Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis GCL2505 (B. lactis GCL2505) is able to survive passage through the intestines and proliferate. The daily dynamics of the intestinal bifidobacteria following ingestion of probiotics are not yet clear. Moreover, the effects of long-term ingestion of probiotics on the intestinal microbiota have not been well studied. Two experiments were performed in the present study. In Experiment 1, 53 healthy female volunteers received B. lactis GCL2505; B. bifidum GCL2080, which can survive but not proliferate in the intestine; or yogurt fermented with Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus for 2 weeks, and the daily dynamics of intestinal bifidobacteria were investigated. The number of fecal bifidobacteria significantly increased on day 1, and this was maintained until day 14 in the B. lactis GCL2505 ingestion group. However, no significant change in the number of fecal bifidobacteria was observed in the other groups throughout the ingestion period. In Experiment 2, 38 constipated volunteers received either B. lactis GCL2505 or a placebo for 8 weeks. Both the number of fecal bifidobacteria and the frequency of defecation significantly increased throughout the ingestion period in the B. lactis GCL2505 ingestion group. These results suggested that the proliferation of ingested bifidobacteria within the intestine contributed to a rapid increase in the amount of intestinal bifidobacteria and subsequent maintenance of these levels. Moreover, B. lactis GCL2505 improved the intestinal microbiota more effectively than non-proliferating bifidobacteria and lactic acid bacteria.
Keywords: Bifidobacterium; Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis GCL2505; dynamics; intestinal microbiota; probiotics; proliferation.