Bifidobacterium animalis

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Bifidobacterium animalis
20101210 013757 BifidobacteriumAnimalis.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Bacteria
Division: Firmicutes
Class: Actinobacteria
Order: Bifidobacteriales
Family: Bifidobacteriaceae
Genus: Bifidobacterium
Species: B. animalis
Binomial name
Bifidobacterium animalis
(Mitsuoka 1969)
Scardovi and Trovatelli 1974

B. a. animalis
B. a. lactis

Bifidobacterium animalis is a Gram-positive, anaerobic, rod-shaped bacterium which can be found in the large intestines of most mammals, including humans.

Bifidobacterium animalis and Bifidobacterium lactis were previously described as two distinct species. Presently, both are considered B. animalis with the subspecies Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. animalis and Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis.[1][2][3]

Both old names B. animalis and B. lactis are still used on product labels, as this species is frequently used as a probiotic. In most cases, which subspecies is used in the product is not clear.

Trade names[edit]

Several companies have attempted to trademark particular strains, and as a marketing technique, have invented scientific-sounding names for the strains.

Danone (Dannon) markets the subspecies strain DN 173 010 as Bifidus Digestivum (UK), Bifidus Regularis (US and Mexico), Bifidobacterium Lactis or B.L. Regularis (Canada), DanRegularis (Brazil), Bifidus Actiregularis (Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Chile, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Spain and the UK), and Bifidus Essensis in the Middle East (and formerly in Hungary, Bulgaria and The Netherlands) through Activia from Safi Danone KSA.[citation needed]

Chr. Hansen A/S [4] from Denmark has a similar claim on a strain of Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis, marketed under the trademark BB-12.[5]

Lidl lists "Bifidobacterium BB-12" in its "Proviact" yogurt.

Therelac contains the strains "Bifidobacterium lactis BI-07" and "Bifidobacterium lactis BL-34" (also called BI-04) in its probiotic capsule.[6]

The strain "Bifidobacterium lactis HN-019" is sold in a variety of commercial probiotics, among them Attune Wellness Bars[7] and NOW Foods Clinical GI Probiotic.[8]

Health effects[edit]


A 2007 study conducted in cooperation with the Groupe Danone, Dannon's parent company, took 274 adult subjects diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) to study the effects of B. animalis on their symptoms. Over the first 2-3 week period, the subject's stool samples and symptoms were recorded. The subjects were then asked to consume two servings of fermented milk twice a day. B. animalis was in the fermented milk. The results suggested some beneficial effect on discomfort and bloating in constipation-predominant IBS.[9]


B. animalis is present in many food products and dietary supplements. The probiotic is mostly found in dairy products. [10]


  1. ^ Bifidobacterium
  2. ^ Masco, Liesbeth; Marco Ventura; Ralf Zink; Geert Huys; Jean Swings (July 2004). "Polyphasic taxonomic analysis of Bifidobacterium animalis and Bifidobacterium 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 (part 4): 1137–1143. doi:10.1099/ijs.0.03011-0. PMID 15280282. Retrieved 2007-07-14. 
  3. ^ Rapid Identification, Differentiation, and Proposed New Taxonomic Classification of Bifidobacterium lactis. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2002 December; 68(12): 6429–6434.
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ (2007), Effect of a fermented milk containing Bifidobacterium animalis DN-173 010 on the health-related quality of life and symptoms in irritable bowel syndrome in adults in primary care: a multicentre, randomized, double-blind, controlled trial. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 26: 475–486 207. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2007.03362.x
  10. ^ "American Society for MicrobiologyApplied and Environmental Microbiology." Strain-Specific Genotyping of Bifidobacterium Animalis Subsp. Lactis by Using Single-Nucleotide Polymorphisms, Insertions, and Deletions. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 June 2014.

External links[edit]

  • – A deconstruction of the terms Bifidus Actiregularis, Bifidus Regularis, Bifidus Digestivum, L. Casei Immunitas and their variants, as well as the marketing strategy, and information about the potential health benefits of live yoghurts.
  • – How to select a probiotic