Health Benefits Of Probiotics
To establish the best probiotics for kids, its important to understand how probiotics can help children. Some of the best probiotics for kids can offer the following health benefits:
- support a healthy immune system
- diarrhoea in children or in children with acute diarrhoea
- management of infant colic
- reduction in the incidence of common childrens allergies
- irritable bowel syndrome relief
- management of necrotising enterocolitis
Best Strains Of Probiotics For Babies
Researchers of an Australian study found that the best probiotics for infants were ones that included 2-3 strains or species of probiotics . Here are the top three to look for:
1. B. bifidum is one of the first strains to colonize babys intestines and adheres to the intestinal wall better than other strains. It continues to be an important bacteria for digestion and nutrient absorption. It may help with infant skin conditions like baby eczema and yeast infections. It may also help with infant digestive issues such as necrotizing enterocolitis , IBS, constipation, diarrhea, and even lung infections.
2. B. infantis is the strain that is most prevalent and powerful in infants and declines as we age. In fact, a new study shows that this strain may be going extinct in the Western world. This is a huge issue, as it crowds out pathogenic bacteria and helps with overall health and digestion. One review found that B. Infantis can reduce inflammation and support immune function.
3. L. reuteri is a strain that has been found to have many benefits for young children and infants. One study found that children ages 6 months to 3 years who took supplemental L. rheuteri had nearly one third fewer cases of diarrhea and half as many respiratory infections. Another study suggests that L. rheuteri is an excellent treatment for colic. It was also found to reduce the levels of bacteria that cause tooth decay!
Can Baby Probiotics Help With Colic
Signs that your baby may be suffering from colic is when a baby is in distress and cries for long periods of time. There are many theories about what causes colic, including gastrointestinal discomfort. The research is promising on the effectiveness of probiotics for babies with colic.
A 2014 study looked at how probiotics could reduce colic symptoms. The study examined the results of 589 infants that received either probiotics or a placebo daily for 90 days. Researchers found that the infants using the supplements cried less and had fewer gastrointestinal symptoms.
Other studies have shown similar results. Omni-Biotic Panda has also shown in a clinical study with infants to reduce symptoms associated with 3-month colic, including crying duration and digestive discomfort.
The strain of probiotic may affect the supplements effectiveness. Researchers have seen positive outcomes with L. reuteri.
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Can Probiotics Help With Digestive Issues Such As Constipation
The symptoms of constipation include infrequent bowel movements, hard stools, a bloated stomach and straining.
Recent studies have suggested that probiotics containing Bifidobacterium lactis may help to ease the symptoms of constipation. They may also improve tummy ache symptoms and improve the consistency of stools.
Should You Give Your Child Probiotics
Parents might assume that even if probiotics don’t help, they aren’t likely to be harmful. The American Academy of Family Physicians states that probiotics do appear to be safe for healthy children.
However, there are many types and strains of probiotics to choose from, and the dosages can vary widely between supplements. It can be hard to figure out how much to take as well as how often to take them.
Here are some things to keep in mind when deciding whether to give your kids probiotic supplements:
- They are not regulated by the FDA, making it virtually impossible to know if the label accurately describes what is in the products.
- Although probiotics appear to be an effective treatment for the conditions listed above , there is much we still don’t know about which strains and dosages are the most effective.
- There is no proven benefit to giving healthy kids probiotics regularly, and they are not approved bythe FDA as a treatment for any specific disease or condition, according to the AAFP.
- Gas and bloating are the most common side effects of probiotic supplements. While not harmful, these side effects can be uncomfortable.
A healthy and safe choice is to give your child a serving of yogurt daily or include other probiotic-rich foods in your family’s meals. Look for a statement on the label that the food contains “live and active cultures.” These foods will provide good bacteria to support a healthy immune system without the risk of side effects.
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Pink Stork Pro Prenatal Probiotic
Why its great: This supplement boasts a 5 billion CFUs proprietary blend of highly stable, spore-enhanced probiotics, as well as a proprietary blend of highly selective prebiotic nutrients. What this means for you is targeted relief from digestion issues ranging from constipation to nausea.
Another ultra-cool component of this supplement is how awesome the company itself is. Pink Stork is a woman-owned and run company that prides itself on creating products specifically designed for women. They also do a lot to give back, so you know your purchase not only helps you, but also others.
Keep in mind: Some mommas find these pills to be too big and hard to swallow.
Good for: Soon to be mommas who are experiencing stomach issues.
Bioglan Biotic Balance Choc Balls 999 For 75g Best For Fussy Eaters
Suitable for: 4+
Type: Chocolate balls
If giving vitamins or probiotics to your kids is always a struggle, these could be the answer. The tasty chocolate balls contain one billion live bacteria in two high-quality strains plus fibre , and we guarantee your little ones wont hesitate to gobble them up.
They do contain less strains than other products in this list and a fair dose of sugar, but if its going to help make probiotics more appealing to kids, were sold on the idea.
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Which Probiotics Should You Add To Your Diet
Probiotics are commonly found in food. They are also available in dietary supplements.
