The Key for Healthy Longevity ~Lactic Fermentation Products~
Biogenics Therapy
Tomotari Mitsuoka, Emeritus Professor of The University of Tokyo

Intestinal Cleaning

Function of Bifidobacteria


Bifidobacteria metabolize a wide range of oligosaccharides to acetic and lactic acids, and subsequently act as effective scavengers in the large intestine (Fig. 3).
This is “Intestinal Cleaning”. Oligosaccharides are distributed in native in such things as soybeans, burdocks, onions, etc. As human digestive enzymes have little or no effect on oligosaccharides, they reach to the large intestine and are fermented by bifidobacteria with the production of fatty acids. As a result of these processes, bifidobacteria increase remarkably, let pH of intestinal environment turn to acidic, thereby enhancing the bowel movement and preventing constipation with cleaning the intestine. Beside that, bifidobacteria reduce an offensive odor of stools, because they inhibit proliferation of harmful bacteria which produce putrefactive products. Moreover, they inhibit proliferation of pathogenic bacteria and prevent diarrhea and enteritis. The reason of this is that cell components produced by bifidobacteria enhance the host’s immunity and prevent infection and life-style related diseases.

Having unbalanced diet toward western food and continuing constipation, the number of harmful bacteria in the intestine increases, and it results in enhancement of carcinogenesis and aging. Thus, it is very important for our health management to maintain predominance of bifidobacteria and an inferiority of harmful bacteria in the intestine.

The Effects of Dietary Fiber

Vegetables, fruits, seaweeds, mushrooms, and cereals contain a lot of the dietary fiber.  Dietary fibers are difficult to be digested and swell by absorbing water in the digestive tract, so that feces become bulky and soft, result in increased fecal volume and defecation.  Thus, they are effective for the prevention and treatment of constipation.  When bifidobacteria proliferate in the upper large intestine and produce lactic and acetic acid in large quantity, the acidity in the large intestine increase and makes difficult to proliferate harmful bacteria, which promote cancer and aging.  At the same time, stimulation to bowel wall by fatty and large volume of digestive content make shorten the transit time of the digestive content.  As a result of that, it is able to yellowish brown colored stools, which contain a lot of bifidobacteria.  This condition is the ideal ones as the adult stools.。

The Effect of Oligosaccharide

Oligosaccharide is included in onion, burdock, asparagus, beans, wheat, and beet in nature. In these days, various kinds of oligosaccharides are developed as ones, which increase the number of bifidobacteria in the large intestine. They are produces and distributed as beverage and health food in the market. As the kinds of oligosaccharides, there are fructo-oligosaccharides, isomalto-oligosaccharides, galacto-oligosaccharides, soybean oligosaccharades and lactosucrose, etc. Their effects resemble each other. Oligosaccharides cannot be digested by human digestive enzymes. Taking foods containing oligosaccharides promote the proliferation of bifidobacteria(Fig. 4). They significantly decrease the number of putrefactive bacteria. As a result, they remedy constipation, inhibit intestinal putrefaction, and prevent colorectal cancer and diabetes. In addition, there are three other functions:

1) Since oligosaccharides are low calories, they are healthy for those who are overweight and higher blood sugar level.
2) Since they are not metabolized by Streptococcus mutans which cause tooth decay, it is hard to get decayed teeth, when they used for food processing as alternative sweeteners.
3) Since human digestive enzymes have little or no effect on oligosaccharides, the blood sugar level does not increase, when they are taken. Thus it is observed that blood insulin level is little or no affected.

However, when a plenty of oligosaccharides are taken suddenly, they induce diarrhea or flatulent. For this reason, it is recommended to better intake the amount increase gradually. 。