B. breve is a great probiotic that combats allergies, gastrointestinal infections, and inflammation in children. It is also good for the skin and combats obesity.

What is Bifidobacterium breve?

Bifidobacterium breve is a beneficial bacterium that can be found in human breast milk and the gastrointestinal tracts of infant and adult humans.

As an individual ages, the total population of B. breve within their gut decreases [1].

Health Benefits of B. breve

1) Great for the Skin

B. breve and galactooligosaccharides (GOS) increased skin hydration and clearness in healthy young and adult women [2, 3].

B. breve prevents water loss, improves skin elasticity and hydration, and attenuates the damage induced by chronic UV irradiation (photoaging) in mice [4, 5, 6].

2) Alleviates Allergies

Administration of B. breve to preterm infants triggers an anti-inflammatory response that may be of benefit in attenuating allergic reactions [7].

B. breve improves symptoms of allergic hypersensitivity to cow’s milk and atopic dermatitis in infants [8, 9].

B. breve reduced the risk of developing eczema and atopic sensitization in infants at high risk of allergic disease [10].

Oral administration of B. breve shortly after birth can significantly alleviate the symptoms of allergic rhinitis in newborn mice [11].

B. breve mediates anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic reactions in newborn rats [12].

Oral administration of B. breve suppresses the Th2 immune response and IgE production and modulates the systemic Th1/Th2 balance in allergic mice [13].

3) May Be Beneficial in Asthma

B. breve shows promising probiotic properties and beneficial immunomodulatory activity in allergic asthma [14].

B. breve has strong anti-inflammatory properties in asthmatic mice [15].

B. breve combined with fructooligosaccharides prevents allergic airway inflammation in mice [16].

B. breve with non-digestible oligosaccharides suppresses pulmonary airway inflammation, T cell activation and mast cell degranulation in mice with asthma [17].

4) Combats Obesity

B. breve significantly lowered fat mass and improved γ-glutamyltranspeptidase and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein in adults with a tendency for obesity [18].

B. breve reduced body weight gain and accumulation of visceral fat in a dose-dependent manner, and improved serum levels of total cholesterol, fasting glucose and insulin in a mouse model of diet-induced obesity [19].

B. breve modifies gene expression of pathways involved in lipid metabolism, response to stress and insulin sensitivity [20, 19].

Soy germ isoflavones fermented by B. breve lowered triglyceride (TG) levels and suppressed the absorption of excessive lipids and fat cell differentiation in rats [21].

5) Beneficial for the GI Tract

B. breve Positively Regulates Gut Microbiota in Infants

Early administration of B. breve to low birth weight infants is useful in promoting the colonization of Bifidobacteria and the formation of normal intestinal flora [22].

B. breve significantly decreased aspirated air volume and improved weight gain in very low birth weight infants [23].

B. breve inhibits coliforms in laboratory settings [24].

B. breve Prevents Necrotizing Enterocolitis

B. breve was associated with decreased risk of necrotizing enterocolitis in neonates [25].

Oral administration of B. breve reduces the production of butyric acid in infants, which may be helpful in protecting low birth weight infants from digestive diseases such as necrotizing enterocolitis [26].

However, one study found no benefit in B. breve administration for prevention of necrotizing enterocolitis and late-onset sepsis in very preterm infants [27].

B. breve suppresses inflammation, reduces the pathology and increases survival in rats with necrotizing enterocolitis [28].

B. breve suppresses inflammation in weaning rats with colitis [29].

B. breve significantly attenuates the severity of colitis in mice [30], and inflammatory cytokine expression in mice [31, 32].

B. breve May Alleviate Constipation and Diarrhea

Bifidobacterium breve is effective in diminishing abdominal pain and increasing stool frequency in children with functional constipation [33].

Bifidobacterium breve together with Streptococcus thermophilus reduces the severity of acute diarrhea and dehydration among healthy young infants [34].

Bifidobacterium breve reduced the incidence, severity, and duration of diarrhea in rats with rotavirus infection [35].

6) Beneficial in Celiac Disease

B. breve decreases the production of the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF in children with Celiac disease on a gluten-free diet [36].

7) Combats Infection

B. breve significantly inhibited rotavirus multiplication and prevented rotavirus infection in infants [37].

Oral administration of B. breve enhances antigen-specific IgA antibody against rotavirus and prevents rotavirus-induced diarrhea in mouse pups [38].

B. breve enhances the antiviral immune response [39]. Mice fed Bifidobacterium breve and immunized orally with influenza virus were more strongly protected against influenza virus infection [40].

Orally administered B. breve improved the intestinal environment and suppressed bacterial translocation in pediatric surgical cases [41, 42].

8) May Increase BDNF

B. breve increases total BDNF total in rats [43].

9) May Be Beneficial in Cigarette Smoke Associated Pulmonary Diseases

B. breve suppresses inflammatory agents in macrophages and may be useful in cigarette smoke-associated disease such as Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) [44].


  • Can limit excessive Th1 and Th2 responses [45].
  • Can reduce Th1 [30] and Th17 [30] and increases Th2 [30] and Treg [30].
  • Decreases IgE [11, 13] and IgG1 [13] in allergies.
  • Can increase IgA [37] and IgG [40] in infection.
  • Increases TGF-β1 [7].
  • Mostly decreases TNF-α [36, 44] [a study where it is increased: 46].
  • Decreases IL-1β, IL-23 [44], IL-4 [13, 16], IL-6 [16, 44] and increases IL-8 [46], IL-21[47] and IL-27 [47].
  • Can decrease [16] or increase [13] IFN-γ.
  • Mostly increases IL-10 [45, 13, 15, 17, 47, 47, 46] [studies where IL-10 was reduced: 16, 44].
  • Increases FOXP3 [15, 17] and CD4+CD25+Foxp3+Treg cells [11].
  • Decreases LPL, GPX2, LBP [12], CXCL8 [31, 44] and HMGB1 [44].
  • Increases RANTES [46].
  • Can suppress NF-κB activation [44].


Probiotics are generally considered safe but should be avoided in patients with organ failure, immunocompromised status, and dysfunctional gut barrier mechanisms.

B. breve was shown to be a suitable probiotic for routine use in preterm neonates [48].

Adverse events related to the use of B. breve have an extremely low incidence and are mild in severity [49].

Buy B. breve

These probiotics contain B. breve:

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About the Author

Biljana Novkovic - PHD (ECOLOGICAL GENETICS) - Writer at Selfhacked

Dr. Biljana Novkovic, PhD

PhD (Ecological Genetics)

Biljana received her PhD from Hokkaido University.

Before joining SelfHacked, she was a research scientist with extensive field and laboratory experience. She spent 4 years reviewing the scientific literature on supplements, lab tests and other areas of health sciences. She is passionate about releasing the most accurate science & health information available on topics, and she's meticulous when writing and reviewing articles to make sure the science is sound. She believes that SelfHacked has the best science that is also layperson-friendly on the web.

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