteria are able to exert more than one mechanism of inhibition, which may be of some importance with regard to protection against gastroenteritis.

Title
Bifidobacteria strain behavior toward cholesterol: coprecipitation with bile salts and assimilation.
Author
Tahri K; Grill JP; Schneider F
Source
Curr Microbiol, 1996 Sep, 33:3, 187-93
Abstract
Resting cells and growing cells of bifidobacteria strains exhibited an ability to remove cholesterol in the presence of bile salts. In resting cell assays, the removed cholesterol was precipitated in the presence of cholic acid at pH values lower than 5.4. However, this precipitated cholesterol was redissolved when the pellets were washed with phosphate buffer, pH 7, and no cholesterol was found in the cells. It appears that this precipitation is a transient phenomenon. In the case of growing cells, the removed cholesterol was partially recovered when cells were washed with phosphate buffer, pH 7, while the remaining cholesterol was extracted from the cells. Cultured in the presence of radiolabeled free or esterified cholesterol, bifidobacteria strains were able to assimilate esterified cholesterol. It is concluded that the removal of cholesterol from the growth medium by bifidobacteria strains is due to both bacterial assimilation and precipitation of cholesterol.

Title
Effects of fructo-oligosaccharides ingestion on fecal bifidobacteria and selected metabolic indexes of colon carcinogenesis in healthy humans.
Author
Bouhnik Y; Flourié B; Riottot M; Bisetti N; Gailing MF; Guibert A; Bornet F; Rambaud JC
Source
Nutr Cancer, 1996, 26:1, 21-9
Abstract
Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) are a mixture of oligosaccharides consisting of glucose linked to fructose units. They are not digested in the human small intestine but fermented in the colon, where they could specifically promote the growth of some species of the indigenous microflora, especially bifidobacteria. We assessed in healthy humans the effects of FOS ingestion in fecal bifidobacteria and selected metabolic indexes potentially involved in colonic carcinogenesis. Twenty volunteers randomly divided into two groups were studied for three consecutive 12-day periods. During the ingestion period, they received 12.5 g/day FOS or placebo (saccharose) in three oral doses. Stools were regularly collected and analyzed. FOS ingestion led to an increase in fecal bifidobacterial counts [7.9 +/- 0.5 to 9.1 +/- 0.3 (SE) log colony-forming units/g wet wt, p < 0.01] and beta-fructosidase activity (9.6 +/- 1.9 to 13.8 +/- 1.9 IU/g dry wt, p < 0.01). In contrast, FOS ingestion had no significant effect on fecal total anaerobes, pH, the activities of nitroreductase, azoreductase, and beta-glucuronidase, and the concentrations of bile acids and neutral sterols. We conclude that ingestion of FOS, at a clinically tolerated dose of 12.5 g/day, led to an increase in colonic bifidobacteria. This effect was not associated in healthy humans with beneficial changes in various factors potentially involved in the pathogenesis of colonic cancer.

Title
Bifidobacteria and probiotic effects: action of Bifidobacterium species on conjugated bile salts.
Author
Grill JP; Manginot Dürr C; Schneider F; Ballongue J
Source
Curr Microbiol, 1995 Jul, 31:1, 23-7
Abstract
The effect of six different conjugated bile salts (two trihydroxyconjugated bile salts: tauro and glycocholic acids; and four dihydroxyconjugated bile salts: tauro- and glycochenodeoxycholic, tauro- and glycodeoxycholic acids) on eight bifidobacteria strains were studied. A strong growth-inhibitory effect was observed (80% at 0.95 mM) for each bile salt and strain. This phenomenon was explained by the production of deconjugated bile salt during bifidobacteria growth. The deconjugation phenomenon was concurrent with biomass production, and deconjugated bile salts were the sole compound produced during bifidobacteria biotransformation. In resting cell experiments, differences appeared between the strains and the kind of bile salts, particularly concerning taurocholic acid. The Bifidobacterium longum strains were the most efficient among the bacteria tested.

