Bifidobacterium lactis

Bifidobacterium lactis (B. lactis) is a probiotic bacterial species that plays an important role in promoting gut health and the immune system. Although they belong to the Bifidobacteria, B. lactis differ in some specific aspects from other species of this genus, especially in the context of their effectiveness in infants.

B. Lactis is commonly used in the production of fermented milk products and has the ability to metabolize a variety of carbohydrates.

Limited Effectiveness in Infants

While B. lactis offers many benefits for adults, its effectiveness in infants is limited, especially compared to other Bifidobacteria like B. infantis. The main reason for this lies in the specific nutrition of infants:

Inability to Metabolize HMOs: Human Milk Oligosaccharides (HMOs) are complex sugars found in breast milk and are crucial for the development of the gut microbiome in infants. However, B. lactis does not possess the specialized enzymes required for the breakdown and utilization of HMOs. This means that it is less effective for infants who are breastfed, as it cannot directly benefit from the nutrients contained in breast milk.


B. lactis is a valuable probiotic for promoting gut health and immune defense, especially in adults and older people. Its robustness and versatility make it a popular component in many probiotic products and fermented foods. For infants, however, especially in the first months of life, other Bifidobacterial strains that can effectively metabolize HMOs may be better suited to optimally support their gut microbiome.