Children May Benefit From Probiotics: The Friendly Bacteria for Babies and Kids

Probiotics are bacteria that help maintain the natural balance of organisms (microflora) in the intestines camera. The normal human digestive tract contains about 400 types of probiotic bacteria that reduce the growth of harmful bacteria and promote a healthy digestive system. The largest group of probiotic bacteria in the intestine is lactic acid bacteria, of which Lactobacillus acidophilus, found in yogurt with live cultures, is the best known. Yeast is also a probiotic substance. Probiotics are also available as dietary supplements.

The past decade has seen a surge in probiotic sales, thanks to an increased scrutiny on the powerful benefits associated with good bacteria. While there are many who cringe at the thought of consuming bacteria, probiotics are actually crucial for the functioning of your digestion, mood, and even bone health. No longer are probiotics being relegated to supporting only digestion. In fact, it turns out these beneficial microorganisms may also support the immune system. Vitamin C used to be the main dietary component attributed to immune support; however, recent reports are showing that probiotics (as well as vitamin D) offer an added benefit, explains Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM.

Recent research is finding that incorporating a children's probiotic to their diet can be helpful. 

14 Benefits of Probiotics for Kids:

  • Probiotics support us in the creation of a diverse and healthy microbiome! Our microbiome begins development in utero and solidifies in early childhood. 
  • Probiotics help our bodies to absorb nutrients, and some play important roles in synthesizing vitamins. 
  • Some probiotics play an important role in fortifying the gut lining, which helps to protect us from potential invaders that otherwise may harm intestinal integrity and enter into our bloodstream, causing havoc elsewhere in the body. 
  • Healthy kids can become healthier with probiotics. Probiotics support the immune system and help control the minor childhood illnesses that can be easily passed from child to child. 
  • Children who take probiotics are less likely to go to the doctor and less likely to be prescribed antibiotics (which have a negative impact on our microbiome balance). 
  • There is evidence to support that probiotics are useful in the treatment of diarrhea. 
  • Conditions of atopic dermatitis symptoms are improved in children taking probiotics; studies show that there is a reduced risk of eczema in children taking probiotics. 
  • “Probiotics demonstrate immunomodulatory effects in atopic pediatric patients by increasing the TH1 immune response which counterbalances the dominant TH2 immune response” (http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/27-probiotic-benefits-children). 
  • Evidence supports that the use of probiotics may help to reduce respiratory allergic diseases later on in life (children who have eczema often develop asthma).
  • Probiotics have been found helpful for children with symptoms of constipation. 
  • Long-term use of probiotics displays reduced incidences and severity of respiratory diseases during the cold season. 
  • Probiotics provide beneficial bacteria, making it more difficult for “bad” bacteria to take hold; E.coli infection has been shown to be inhibited in children taking probiotics. 
  • Probiotics have been shown to prevent IgE-associated allergies in cesarean-delivered children.
  • There are studies showing that probiotic use leads to significant improvement in the wellbeing of children with autism and ADHD symptoms.

 

 Here’s a glimpse of the selected strains that make up Kid’s Probiotic in BIO-tract, and some of their health benefits for children.

Lactobacillus plantarum:

  • Regulates immunity and controls inflammation of the gut
  • Has an ability to quickly digest proteins - An important role in preventing food allergies
  • Absorbs and helps maintain omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and antioxidants
  • Known for its ability to fortify the gut lining - reducing risks associated with leaky gut (leaky gut is associated with brain disorders!)
  • Studies show it significantly improves the wellbeing of children with autism and ADHD symptoms

Bifidobacterium infantis:

  • Aids in the breakdown of lactic acid
  • Able to utilize other carbohydrates - aiding children with digestion;
  • Has been shown to significantly improve the symptoms of IBS: improving pain, bloating, and regularity of bowel movements , which is believed to improve IBS through its role in balancing bacterial overgrowth, as well as stimulating regulatory T cell responses, which are an aspect of our immune system that decreases inflammation
  • The byproducts of B. infantis, lactic and acetic acids, lower the pH of the intestine, creating an unfavorable environment for less desirable bacteria

Bifidobacterium lactis:

  • Aids in digestive upset
  • Helpful in treating foodborne illnesses, such as salmonella
  • Promotes immune boosting effects

Studies show that toddlers and children who received probiotic formulas containing B. lactis required significantly less healthcare attention, and also received significantly lower amounts and frequency of antibiotic treatments.

Lactobacillus acidophilus:

  • Helps to balance the good and bad bacteria in the body
  • Produces beneficial substances that help the body fight off pathogenic microbes

Studies show L. acidophilus is helpful in controlling H. pylori levels in the gut.

And remember, nowadays you have to be so careful what you take because anyone can make a vitamin or supplement and put a label on it.  One of the main reasons I like Earth’s Pearl Children’s Probiotic is because it didn’t contain any harmful ingredients.  You’d be surprised what you find in some of these over-the-counter products.  However, this isn’t the case with Earth’s Pearl Children’s ProbioticAll the ingredients in their probiotic are natural and my daughter who suffers from acid reflux saw a significant improvement in her condition and it also helped her with her lactose intolerance, irritable digestion symptoms, and constipation.

“We can benefit from probiotics throughout our lives.  However, our needs change over time, as we move from one stage to another.  And just as we encounter certain predictable problems, probiotics may provide solutions” (Huffnagle 95). 

 

 

WORKS CITED

27 Probiotic Benefits for Children. (n.d.). Retrieved June 13, 2016, from http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/27-probiotic-benefits-children

"Bifidobacterium Infantis." Bifidobacterium Infantis. Web. 16 May 2016. http://www.probiotic.org/bifidobacterium-infantis.htm

"Bifidobacterium Infantis: The Health Benefits of Probiotics." Dr Groups Natural Health Organic Living Blog. 2015. Web. 16 May 2016. <http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/bifidobacterium-infantis-the-health-benefits-of-probiotics/>.

"B. Lactics Probitics Supplementation Benefits." Benefits of B. Lactis Probiotic (aka. Bifidobacterium Animalis) — Probiotics.org. Web. 16 May 2016. <http://probiotics.org/bifidobacterium-lactis/>.

Huffnagle, Gary B., and Sarah Wernick. The Probiotics Revolution: The Definitive Guide to Safe, Natural Health Solutions Using Probiotic and Prebiotic Foods and Supplements. New York: Bantam, 2007. Print.

"The 5 Best Species Of Probiotics - Dr. David Perlmutter." David Perlmutter MD. Web. 16 May 2016. <http://www.drperlmutter.com/learn/resources/probiotics-five-core-species/?utm_content=buffer50754>.

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