Giving Your Newborn Probiotics Read This First
If you eat yogurt, you probably have at least a vague understanding of probiotics. Theyre organisms, like good bacteria and yeasts, that aid in digestion and boost the immune system. But a new study suggests they may not be so good for newborns.
The study looks at just one subject, a baby boy in Poland who was administered both antibiotics and a probiotic product at two days old. Although he was born full term, the baby weighed just 5 pounds and was diagnosed with intrauterine growth restriction meaning he had a slow growth rate in the womb. The antibiotics were to prevent suspected infection, while the probiotic was to prevent diarrhea from the antibiotics.
Four days later, a blood test and genetic test confirmed he tested positive for an infection from the same strain found in the probiotic.
Heres why were thinking this happened, and why probiotics arent the best choice for babies: because of the fragile lining of a newborns intestinal tract, some bacteria from the probiotics could seep into his bloodstream . A better choice for cultivating necessary gut bacteria is breast milk.
Luckily, there is a happy ending: the infection only resulted in sensitivity and crying, and the baby was home by the time he reached one month old.
Is your baby taking any medications or supplements?
Best Probiotics With Antibiotics
There are a lot of myths floating out there about whether or not to take probiotics during an antibiotic course. The argument goes a little something like this: Im taking an antibiotic that kills bacteria why would I take a probiotic? Wouldnt my antibiotic just kill the probiotic?
The answer is that probiotic supplements during antibiotic treatment has been shown to reduce the severity of antibiotic-associated diarrhea. So even though your antibiotics might kill off some of those good gut bacteria, probiotics still reduce the negative side effects of antibiotics.
Heres a list of the most researched and effective probiotic supplements for reducing the incidence and severity of antibiotic-associated diarrhea. These are some of the best probiotic supplements on the market.
- Saccharomyces boulardii biocodex is found in the Florastor brand probiotic and helps to prevent C.diff infections and even helps those who tend to have recurrent C.diff infections. . This strain does not need to be refrigerated, so its very easy to buy saccharomyces boulardii online.
- Visbiome has also been shown to reduce the incidence of antibiotic-associated diarrhea. Note that if you buy Visbiome online, you should choose a retailer that ships it refrigerated.
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG has been shown to reduce the occurrence of antibiotic-associated diarrhea, as well. Like Florastor, its easy to buy Culturelle online since it does not need to be refrigerated.
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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Influence Of Antibiotic Therapy
To quantify changes in the gut microbiota composition and resistome after antibiotic exposure, we stratified four different categories of antibiotic exposure: antenatal exposure, short vs. prolonged exposure in the first week of life , any exposure after first week of life , and narrow- vs. broad-spectrum exposure after first week of life. Potential effects of antenatal exposure and short vs. prolonged therapy after birth were only investigated at 7 days of age. We defined regimens including third-generation cephalosporins or carbapenems as a broad-spectrum regimens when compared to regimens containing aminoglycosides for coverage against Gram-negative bacteria. This definition was based on the fact that neonatal empiric treatment using a third-generation cephalosporin for Gram-negative coverage induce significantly higher antibiotic resistance rates among colonizing bacteria than a regimen containing an aminoglycoside .
How Do I Choose A Probiotic Supplement
When choosing a probiotic supplement, its important to consider your health needs. Some probiotics are better for certain conditions than others. If youre looking for a general probiotic supplement, look for one that contains multiple strains of bacteria.
Choosing the right probiotic supplement depends on a persons health needs. Some probiotics are designed for specific conditions, such as IBS or Crohns disease. Others are general supplements that can be taken by anyone.
When choosing a probiotic supplement, it is important to read the label carefully. The label should list the types of bacteria or yeast in the product, as well as the number of live cultures. It is also important to make sure that the probiotic supplement does not contain any artificial sweeteners, flavors, or preservatives.
The following are some of the best probiotic supplements on the market today:
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Benefits Of Probiotic Supplements For Babies
Theres still a lot of research that needs to be done on giving probiotics to infants, says Carrie Kaufmann, a pediatric nurse practitioner at Stanford Childrens Health in Palo Alto, California, adding that she doesnt see it as a necessary supplement for every baby.
There are some cases where a probiotic supplement may be beneficial, though, including:
The Life Inside All Of Us
In the series, well be looking at recent research into the microbiome of bacteria that lives in all of us.
