The human gut microbiota enhances its host’s resistance to enteric pathogens via colonisation resistance. A healthy human intestine contains trillions of commensal bacteria. Chief among them is “Bifidobacterium adolescentis”, a major contributing factor in microbial balance, enhancement of gut barrier integrity and immuno-enhancement of the intestinal tract, and is recognized as the most precious species of Bifidobacterium.
In spite of its significant even unique ability to increase immune cells, B. adolescentis demonstrated its tremendous fragility and low survival rate during the processes of manufacturing, storage and gastrointestinal transit due to its obligate anaerobes and weak acid tolerance characteristics. However, microencapsulation is being viewed as a promising process to improve the survival rates of probiotic microorganisms. Because of the high production cost, B. adolescentis is uncommon in Asia-Pacific probiotics market and therefore is regarded as a particularly precious beneficial bacterium.
The three major immune functions of B. adolescentis are as follows:
- Restorationof intestinal barrier integrity
Studies revealed that short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) such as acetate, propionate, butyrate and lactate produced by B. adolescentis can inhibit the growth and reproduction of pathogenic bacteria and repair damaged intestinal mucosa as well as an intestinal barrier. B. adolescentis also interacts with the intestinal mucosa to form a biological barrier, prevents the invasion of pathogenic bacteria, inhibits the reproduction of pathogens and the destruction of intestinal mucosa by substances, maintains the balance of intestinal flora balance, and protects the human body from pathogenic bacteria. B. adolescentis can stimulate the intestinal immune system and improve the body's ability to cure itself of diseases.
- Ability to boost antibodies against virus
Immune cells are stimulated by probiotics to produce different types of antibody. When a probiotic reaches the intestines, the natural killer (NK) cells and neutrophils which is a type of white blood cell that protects us from infections, in the human body are activated to enhance human immunity. Secretory Immunoglobulin A (SIgA) is an antibody that plays a crucial role in mucosal immunity, and serves as the first line of defence in protecting the outer layer of body’s surface from enteric toxins and pathogenic microorganisms.
Research revealed that B. adolescentis in the gut has the potential to prevent virus infection. Gut microbiota dysbiosis not only modulates the immune responses of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract but also impacts the lower respiratory tracts.
China's National Health Commission and National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine now include the use of probiotics for treatment of COVID-19. It is recommended to use a probiotic formula to restore equilibrium in the gut microbiome and boosts immunity.
- An increase in immune cells
adolescentis is a beneficial bacterium. Currently, there are 32 recognized species of the genus Bifidobacterium, 12 of which have been associated with the human host, including B. adolescentis. Studies revealed that B. adolescentis exhibits strain-specific effects in the alleviation of constipation, reduction of chronic diarrhoea, allergies and weight gain, improvement in symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and autism in children.
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Fang, Z., Li, L., Zhao, J., Zhang, H., Lee, Y. K., Lu, W., & Chen, W. (2020). Bifidobacteria adolescentis regulated immune responses and gut microbial composition to alleviate DNFB-induced atopic dermatitis in mice. European journal of nutrition, 59(7), 3069–3081. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00394-019-02145-8
Wang, B., Kong, Q., Cui, S., Li, X., Gu, Z., Zhao, J., Zhang, H., Chen, W., & Wang, G. (2021). Bifidobacterium adolescentis Isolated from Different Hosts Modifies the Intestinal Microbiota and Displays Differential Metabolic and Immunomodulatory Properties in Mice Fed a High-Fat Diet. Nutrients, 13(3), 1017. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13031017
Wang, L., Hu, L., Xu, Q., Yin, B., Fang, D., Wang, G., Zhao, J., Zhang, H., & Chen, W. (2017). Bifidobacterium adolescentis Exerts Strain-Specific Effects on Constipation Induced by Loperamide in BALB/c Mice. International journal of molecular sciences, 18(2), 318. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18020318
Bunker, J. J., & Bendelac, A. (2018). IgA Responses to Microbiota. Immunity, 49(2), 211–224. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.immuni.2018.08.011