Bifidobacterium longum BB536

While some complementary and alternative techniques have been studied scientifically, high-quality data regarding safety, effectiveness, and mechanism of action are limited or controversial for most therapies. Whenever possible, it is recommended that practitioners be licensed by a recognized professional organization that adheres to clearly published standards. In addition, before starting a new technique or engaging a practitioner, it is recommended that patients speak with their primary healthcare provider(s). Potential benefits, risks (including financial costs), and alternatives should be carefully considered. The below monograph is designed to provide historical background and an overview of clinically-oriented research, and neither advocates for or against the use of a particular therapy.

Related Terms

  • BAA-999, BB536, BB-536, Bifidobacterium longum NCC3001, bifidus milk, bifidus yogurt, BL999, medida, Morinaga Bifidus®, Morinaga Caldus®, oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN) BL07S.

Background

  • Bifidobacterium longum BB536 (BB536) is a Gram-positive bacterium that produces lactic and acetic acids. BB536 is a type of probiotic bacterium. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria (sometimes referred to as “friendly germs”).

  • The supposed health benefits of probiotics and BB536 include maintaining the health of the intestinal tract and the immune system and protecting against infection.

  • At this time, research in support of the use of BB536 for allergic disorders is limited mainly to Japanese cedar pollen (JCP). Studies suggest that BB536 and other probiotics may improve bowel function and fecal characteristics. BB536 as part of infant formulas may offer small benefit.

  • Further research is needed to assess the potential benefits of BB536.

Scientific Evidence

Uses

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

Allergies

Research suggests BB536 may reduce symptoms associated with Japanese cedar pollen (JCP) allergy. At this time, there is limited information available on other types of allergies. Additional research is needed in this area.

Constipation

The addition of BB536 to the diet, either alone or in combination with other prebiotics, normalized bowel movements and improved moisture, odor, and visual characteristics of feces. BB536 supplementation has also changed bacterial strains in human intestines.

Flu

A study showed that BB536 reduced the number of vaccinated people who got the flu or a fever. Additional research is needed in this area.

High cholesterol

Fermented milk with BB536 and other beneficial bacteria may reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and HDL (“good”) cholesterol. Additional research is needed in this area.

Infant development / neonatal care

BB536 may shorten the time to reach full tube feeding in very-low-birthweight infants. Other studies have suggested that formulas with BB536 do not negatively affect growth or development. Additional research is needed in this area.

Ulcerative colitis (inflammation of the large intestine)

Milk containing BB536 and other probiotics increased bowel movements and improved moisture, odor, and visual characteristics of feces. BB536 supplementation has also changed bacterial strains in human intestines. Additional research using BB536 alone is needed.

Yeast infection

Research suggests that BB536 and other probiotics may reduce yeast infections associated with chemotherapy. BB536 has also benefitted fecal bacterial populations. Additional research using BB536 alone is needed.

*Key to grades:

Tradition

The below uses are based on tradition or scientific theories. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious and should be evaluated by a qualified health care professional.

  • Antibacterial, antiviral, anxiety, bacterial skin infections, cancer, diarrhea, immunomodulation (affects the immune system), inflammation of the small intestine, osteoporosis.

Dosing

The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.

Adults (18 years and older)

  • To treat allergies, 5 x 1010 colony-forming units (CFU) per two grams of BB536 have been taken by mouth twice daily for four weeks or 13 weeks. Additionally, 2 x 107 CFU of living BB536 in yogurt have been taken by mouth daily for 14 weeks.

  • To treat constipation, 180-200 milliliters of milk with at least 2 x 109 CFU of BB536 has been taken by mouth daily for up to three weeks. Additionally, 100g of BB536-supplemented yogurt (more than 2 x 107 CFU per gram) has been taken by mouth daily for two weeks. A 2g sachet of BB536-H (5×1010CFU lyophilized BB536) or BB536-L (2.5×1010CFU lyophilized BB536) powder has been taken by feeding tube once or twice daily for 16 weeks.

  • For flu prevention, 1 x 1011 CFU of BB536 have been taken by mouth daily for three weeks before an influenza vaccine and then for an additional 16 weeks.

  • To treat ulcerative colitis (inflammation of the large intestine), 2-3 x 1011 CFU of BB536 have been taken by mouth daily for 24 weeks.

Children (under 18 years old)

  • There is no proven safe or effective dose for BB536 in children.

Safety

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

Allergies

  • Avoid with known allergy or sensitivity to ingredients in probiotic supplements.

Side Effects and Warnings

  • BB536 is categorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS). In studies, adverse effects from BB536 were generally lacking.

  • Use cautiously in people with decreased HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels and in pregnant and lactating women.

  • Use cautiously in people taking drugs that alter the immune system.

  • Avoid use in people with a known allergy or sensitivity to ingredients in probiotic supplements.

  • Probiotics may also cause a decrease in HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels, cause gas, change bacterial levels in the intestines, increase the frequency of bowel movements and sensations after bowel movements, and stimulate the immune system.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

  • There is currently a lack of scientific evidence on the use of BB536 during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

Interactions

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

Interactions with Drugs

  • BB536 may interact with agents that may affect the immune system, agents that may increase bone strength, antiallergy agents, antianxiety agents, antibiotics, anticancer agents, antidiarrheals, cholesterol-lowering agents, gastrointestinal agents, and laxatives.

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

  • BB536 may increase the amount of drowsiness caused by some herbs or supplements.

  • BB536 may interact with antiallergy herbs and supplements, antibacterials, anticancer herbs and supplements, antidiarrheals, cholesterol-lowering herbs and supplements, gastrointestinal agents, herbs and supplements that may affect the immune system, herbs and supplements that may increase bone strength, laxatives, prebiotics, and probiotics.

