How Baby Probiotics Can Help With Constipation
Constipation is an all too common problem amongst many toddlers and babies. It causes painful and infrequent bowel movements, fecal incontinence, and abdominal pain. To treat this uncomfortable condition, the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition recommends behavioral modification, dietary changes, and family education.
As far as dietary changes go, some studies have examined the effectiveness of probiotic supplements in treating constipation in infants. One study found that a combination of Bifidobacteriumand Lactobacillus sppprobiotic strains helped reduce constipation symptoms in infants by increasing the frequency of bowel movements.
Probiotics Are Good Bacteria
Your body is home to billions of organisms like bacteria, fungi and yeasts. Most of these organisms are harmless and many help your body work properly they form whats called the human microbiome.
Probiotics are some of the helpful good bacteria that make up your microbiome, explains Dr. Drass. They come in supplement form, but they also occur naturally in certain foods.
These fermented and aged foods are packed with probiotics:
Your kids likely get most of their probiotic intake from yogurt.
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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Is There A Minimum Age Limit
Different companies may make different probiotics for newborns, older babies and toddlers. Although there is no minimum age specified for general probiotic use, as mentioned above, it’s always important to discuss with your child’s doctor first. “You should always talk to your pediatrician before starting a specific probiotic, and this is especially important if your child has a compromised immune system or cancer,” says Dr. Ferry.
Why Give A Puppy Probiotics
Puppies are born with sterile guts. Giving probiotics to a puppy will help fortify the animal’s gut health in the early monthsâreducing instances of diarrhea, constipation, and loose stool.
Did you know that 80% of immune function relies on the health of your puppys intestinal tract ? Thus, one of the most important things you can do for your puppy, is to provide him with beneficial bacteria , to solidify a foundation of health throughout their lives.
During this early developmental phase of life, your puppys gut is getting its natural balance and building its own colonies of bacteria. Probiotics for canines at a young age guarantee a favorable microbiota that keeps your puppy healthy as they age.
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Infant Probiotics: Does Your Baby Need Them
If you spend any time talking to moms of infants, the conversation inevitably turns to probiotics.
These tiny bacteria are hailed as digestive superheroes for everything from constipation to colic! In recent years, probiotics have gone from an alternative health concept to a lifestyle-conscious buzzword to mainstream wellness advice.
But what exactly are probiotics? In this article, well explore what makes these good bacteria so glorious for immune function.
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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The 9 Best Baby Probiotics In 2022
Good bacteria may help babies with certain digestive issues, like colic, gas, and diarrhea. Health benefits go beyond supporting optimal digestion. From supporting your babys immune system and reducing the risk of allergies, there are plenty of reasons your little one can benefit from taking a high-quality probiotic supplement.
Probiotics tend to be safe for infants. Its still best to discuss any supplement with your babys primary care provider or dietitian before adding it to your daily routine.
Probiotics are live microorganisms that contribute to good gut health and holistic wellness. Babies are born with a very little developed gut microbiomethe billions of good and bad bacteria in your intestineswhich is important for digestion, nutrient absorption, the immune system, and cognitive function.
For the babys short-term and long-term health, its important that their gut microbiome develops well, including a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria and a diverse array of beneficial bacteria. They get their first dose of microbes while traveling through the birth canal, and then pick up more bacteria through breast milk.
How babies come into the world affects their gut microbiome. Babies born by c-section tend to have different compositions of gut microbes than babies born vaginally.
When selecting a probiotic for your child, look for the following:
Diversity Of Bacteria The Baby Biome
Babies should have lots of friendly bacteria in their microbiome, especially Bifidobacteria. Many species of Bifidobacteria help to train the immune system and teach it to respond appropriately. Bifidobacteria work to create a healthy gut environment and encourage other good bacteria to grow, increasing the overall diversity.
When Bifidobacteria numbers drop, pathogens such as E. coli or Klebsiella species might take advantage. With extra space and nutrients available, they flourish. This can cause symptoms such as colic, infections, allergies and digestive issues2,3. Read more about the microbiome and colic here.
Bifidobacterium breve, Bifidobacterium infantis, Bifidobacterium bifidum and Bifidobacterium longum are associated with good health and are commonly found in breastfed babies’ guts4. So, its about having the right types of Bifidobacteria, as well as just having lots of them.
Lots of babies could benefit from probiotics. Many factors reduce the levels of Bifidobacteria and other friendly microbes, and in the early years, this can be detrimental. Lets take a look at some of these factors…
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How Do Probiotics Help Babies
This may help with the following:
- Supporting your babys immune system. An estimated 80% of our immune system lives in our gut. Having a gut microbiome means your baby may be better equipped to handle illnesses and less likely to deal with chronic inflammation.
