Bifidobacterium lactis

Bifidobacterium lactis is a name that you frequently see on the lable of probiotic supplements but it is in fact an out-of-date handle for this good bacteria.

But rest assured - it is the name and not the bacteria that is out-of-date. This is one very useful member of the Bifidobacterium family to have on your side.

B lactis and B animalis are much more closely related than originally thought and they have now been put into the same category.

Does it matter which name is on my supplement? Not at all. Both names refer to the same probiotic.

The name B lactis is the "old-fashioned" name of what is now recognized as Bifidobacterium animalis supsp lactis so click through to learn what supplements and food you might find it in.

The official categorization of them is thus:- what was Bifidobacterium animalis is now Bifidobacterium animalis subsp animalis and what was B lactis is now Bifidobacterium animalis subsp lactis.

Whatever you call it, this is a useful lactic acid producing bacteria that competes for nutrients and intestinal wall space, thereby forcing pathogens out of the digestive tract.

It is also the mostly common used of the Bifidobacteria in both probiotic supplements and added to foods even though it is not of human origin.

Research in 2011 on yogurt containing this probiotic and L acidophilus has shown that it might play a role in improving fasting blood glucose in people with type 2 diabetes.


1. Liesbeth Masco, Marco Ventura, Ralf Zink, Geert Huys and Jean Swings. Polyphasic taxonomic analysis of Bifidobacterium animalis and B lactis reveals relatedness at the subspecies level: reclassification of Bifidobacterium animalis as Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. animalis subsp. nov. and Bifidobacterium lactis as Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis subsp. nov. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 54 (2004), 1137-1143; DOI 10.1099/ijs.0.03011-0.