This review presents selected data on the probiotic strain Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis BB-12(®) (BB-12(®)), which is the world's most documented probiotic Bifidobacterium. It is described in more than 300 scientific publications out of which more than 130 are publications of human clinical studies. The complete genome sequence of BB-12(®) has been determined and published. BB-12(®) originates from Chr. Hansen's collection of dairy cultures and has high stability in foods and as freeze dried powders. Strain characteristics and mechanisms of BB-12(®) have been established through extensive in vitro testing. BB-12(®) exhibits excellent gastric acid and bile tolerance; it contains bile salt hydrolase, and has strong mucus adherence properties, all valuable probiotic characteristics. Pathogen inhibition, barrier function enhancement, and immune interactions are mechanisms that all have been demonstrated for BB-12(®). BB-12(®) has proven its beneficial health effect in numerous clinical studies within gastrointestinal health and immune function. Clinical studies have demonstrated survival of BB-12(®) through the gastrointestinal tract and BB-12(®) has been shown to support a healthy gastrointestinal microbiota. Furthermore, BB-12(®) has been shown to improve bowel function, to have a protective effect against diarrhea, and to reduce side effects of antibiotic treatment, such as antibiotic-associated diarrhea. In terms of immune function, clinical studies have shown that BB-12(®) increases the body's resistance to common respiratory infections as well as reduces the incidence of acute respiratory tract infections.
Keywords: BB-12®; Bifidobacterium; probiotic.