Well be exploring how it affects our health, what could be having detrimental effects on it, and recommending recipes that might help it thrive.
Probiotics have been touted as a treatment for a huge range of conditions, from obesity to mental health problems. One of their popular uses is to replenish the gut microbiome after a course of antibiotics. The logic is antibiotics wipe out your gut bacteria along with the harmful bacteria that might be causing your infection, so a probiotic can help to restore order to your intestines.
But while it might sound like sense, there is scant solid evidence suggesting probiotics actually work if taken this way. Researchers have found that taking probiotics after antibiotics in fact delays gut health recovery.
Part of the problem when trying to figure out whether or not probiotics work is because different people can mean a variety of things with the term probiotic. To a scientist, it might be seen as a living culture of microorganisms that typically live in the healthy human gut. But the powdery substance blister packs on supermarket shelves can bear little resemblance to that definition.
Even when researchers use viable, living bacterial strains in their research, the cocktail varies from one lab to another making it tricky to compare.
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How To Choose Right Probiotics For My Baby
This is trickiest partbecause you might be overwhelmed with the choices available. Some are displayed in the shelves and some in the refrigerator. Some say to be mixed with breast milk while some say to feed it directly.
Its a quite a stressful affair
But if you can gain the knowledge beforehand then it becomes easy to pick up the right one. Below, we have provided few factors youll encounter while looking at the options. Read them thoroughly to make an informed choice.
Ethics Trial Registration And Statistical Analysis
The study was approved by the Norwegian Regional Ethical Committee and registered in Clinicaltrials.gov . Informed written consent was obtained from all parents.
Data were analyzed using IBM-SPSS version 22 statistical software, the R statistical framework , and Statistical Analysis of Metagenomic Profiles software package . We used MannWhitney U-test or a KruskalWallis test for comparisons between two or multiple independent groups. We used a Poisson generalized linear model to calculate trends in the relative abundance of genera and ARGs in the gut microbiota. Corrections based on multiple comparisons were performed by the BenjaminiHochberg false discovery rate . A FDR Q 0.10 was considered significant for any analyses with multiple comparisons. A standard P 0.05 was considered significant for all other analyses.
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How Should I Take Probiotics With Antibiotics
If you do decide to take a probiotic with an antibiotic, start it the same day you start the antibiotic, but do not take it at exactly the same time as the antibiotic. Allow at least two hours to elapse after taking your antibiotic before you take your probiotic.
Probiotics are usually taken twice a day on an empty stomach. They should then be continued for at least several weeks after your course of antibiotics has finished, although some people take probiotics daily to not only continue to help digestion but to boost their immune system and enhance the absorption of some nutrients.
If you wish to take probiotic supplements, choose a high-quality probiotic made by a reputable company that contains at least one of the following: Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Saccharomyces boulardii, or Bifidobacterium sp. at 5 to 40 billion colony units/day.
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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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.
Err On The Side Of Caution When Giving Infants Probiotics
Probiotics are an important source for the adult gut microbiome, but the benefits for infants are less understood.
On one hand, there is evidence that probiotics help in shaping gut development. A 2021 study found that breastfed infants given the probiotic B. infantisa gut microbe that helps to break down complex sugarsstays in the babys system for at least a year and continues to help the digestive tract.
Another study found that infants delivered via C-section or who had early antibiotic exposure had their microbiomes restored when given a probiotic supplement with their formula or breast milk.
However, one 2018 review suggests the benefits of probiotics for infants only last for a week, and long-term, can increase their risk for infection later in life.
Katz says that the problem with most probiotics on the market is that they are highly ineffective because they either have incorrect strains or low dosages that do not exert an effect on the body or reach certain areas of the GI tract. She advises talking with your childs doctor or a medical professional whos really familiar with a childs medical history when youre starting new.
We should move away from talking about probiotics generically and start thinking about what you want them to do and looking at strain specificity. Youll next have to look at whether a strain can get through the GI tract and remain viable to do what it’s meant to do, Katz tells Motherly.
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Why Do Antibiotics Cause Diarrhea
The reason antibiotics can cause diarrhea or an upset stomach is because antibiotics disrupt the ecosystem in the gut. Our gastrointestinal tract is a host to trillions of microorganisms composing of about 200 to 500 different species in each person. This gut bacteria, also known as microbiome, is a very highly organized network that supports our bodily functions, including digestion, protecting against certain infections and regulating our immune system.