Title
Impact of Bifidobacterium longum on human fecal microflora.
Author
Benno Y; Mitsuoka T
Source
Microbiol Immunol, 1992, 36:7, 683-94
Abstract
The effects of Bifidobacterium longum feedings for five weeks on the fecal microflora, water contents, pH values, ammonia concentration, and beta-glucuronidase activity were investigated in five healthy human volunteers. Although numbers of major bacterial groups of the fecal microflora were not changed by the bifidobacteria feedings, a remarkably decreasing number of lecithinase-negative clostridia was observed. The percentage of lecithinase-negative clostridia and bacteroides to the total bacterial numbers isolated were decreased during the feedings and numbers of C. paraputrificum and C. innocuum were reduced. A significant reduction of fecal pH values for the last week of the feeding was observed. Ammonia concentration and beta-glucuronidase activity in the feces during the feedings were significantly lower than those before or after the feedings. The oral supplement of B. longum may be introduced to improve the fecal properties such as fecal ammonia concentration and beta-glucuronidase activity, but not the composition of fecal flora.

Title
Effects of three strains of bifidobacteria on cholesterol.
Author
Tahri K; Crociani J; Ballongue J; Schneider F
Source
Lett Appl Microbiol, 1995 Sep, 21:3, 149-51
Abstract
To determine the validity of the hypothesis of assimilation or precipitation of cholesterol by Bifidobacterium species, resting cell assays and cultures were undertaken in TPY medium containing oxgall. With resting cell assays (pH 5), cholesterol was precipitated and redissolved in phosphate buffer (pH 7). At the end of the cultures, only part of the removed cholesterol from the culture medium was found in the phosphate buffer, while the missing cholesterol was in cell extracts. It appeared that removal of cholesterol during culturing was not solely due to its precipitation. It is concluded that growing bifidobacteria cells are able to remove cholesterol both by precipitation and assimilation.

Title
Selective stimulation of bifidobacteria in the human colon by oligofructose and inulin.
Author
Gibson GR; Beatty ER; Wang X; Cummings JH
Source
Gastroenterology, 1995 Apr, 108:4, 975-82
Abstract
BACKGROUND/AIMS: Oligofructose and inulin are naturally occurring indigestible carbohydrates. In vitro they selectively stimulate the growth of species of Bifidobacterium, a genus of bacteria considered beneficial to health. This study was designed to determine their effects on the large bowel microflora and colonic function in vivo. METHODS: Eight subjects participated in a 45-day study during which they ate controlled diets. For the middle 15 days, 15 g.day-1 oligofructose was substituted for 15 g.day-1 sucrose. Four of these subjects went on to a further period with 15 g.day-1 inulin. Bowel habit, transit time, stool composition, breath H2 and CH4, and the predominant genera of colonic bacteria were measured. RESULTS: Both oligofructose and inulin significantly increased bifidobacteria from 8.8 to 9.5 log10 g stool-1 and 9.2 to 10.1 log10 g stool-1, respectively, whereas bacteroides, clostridia, and fusobacteria decreased when subjects were fed oligofructose, and gram-positive cocci decreased when subjects were fed inulin. Total bacterial counts were unchanged. Fecal wet and dry matter, nitrogen, and energy excretion increased with both substrates, as did breath H2. Little change in fecal short-chain fatty acids and breath CH4 was observed. CONCLUSIONS: A 15-g.day-1 dietary addition of oligofructose or inulin led to Bifidobacterium becoming the numerically predominant genus in feces. Thus, small changes in diet can alter the balance of colonic bacteria towards a potentially healthier microflora.