Author Information

  • This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).

References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

  1. Akatsu, H., Iwabuchi, N., Xiao, J. Z., Matsuyama, Z., Kurihara, R., Okuda, K., Yamamoto, T., and Maruyama, M. Clinical Effects of Probiotic Bifidobacterium longum BB536 on Immune Function and Intestinal Microbiota in Elderly Patients Receiving Enteral Tube Feeding. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr 11-27-2012;View Abstract
  2. Andrade, S. and Borges, N. Effect of fermented milk containing Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium longum on plasma lipids of women with normal or moderately elevated cholesterol. J Dairy Res. 2009;76(4):469-474. View Abstract
  3. Chouraqui, J. P., Grathwohl, D., Labaune, J. M., Hascoet, J. M., de, Montgolfier, I, Leclaire, M., Giarre, M., and Steenhout, P. Assessment of the safety, tolerance, and protective effect against diarrhea of infant formulas containing mixtures of probiotics or probiotics and prebiotics in a randomized controlled trial. Am.J Clin.Nutr. 2008;87(5):1365-1373. View Abstract
  4. Firmansyah, A., Dwipoerwantoro, P. G., Kadim, M., Alatas, S., Conus, N., Lestarina, L., Bouisset, F., and Steenhout, P. Improved growth of toddlers fed a milk containing synbiotics. Asia Pac.J Clin.Nutr. 2011;20(1):69-76. View Abstract
  5. Gianotti, L., Morelli, L., Galbiati, F., Rocchetti, S., Coppola, S., Beneduce, A., Gilardini, C., Zonenschain, D., Nespoli, A., and Braga, M. A randomized double-blind trial on perioperative administration of probiotics in colorectal cancer patients. World J Gastroenterol. 1-14-2010;16(2):167-175. View Abstract
  6. Grzeskowiak, L., Gronlund, M. M., Beckmann, C., Salminen, S., von, Berg A., and Isolauri, E. The impact of perinatal probiotic intervention on gut microbiota: double-blind placebo-controlled trials in Finland and Germany. Anaerobe. 2012;18(1):7-13. View Abstract
  7. Hascoet, J. M., Hubert, C., Rochat, F., Legagneur, H., Gaga, S., Emady-Azar, S., and Steenhout, P. G. Effect of formula composition on the development of infant gut microbiota. J Pediatr.Gastroenterol.Nutr. 2011;52(6):756-762. View Abstract
  8. Mah, K. W., Chin, V. I., Wong, W. S., Lay, C., Tannock, G. W., Shek, L. P., Aw, M. M., Chua, K. Y., Wong, H. B., Panchalingham, A., and Lee, B. W. Effect of a milk formula containing probiotics on the fecal microbiota of Asian infants at risk of atopic diseases. Pediatr.Res. 2007;62(6):674-679. View Abstract
  9. Namba, K., Hatano, M., Yaeshima, T., Takase, M., and Suzuki, K. Effects of Bifidobacterium longum BB536 administration on influenza infection, influenza vaccine antibody titer, and cell-mediated immunity in the elderly. Biosci.Biotechnol.Biochem. 2010;74(5):939-945. View Abstract
  10. Odamaki, T., Xiao, J. Z., Sakamoto, M., Kondo, S., Yaeshima, T., Iwatsuki, K., Togashi, H., Enomoto, T., and Benno, Y. Distribution of different species of the Bacteroides fragilis group in individuals with Japanese cedar pollinosis. Appl.Environ.Microbiol. 2008;74(21):6814-6817. View Abstract
  11. Rouge, C., Piloquet, H., Butel, M. J., Berger, B., Rochat, F., Ferraris, L., Des, Robert C., Legrand, A., de la Cochetiere, M. F., N’Guyen, J. M., Vodovar, M., Voyer, M., Darmaun, D., and Roze, J. C. Oral supplementation with probiotics in very-low-birth-weight preterm infants: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Am.J Clin.Nutr. 2009;89(6):1828-1835. View Abstract
  12. Simakachorn, N., Bibiloni, R., Yimyaem, P., Tongpenyai, Y., Varavithaya, W., Grathwohl, D., Reuteler, G., Maire, J. C., Blum, S., Steenhout, P., Benyacoub, J., and Schiffrin, E. J. Tolerance, safety, and effect on the faecal microbiota of an enteral formula supplemented with pre- and probiotics in critically ill children. J Pediatr.Gastroenterol.Nutr. 2011;53(2):174-181. View Abstract
  13. Soh, S. E., Aw, M., Gerez, I., Chong, Y. S., Rauff, M., Ng, Y. P., Wong, H. B., Pai, N., Lee, B. W., and Shek, L. P. Probiotic supplementation in the first 6 months of life in at risk Asian infants–effects on eczema and atopic sensitization at the age of 1 year. Clin.Exp.Allergy 2009;39(4):571-578. View Abstract
  14. Xiao J, Kondol S Odamaki T Miyaji K Yaeshima T Iwatsuki K Togashi H Benno Y. Effect of yogurt containing Bifidobacterium longum BB 536 on the defecation frequency and fecal characteristics of healthy adults: A double-blind cross over study. Japanese Journal of Lactic Acid Bacteria 2007;18(1):31-36.
  15. Xiao, J. Z., Kondo, S., Takahashi, N., Odamaki, T., Iwabuchi, N., Miyaji, K., Iwatsuki, K., and Enomoto, T. Changes in plasma TARC levels during Japanese cedar pollen season and relationships with symptom development. Int.Arch.Allergy Immunol. 2007;144(2):123-127. View Abstract

The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.