Bifidobacterium longum is one of the most well known of the Bifidobacterium family.
It helps in the production and absorption of B complex vitamins, blocks the growth of harmful bacteria by lowering pH in the intestine through production of acetic and lactic acids and boosts the immune system1.
Bifidobacterium longum have genes that can synthesize about 19 different amino acids through their metabolic processes1.
One of the best sources of B longum is human breast milk which is just one reason why breast feeding is beneficial if a woman is able to do so.
The Bifidobacterium bacteria are commonly found in fermented dairy foods. Yogurts such as Cascade Fresh contain this particular species of bacteria. It is also in Cascade Fresh Cherry Vanilla Probiotic Organic Crunch Bars
Jarro-Dophilus EPS is an excellent multi probiotic capsule containing 680 million B longum (5 billion bacteria in total.)
VSL #3 Capsules is another multi probiotic capsule. It is expensive but it does contain a total of 225 billion cfu in each capsule so that although they do not state how many of the B longum you are getting, the probability is that it is a high number.
I am not aware of any supplement that contains ONLY Bifidobacterium longum.
B longum is essential for good intestinal health.
It can help to reduce the symptoms of Japanese Cedar Pollinosis, (JCPsis) an allergy caused by exposure to Japanese cedar pollen. Although antihistimines and steriods have commonly been used to try to treat the allergy symptoms the negative side effects can be considerable.
Because it has been observed that Bifidobacteria may help prevent several allergic diseases, a study using a powder form of Bifidobacterium longum BB536 was done for Japanese Cedar Pollen allergy and patients showed improvement in eye itching and watery eyes. 3
This particular stain, B longum BB536, is in Jarro-Dophilus EPS.
A number of animal studies have shown that taking B longum resulted in significant suppression of colon tumor growth.4
A study on women eating a fermented milk product containing B longum and L acidophilus showed a significant reduction in LDL cholesterol. HDL cholesterol was also reduced by the test product5.
A recent study showed that live cells of all B longum strains tested greatly stimulated regulatory cytokine interleukin (IL)-10 and proinflammatory cytokine tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha production6.
This suggests that many strains of the longum species have a role in immune-regulation and optimizing our natural defences because TNF-a is a type of cytokine that targets cancer cells causing their death.
In general, Cytokines are small secreted proteins which regulate our responses to infection, immune responses, inflammation, and trauma.
So any of the strains listed below will likely do this.
2. Mark A. Schell, Maria Karmirantzou, Berend Snel, David Vilanova, Bernard Berger, Gabriella Pessi, Marie-Camille Zwahlen, Frank Desiere, Peer Bork, Michele Delley, R. David Pridmore, and Fabrizio Arigoni. The genome sequence of B longum reflects its adaptation to the human gastrointestinal tract. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 October 29; 99(22): 14422-14427.
3. Xiao,JZ et al. Clinical Efficacy of Probiotic B longum for the Treatment of Symptoms of Japanese Cedar Pollen Allergy in Subjects Evaluated in an Environmental Exposure Unit. Allergology International. Published March 2007.
4. J Singh, A Rivenson, M Tomita, S Shimamura, N Ishibashi and BS Reddy. B longum, a lactic acid-producing intestinal bacterium inhibits colon cancer and modulates the intermediate biomarkers of colon carcinogenesis. Carcinogenesis, Vol 18, 833-841, Oxford University Press
5. Andrade S, 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 Nov;76(4):469-74.
6. M Medina, E Izquierdo, S Ennahar, and Y Sanz. Differential immunomodulatory properties of Bifidobacterium logum strains: relevance to probiotic selection and clinical applications. Clin Exp Immunol. 2007 December; 150(3): 531-538.doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2249.2007.03522.x.