Title
Antimicrobial susceptibility of bifidobacteria.
Author
Lim KS; Huh CS; Baek YJ
Source
J Dairy Sci, 1993 Aug, 76:8, 2168-74
Abstract
The antimicrobial susceptibility of 37 strains of bifidobacteria to 18 antimicrobial agents was determined by a macrodilution broth method. Most of the strains used were isolated from commercial yogurts and starters. Tested organisms were usually sensitive to Gram-positive spectrum antibiotics (bacitracin, erythromycin, lincomycin, and vancomycin), and most of the organisms were inhibited by a concentration < 1.56 micrograms/ml. Erythromycin was the most active agent; all strains were inhibited by < .19 microgram/ml. beta-Lactam antibiotics (penicillin G, ampicillin, methicillin, and cephalothin), showing a wide range of minimum inhibitory concentration, were less effective than Gram-positive spectrum antibiotics. Most strains were somewhat resistant to cephalothin, exhibiting inhibition at concentrations of 6.25 to 25.0 micrograms/ml. Test organisms were most resistant to kanamycin, neomycin, paromomycin sulfate, nalidixic acid, and polymyxin B sulfate; inhibition occurred only at > or = 50 micrograms/ml, and strains were somewhat less resistant to gentamicin and streptomycin. Susceptibility to nitrofurantoin and tetracycline was variable; minimum inhibitory concentrations ranged from 1.56 to 50.0 and .39 to 50.0 micrograms/ml, respectively, but chloramphenicol had a narrow range from 1.56 to 6.25 micrograms/ml.

Title
The effect of synbiotics on colon carcinogenesis in rats.
Author
Gallaher DD; Khil J
Source
J Nutr, 1999 Jul, 129:7 Suppl, 1483S-7S
Abstract
Evidence indicates that consumption of probiotic microorganisms such as bifidobacteria reduces the risk of colon cancer in animal models. Feeding certain fructans such as oligofructose and inulin, which are thought to selectively increase the growth of intestinal bifidobacteria (i.e., a prebiotic effect), also has been shown to reduce colon cancer risk. The objective of our study was twofold, i. e., to determine whether the combination of bifidobacteria and oligofructose would have an additive effect (i.e., synbiotic) in reducing colon cancer risk in rats, and to determine whether other oligosaccharides would also be effective as part of a synbiotic combination. The development of colonic preneoplastic lesions (aberrant crypts) was used as an index of colon cancer risk. In one series of experiments, rats were given the carcinogen 1, 2-dimethylhydrazine (DMH) and administered one of the following treatments: skim milk (control), bifidobacteria (bifido), oligofructose (OF) or bifido + OF. Neither bifido nor OF alone significantly reduced aberrant crypt number. Bifido + OF reduced aberrant crypt number in five of six experiments, although the reduction was significant in only one. However, a paired comparison of the six experiments indicated a significant overall reduction in aberrant crypts by bifido + OF (P = 0.039). Soybean oligosaccharide (SBO) and wheat bran oligosaccharide (WBO) were also fed in combination with bifidobacteria. In two other experiments, SBO did not alter the number of aberrant crypts compared with the control, whereas WBO reduced aberrant crypt number in one experiment but not in another. Of OF, SBO and WBO, only SBO reduced the colonic mucosa proliferation compared with the control. These results suggest that the combination of bifidobacteria and oligofructose reduces colon cancer risk in carcinogen-treated rats, but the effect of other oligosaccharides is uncertain.

Title
Dose-response effects of inulin and oligofructose on intestinal bifidogenesis effects.
Author
Rao AV
Source
J Nutr, 1999 Jul, 129:7 Suppl, 1442S-5S
Abstract
Recent studies have identified several beneficial attributes of inulin (I) and oligofructose (OF) in human health. However, most of the studies pertaining to the physiologic role of these compounds have been conducted at higher concentrations (8-40 g/d) as a Source of dietary fiber. There is growing interest in using I and OF as a substrate for the selective growth of beneficial gastrointestinal bacteria such as the bifidobacteria. In vitro fermentation studies using fecal inoculums have shown that I and OF are utilized rapidly and completely by intestinal microflora and that the degree of polymerization of the substrate influenced its rate of disappearance. In these and other studies, I and OF were shown to be efficient substrates for the growth of most strains of bifidobacteria compared with glucose. In vivo studies have also shown that when human volunteers ingested I or OF, the number of fecal bifidobacteria increased. However, when results from the reported studies are combined and analyzed, a dose-response relationship in terms of log increases in the count of bifidobacteria cannot be demonstrated. Initial numbers of bifidobacteria in the feces, independent of the dose of the fructo-oligosaccharides, seem to influence the results. Future investigations should consider this relationship carefully.

 

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