Food. Many foods have good bacteria. However, these bacteria donât always survive strong stomach acids and may not be able to add to gut health. Other foods have probiotic strains that can survive the digestion process and successfully reach the gut.
âWhether a food truly has beneficial probiotics depends on three things: the levels of good bacteria contained when eaten, whether the good bacteria can survive passage through the stomach, and whether those strains of bacteria are able to support your health.â
These are a few foods that provide a good source of probiotics:
- dried beans and other legumes
- green bananas
Dietary supplements. Probiotics are also available as capsules, powders, liquids, and more. The wide variety of available products can make it difficult to determine which ones offer health benefits based on science.
Some of the best probiotic strains for health include:
Lactobacillus acidophilus. Lactobacillus acidophilus balances potentially harmful bacteria that can otherwise grow in your gut due to illness or antibiotics.
Lactobacillus fermentum. Lactobacillus fermentum strengthens your immune system and prevents gastrointestinal and upper respiratory infections.
Lactobacillus plantarum. Lactobacillus plantarum stimulates your digestive system, fights off disease-causing bacteria, and helps your body produce vitamins.
Your Child Has Been On Antibiotics
Sometimes when your little one is sick, they will need to take antibiotics to get on top of the infection. Unfortunately, antibiotics destroy good bacteria as well as harmful bacteria and can sometimes lead to an imbalance. A good quality children’s probiotic can assist in restoring balance after antibiotic use.
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Is It Safe To Give Your Baby Probiotics
Studies show that you can safely give probiotics to most babies, except those with health issues such as short bowel syndrome. To be on the safe side, its always best to check with your babys healthcare professional before starting probiotics or any other supplements. You should avoid probiotics if your baby is taking medication or has immune health issues.
Additionally, if your baby has suspected allergies, you should verify that the probiotics you purchase are not cultured on such allergens .
How Do I Make Sure My Little One Has Everything They Need To Enhance Gut Bacteria
Healthy, balanced gut bacteria can be maintained with a good diet and a quality children’s or baby probiotic, formulated specifically for young ones. Vita Bubs Probiotics are based on scientific evidence and formulated specifically for growing bodies.
Vita Bubs Probiotics for Babycontain five billion beneficial bacteria from seven different strains to support growth and development, help boost immunity and aid healthy digestion. The baby probiotic formulation also includes Fructo-oligosaccharides that promote the growth of beneficial bacteria.
Vita Bubs Goat Milk + Probioticsprovide five billion beneficial bacteria for gut and immune health in tasty apple-flavoured chewable tablets. The combination of healthy bacteria and goat milk offers the added benefit of small, easily digested A2 proteins and short-to-medium chain fatty acids for extra nutrient benefit, easy digestion and absorption.
¹Stewart, C.J., Ajami, N.J., Petrosino, J.F. . Temporal development of the gut microbiome in early childhood from the TEDDY study. Nature 562, 583-588
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Are There Probiotics For Colic
There is just one recommended probiotic strain called Lactobacillus Reuteri, which has evidence in relation to helping babies and young children suffering from colic . This probiotic is found in the supplement:
Research has shown that this probiotic may increase the effectiveness of colic treatments, decrease colic symptoms, reduce daily crying and unsettled times . The evidence is strongest for breastfed babies and there needs to be more research for formula-fed babies.
There is not strong enough evidence that probiotics can prevent colic before it starts.
Fuel Organics Vegan Probiotic
Why its great: Not only does this bottle contain a 90 day supply, its also one of the least expensive, making it a great option for those on a strict budget. It has 20 billion CFU of probiotics and is 100% vegan friendly. These have multiple strains that target gut health and support the immune system for a happier, healthier digestive system.
Fuel Organics lists their website on the back of the bottle, which has free vegan recipes and e-books, plus facts about the company and the ingredient list of the probiotics.
Keep in mind: While these are safe during pregnancy, the label does say to check with your doctor if youre breastfeeding.
Good for: Mommas on a budget that need an affordable probiotic.
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How To Pick A Kids Probiotic And Prebiotic Blend
What the Science Says
Recently a team of medical scientists from UNC Chapel Hill found several benefits for kids who consumed a yogurt drink containing several key prebiotics and probiotics, including Inulin, Streptococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, and Bifidobacterium lactis .
For 3 months, 76 kids drink the yogurt drink every day, and 73 other kids drank a placebo drink. Kids who drank yogurt drink showed several advantages. First, they showed reduced days of sickness and reported fever. Second, they showed improved social functioning: they got along better with other kids, were less likely to be teased, were more confident in their abilities, and were better able to keep up with other kids. Finally, they also showed improved school functioning: it was easier to pay attention in class, keep up with school work, and they were less likely to forget things and miss school. This is in addition to all the benefits that have been reported in previous studies, like reduced obesity, gut health, reduced eczema, reduced colic, etc. The authors did find one little possible drawback of probiotic consumption: the kids tended to poop more often, and the poop was sometimes loose .
