Gut icon white article header

Consuming the Bifidobacterium, BB-12® probiotic may support regular bowel movements

Happy man taking  probiotics
4 Min read

Experiencing infrequent or irregular bowel movements is common and can impact quality of life.1 Results from clinical studies suggest that supplementing the diet with the Bifidobacterium, BB-12® probiotic strain (hereafter referred to by use of its trademark BB-12®) may support regular bowel movements.2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 

Irregular bowel movements are common and impact well-being

Infrequent and irregular bowel movements are among the most common health conditions in the Western world, affecting up to 27% of the population.9, 10 Irregularity can significantly affect daily life and overall well-being.1, 11 

What is meant by irregular or infrequent bowel movements? 

Irregular bowel movements are characterized as less than three bowel movements per week and are associated with hard stools, straining, bloating, reduced appetite, gas, and a feeling of wanting to go but not being able.10, 11, 12

Many factors can lead to irregular bowel movements

Factors that can cause an imbalance to gut bacteria may lead to irregular bowel movements. These include a low fiber diet, low fluid intake, a physically inactive or stressful lifestyle, older age, some healthcare interventions, and natural hormonal changes.10, 11

Although serotonin is mostly known for its role in mood and behavior, approximately 90% of the body’s serotonin is in the gut and is important for digestion.

Digestion and good bowel health are driven by serotonin 

The movement of food through the digestive system is a complex process. It begins with chewing, which reduces food into small particles that mix with saliva to form a small, easy-to-swallow ball (called a bolus). As the food bolus moves through the gut, serotonin is released, which triggers the muscles in the gut to make wave-like movements. These muscle movements push the bolus of food further forward along the intestine and are a key part of digestion.9, 10, 13 

Yoga class, men and women, probiotics

BB-12® stimulates the release of serotonin 

Some lab-based research has shown that the BB-12® probiotic may help digestion by stimulating the release of serotonin.14 In addition, BB-12® may help lower the abundance of harmful bacteria and increase the number of beneficial bifidobacteria,2, 7, 13 thereby positively influencing the gut microbiome and potentially also the intestinal environment. 

BB-12® may help alleviate irregular bowel movements

Results from several studies have consistently demonstrated that when people experiencing irregular and infrequent bowel movements supplement their diet with the BB-12® probiotic strain, bowel movements become more regular, and there is less discomfort after bowel movements.2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Digestion and bowel health may benefit from supplementing with the BB-12® probiotic strain 

It is suggested that BB-12® may stimulate the release of serotonin,14 and thereby, the BB-12® probiotic strain may support digestion and increase bowel movement regularity.2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Consult a health care professional to find out more.
Click to read more about BB-12® or about probiotics for gut health.

CFU: Colony Forming Unit

BB-12® is a registered trademark of Chr. Hansen A/S.

The article is provided for informational purposes regarding probiotics and is not meant to suggest that any substance referenced in the article is intended to diagnose, cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent any disease.
Bifidobacterium, BB-12® 

The probiotic strain Bifidobacterium, BB-12® is the world’s most documented probiotic Bifidobacterium. It has been extensively studied and has been associated with benefits for several areas of health.

BB-12® is a trademark of Chr. Hansen A/S

BB-12 consumer logo TM

References Open Close

  1. Wald A, et al. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2007;26(2):227-36. (PubMed)
  2. Pitkala KH, et al. J Nutr Health Aging. 2007;11(4):305-11. (PubMed
  3. Eskesen D, et al. Br J Nutr. 2015;114(10):1638-46. (PubMed
  4. Matsumoto M, et al. FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2001;31(3):181-6. (PubMed
  5. Nishida S, et al. Milk Science. 2004;53(2):71-80. (Source)
  6. Murakami T, et al. J Nutr Food. 2006;9:15-26.
  7. Uchida K, et al. J Nutr Food. 2005;8:39-51.
  8. Gershon MD, Tack J. Gastroenterology. 2007;132(1):397-414. (PubMed)
  9. Tack J, Müller-Lissner S. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2009;7(5):502-8; quiz 496. (PubMed)
  10. Andrews CN, Storr M. Can J Gastroenterol. 2011;25 Suppl B:16b-21b. (PubMed)
  11. Mayo Clinic. Constipation. Accessed May 25, 2020.. (Source)
  12. Longstreth GF, et al. Gastroenterology. 2006;130(5):1480-91. (PubMed)
  13. Alander M, et al. International Dairy Journal. 2001;11(10):817-25. (Source)
  14. Leser TD. ASM Microbe; June 1-5 2017; New Orleans, USA.
Left Strain icon

What are


Learn more about what probiotics are and how they are associated with health benefits

What to

look for

See key tips on how to choose a high-quality probiotic product


Read more about some of the world’s most documented probiotic strains and their diverse health benefits

Right Strain icon