- Improving digestion and easing colic or reflux. When your baby has an imbalanced microbiome, they may develop health issues or digestive issues like acid reflux, colic, diarrhea, and constipation. Having a good balance of gut flora through the intake of baby probiotics has been shown to help with many such problems.
- Clearing up skin problems. Studies show that having imbalanced gut flora makes you more vulnerable to skin infections and inflammation. Many baby skin issues like eczema, food-allergy related skin conditions, and seborrheic dermatitis are associated with an imbalance of the gut flora. These issues may be mitigated through using probiotics and other gut-healing efforts.
- Reducing the risk of obesity. Children with low levels of beneficial bacteria in their intestines may be at a higher risk for obesity. By exposing your baby to more healthy bacteria, you can help reduce this risk.
Starting life without being exposed to healthy gut flora can be difficult to overcome.
Dr. David Williams
Avoid Foods That Harm The Gut
In addition to adding in nutrient-dense foods like the ones above, its important to avoid consuming foods that undermine gut health:
- GlutenThis one is controversial, but gluten can cause the gut cells to release zonulin, a protein that can break apart the tight junctions holding your intestines together .
- Grains Even gluten-free ones. Most grains contain anti-nutrients that are difficult to digest. Soaking and sprouting grains can help make them easier to digest, but grains are also high in sugars/starches which can feed bad bacteria. Its best to avoid them for babys sensitive gut, at least at first.
- Refined sugar and artificial sweetenersSugar can feed bad bacteria and cause more inflammation. Artificial sweeteners have also been connected to depleted beneficial bacteria. Instead of refined and artificial sweeteners I choose to use natural sweeteners in moderation, or even stevia.
- Vegetable oils These oils contain a high percentage of omega-6 fatty acids and are highly inflammatory. My family never eats these and only sticks with healthy fats like coconut oil, lard, butter, and tallow.
A probiotic supplement for Mom can be helpful too especially when the gut bacteria are seriously depleted.
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In A Sea Of Infant Probiotics Only One Is Clinically Proven
When youre searching for infant probiotics, it might be easy to get overwhelmed and confused. Many companies claim to be able to work wonders for your baby. But among all the infant probiotics out there, only one is clinically proven to restore whats missing in your babys gut, the good bacteria B. infantis.
B. infantis is the only strain of bacteria that can consume all the special carbohydrates in breastmilk that are otherwise indigestible by baby. B. infantis converts them into nutrients your baby needs during the critical time of babys first six months. By crowding out the harmful bacteria in babys gut, B. infantis can thrive, dominate and protect babys gut. And because this is such a critical time in babys developing immune system and metabolism, baby receives the benefits of this protection to set baby up for lifelong health.
Evivo is activated B. infantis. Its that simple. Clinically proven Evivo restores babys gut to its original state. It works with breast milk to digest special nutrients and reduces bad gut bacteria by 80%. So, save yourself the time of searching through countless infant probiotics. Give your baby the only infant probiotic thats been proven to work. Evivo.
Your Baby Has Acute Gastroenteritis
Acute gastroenteritis is defined as diarrhea or vomiting that lasts more than seven days. You should always talk to your doctor if your baby is experiencing these symptoms, and there is some evidence that probiotics can help, according to Kaufmann. The effect is that probiotics compete with enteric pathogens, there are then less nutrients for these pathogens, and probiotics increase immune response, she says.
One systematic review of randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials found that the use of probiotics compared with placebo was associated with a significantly lower risk of diarrhea lasting more than three daysSzajewska H, Mrukowicz JZ. Probiotics in the treatment and prevention of acute infectious diarrhea in infants and children: a systematic review of published randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2001. 33 2:S17-25. .
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The Best Baby Probiotics
To choose the best baby probiotics brands, I considered a number of important factors:
- probiotic strains included
- probiotic efficacy
- customer reviews
Based on this analysis, along with my own personal experience and feedback from my readers, here are my top choices for the best baby probiotics. Please note that I have personally used all but two of these products.
Buy on | Biomeology
With 12 important probiotic strains, Biomeology Infant Probiotics is one of the best multi-strain probiotics for babies and toddlers.
Featuring important strains like Bifidobacterium infantis, Bifidobacterium lactis, Saccharomyces boulardii , Lactobacillus reuteri, and Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG and HN001, this is a premium probiotic that contains evidence-based doses. And it contains no filler strains, unhealthy ingredients like maltodextrin, or binders/excipients.