Overall, the authors found improved health, social functioning, and school quality of life for kids who consumed the yogurt drink. The one side effect seemed to be more frequent pooping, for better or worse. This paper was published in the highly ranked Journal of Pediatrics.
Less Diarrhea Fewer Respiratory Infections
During the study, there were nearly one third fewer episodes of diarrhea in the probiotic group when compared to the placebo. Furthermore, the placebo group had more than double the respiratory tract infections compared with those taking L. reuteri. The differences persisted during the 12-week follow-up.
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Your Baby Is In Daycare And You Want To Decrease Their Chance Of Getting Sick
Babies and toddlers who are around other kids in a daycare setting tend to get sick more frequently than children who stay at home. If you want to decrease your babys chances of getting sick, Kaufmann says probiotics may help, citing a study that found a decrease in incidence of rhinopharyngitis for children in daycare when they drank a fermented yogurt drinkProdeus A, Niborski V, Schrezenmeir J, Gorelov A, Shcherbina A, Rumyantsev A. Fermented Milk Consumption and Common Infections in Children Attending Day-Care Centers: A Randomized Trial. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2016 63:534-543. .
Safety And Clinical Studies
Peer-reviewed clinical studies are the gold standard for supplement research. These types of studies show if the product works. Caregivers should take careful consideration when selecting the probiotic brand and strain for their infant.
Omni-Biotic probiotics are developed in accordance with the most stringent quality and manufacturing guidelines. The research and development process includes: testing probiotic strains for their strengths, combining different strains for synergistic activity, and testing each final formulation in clinical studies. Our probiotics are based on 25 years of gut microbiome research as well as over 100 clinical studies using the final products.
Are Gummy Probiotics Good For Kids
Gummy probiotics can help enhance the health of the gut microbiome and are chewable and easy to take, so they can be a good option for many children.
However, its best to talk with your childs pediatrician to determine whether a gummy probiotic may be beneficial, depending on your childs specific needs.
Also keep in mind that gummy vitamins have a candy-like form that can increase the risk of overconsumption. Make sure to store gummy probiotics out of reach of children (
Are Probiotics Good For Babies
Well-researched probiotics for babies can help top up the levels of friendly bacteria, especially the all-important Bifidobacteria. This will improve the composition of the baby biome and improve health in many areas of the body, in particular:
It is estimated that 75% of brain growth occurs during the first few years of life, and this uses approximately 50% of an infants energy20. Its therefore very important that infants are breaking down their foods and absorbing their nutrients well. Probiotics contain enzymes that help to break down lactose in milk and encourage a healthy gut environment, which aids nutrient absorption.
Reduced levels of friendly bacteria may also increase the risk of colic. If your child suffers with colic, it might be worth looking into supplementing their friendly bacteria. This will help to rebalance the microbiome .
Hopefully, now you understand why probiotics are important for your child, but now the question is: how on earth do you pick the right one?
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When To See A Healthcare Professional
Its best to talk with a trusted healthcare professional before taking probiotics, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking other medications.
Your doctor or other healthcare professional can help you find a product thats right for you, based on your specific needs and goals.
Additionally, though probiotics can be beneficial for several conditions, they shouldnt be used as a substitute or replacement for medical treatment.
Finally, keep in mind that probiotics may cause digestive side effects like diarrhea, stomach cramps, gas, and nausea, especially when you first start taking them .
If these symptoms are severe or dont improve after several days, you should discontinue use and consult a healthcare professional.
Why Does My Baby Need Probiotics
The baby years are some of the most important for microbiome development. This time forms part of the first 1000 days1 of life, which were reported by the government to be instrumental in a child’s overall development. So, having lots of the right bacteria is very important. Scientists acknowledge that a delay in the development in the first year may affect health in later childhood, teen years and adulthood. As 70% of the immune system is in the gut, this stage is also essential for healthy immune development. Find out more about the importance of probiotics for a childs immune health.
With all this in mind, you might want to consider probiotics as a part of your babys daily routine.
Babies are in a developmental period, so they may not suit a probiotic targeted towards older children or adults. A probiotic trialled for digestive health in adults might not work the same in infants. This is because their microbiomes are at different stages and may have different bacteria present. Some researchers call this the baby biome because it is so distinct! Probiotics designed especially for babies use bacteria that would be present naturally in the gut during these early years.
Baby probiotics often come in different formats to adult probiotics such as powder or drops. Drops are usually the easiest way to administer probiotics to babies.
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Garden Of Life Organic Kids+ 14 For 30 Best For A Variety Of Strains
Suitable for: 4+
Type: Chewable tablets
These chewable probiotics for kids contain a huge 14 different strains of bacteria and five billion bacteria cultures.
As an extra plus point, they also feature added vitamin C, vitamin D and prebiotic fibre to give your little one a boost.
We love the fact the chewables have an organic berry cherry flavour that kids are bound to love. And according to makers, Garden of Life, the ingredients are also grown without pesticides, antibiotics, hormones and genetic engineering.
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