“The microorganisms in the gastrointestinal tract outnumber our human cells by 10 times, and they carry 150 times more genetic material than our human genome,” Dr. Gurram explains. “It is a very complex and intricate, yet a delicate system.”
While antibiotics have benefits, the trouble with antibiotics is that the medicine doesn’t just kill the bad’ bacteria causing infection that is being treated. They also kill good bacteria that live in our gut. This can lead to an imbalance in the microbiome, also termed dysbiosis, which can lead to GI symptoms.
Antibiotics rarely cause constipation, but they may lead to diarrhea, cramping and nausea. These side effects are one reason why it’s important to avoid unnecessary use of antibiotics. However, “antibiotics are extremely important and lifesaving,” states Dr. Gurram. “Doctors understand the benefits and risks of antibiotics and are cautious to prescribe antibiotics only when they are needed.”
Description Of The Condition
More than 400 species of bacteria inhabit the human gut, and a balance of these microorganisms is important for normal gastrointestinal function . Antibiotic treatment may disturb the colonization resistance of gastrointestinal flora, resulting in a range of symptoms, most notably, diarrhea. In particular, antibiotics such as aminopenicillins, cephalosporins and clindamycin that act on anaerobes are most commonly associated with diarrhea . In addition to frequent watery bowel movements, urgency and crampy abdominal pain, antibioticassociated diarrhea is associated with altered intestinal microflora, mucosal integrity and vitamin/mineral metabolism . If severe, AAD may lead to electrolyte disturbances, volume depletion, pseudomembranous colitis, toxic megacolon and rarely death . Reports in the general population indicate that the incidence of AAD ranges from 5 to 62%, occurring at any point from the initiation of therapy to two months after the end of treatment . The incidence of diarrhea in children receiving broad spectrum antibiotics has been reported in the range of 11 to 40% . The overgrowth of many enteropathogens has been associated with antibioticinduced diarrhea. Clostridium difficile overgrowth is the bacterial agent most associated with AAD . C. difficile diarrhea is associated with the most serious adverse events, and occurs most often in older, immunocompromised, hospitalized adults, but also occurs in children .
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Should I Take Probiotics In The Morning Or At Night
This is a common question with no easy answer. It depends on several factors, including the type of probiotic supplement youre taking and your own personal preferences.
Some people find that taking their probiotic in the morning helps them to remember to take it regularly, while others prefer to take it at night before they go to bed. Ultimately, its up to you to decide what works best for you.
If you are taking a probiotic supplement that contains live bacteria, its generally recommended to take it on an empty stomach so that the bacteria can reach your intestines more easily. However, if youre taking a probiotic supplement that doesnt contain live bacteria , you can take it at any time of day.
What Are The Side Effects Of Probiotics
Probiotics are generally safe for most people. However, some people may experience side effects, such as gas and bloating. Probiotics may also trigger allergic reactions in some people.
To reduce the risk of side effects, start with a small dose of probiotics and gradually increase your intake. If you experience any severe side effects, stop taking probiotics and see your doctor.
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Reasons Why You Would Give Probiotics To Your Baby Or Young Child
Probiotics are beneficial for adults and children alike, but why and when would you give probiotics to your child?
Our gut microbiome plays a central role in supporting our health in a variety of ways. You may have recently read numerous blogs or research papers focusing on the positive impact of live bacteria on our immunity, digestive function and even the ability to alter our attention, behaviour and mood.1,2 Perhaps you would like to support your childs health by optimising their gut flora, yet have a few questions we aim to answer.
The number of bacteria in the body, including our gut microbiome lining the gastrointestinal tract outnumbers even the bodys own cells. It has been known for a long time that the bacteria play a role in digestion yet a new field of study is finding that these bacteria can influence many organ systems in the body, including diseases of the digestive tract, immune system and even the brain.
Over the past decade or so, weve seen a huge growth in childhood allergies, behavioural problems and chronic disease. Many experts now consider disrupted microbiome as a major contributory factor, and one that is possible to do something about using simple appropriate dietary changes and supplements.
Why and when to consider probiotics for your child:
- My baby was born via C-section
Certain probiotics have been designed to include the prebiotic GOS in order to most closely emulate breastmilk.
- Following Antibiotic Medication
- Baby Thrush & Feedback to Mum