The strains in this infant probiotic are helpful with infant colic, baby reflux, constipation, and general fussiness and crying. They support healthy skin function as well as the digestive and immune systems.
Made with organic probiotic fiber, organic fructooligosaccharides, and resistant starches, this unique formulation is a synbiotic that feeds your little ones healthy bacteria as it populates the gut.
Biomeology Infant and Toddler Probiotics will ship to you from a refrigerated warehouse, and it comes in an amber glass bottle to protect the integrity and potency of the probiotic strains. For me, this is really important!
Probiotics Are Not Associated With Gut Microbiome Function
The trillions of bacteria present in the gut have redundant genetic contribution and therefore similar functions. Predicted metagenomic functions of the microbial communities using phylogenetic investigation of communities by reconstruction of unobserved states 24, revealed no predicted functional differences between the two cohorts. Another method of assessing the functions of the intestinal microbial communities is through measuring fecal SCFAs, the by products of bacterial fermentation of carbohydrates. We analyzed the presence of fecal acetate, butyrate, and propionate which have been found to play an important role in regulating intestinal homeostatic and immune responses25. Probiotic exposure was not associated with changes in the abundances of these SCFAs found in the infants stool showing that despite some taxonomic differences, neither predicted gut microbial function nor SCFAs were different between groups .
Abundances of fecal SCFAs acetic acid, butyric acid, and propionic acid between probiotics and no probiotics exposed infants at 5 months of age expressed as mass % .
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How Much Probiotics Do Puppies Need
As a good start for a lifetime of wellnes, we recommend supplying about 250 – 500 million CFU of dog probiotics once per day. Probiotic MiracleÂ® powder is a gentle and easy to dose probiotic for pupplies. 1 full scoop is 1 billion CFU of 6 bio-appropriate species for puppies.
Do NOT give your puppy a human probiotic supplement, unless it is a simple formula, such as, L. acidophilus.
Why Might An Infant Need Additional Probiotics
The digestive system of an infant is delicate and certain experiences, such as the use of antibiotics during delivery, can wipe out the healthy bacteria in an infants gut. An imbalance of good and bad bacteria can cause a number of symptoms that can be distressing to both parents and baby:
- Bowel issues including diarrhea and constipation
- Asthma and allergies
- Acne and eczema
- Upper respiratory infections
Probiotics serve to assist the body in remedying and/or preventing these symptoms by activating the immune system.
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Alflorex 2750 For 30 Tablets Best For Kids With Ibs
Suitable for: 3+
Type: Chewable tablet
These chewable probiotics are suitable for all the family and can be taken by kids aged three and up.
It contains one billion bacteria cultures including one which has been shown in clinical trials to reduce bloating and gas, abdominal pain, and urgent diarrhoea and constipation, according to Alflorex.
It doesnt contain as many live strains as many of the other products in this list, nor any added extras, but it has received good reviews from those suffering with IBS and is well worth trying.
Available from: Precision Biotics
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Buying probiotics for kids can be tricky, and you may have plenty of questions relating to the best product for your child. To help you understand the matter more, weve asked registered nutritionist Rebecca Stevens to answer three of the most commonly asked questions relating to childrens probiotics
How Do Probiotics Work
The central role of probiotics is to maintain a balance between beneficial and bad bacteria in the body probiotics achieve this in two ways. Firstly, by supporting immune function and secondly, by reducing inflammation. The result is that probiotics can help:
Keep harmful bacteria at bay & prevent them from entering the bloodstream
Breakdown medications and toxins
Produce vitamin K and increase the absorption of vitamin D
Enhance intestinal function to improve digestion
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Can Baby Probiotics Cause Gas
According to researchers, probiotics may actually help reduce gas in babies. Studies suggest babies the bacterial makeup is different in the stomachs of babies with colic, and researchers hypothesize that these differences may cause gas, bloating, and discomfort that leads to colic.
In a review of 12 studies to examine the effects of probiotics, researchers found that infants taking probiotics cried for about an hour less each daypossibly as a result of less gas pain.
What Is Microbial Colonization
The process through which probiotics are introduced into our bodies after birth is called microbial colonization. Microbial colonization of the digestive system is influenced by a babys age, as well as how they were birthed. During colonization, the first microbes to move into a baby’s intestines change the intestinal environment making it more habitable and paving the way for the next batch of beneficial microbes to move in.
Throughout colonization, different periods are marked by a dominant microbe strain, as time goes on, these strains diversify. It takes approximately three to five years for a childs microflora to become more stable and complex. This diversification process is influenced by a variety of internal and external factors. As a result, each child develops a unique microbiome comprised of an array of good bacteria.
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