Are you looking for the right probiotics for your babies? What are the best probiotics options for your babies? I wish to give you some insight about probiotics and how it can assist you managing your problems. Let me walk you through the process of understanding what is probiotic? What are benefits of administering probiotics to your babies? Does it safe? Does it cause adverse effects on babies health?
Later in this article, you will find the best probiotics option for your babies based on the pediatrician recommendation.
Probiotics are defined as live microorganisms, when administered in adequate amount, confer a health benefit onto the person who consumed it. In a layman term, probiotics are good bacteria which are added to our body to promote better function of our body system. Do not misunderstand about these bacteria, thinking that all bacteria are harmful to our body. Indeed, they are good ones such as Lactobacillus which has been found to be useful in treating and preventing various disease.
In fact, babies pick up some good bacteria from the mother during the delivery through the birth canal. These bacteria existed in mother vaginal naturally such as Bacteroides, Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus and Escherichia coli are transmitted to the babies. That is why babies who are born via vaginal birth are less susceptible to allergy and better immune system than babies who are born via Cesarean.
Nowadays, the probiotics are not only useful in maintaining good health in our gastrointestinal system, it has been scientifically proven to be able to benefit to our reproductive system, treating and preventing dental disorder, allergy, babies colic, lactose intolerance and even extended to systemic disease such as obesity and type 1,2 diabetes.
Type of probiotics
There are many types of probiotics and each of them are used in different treatment.
These type of bacteria can be also found in our digestive, urinary and genital system. There are studies using these bacteria in treatment of
- babies colic
- lactose intolerance
- Urinary tract infection
These group of bacteria are found in colon. There are traces of these bacteria existed in infants’ intestinal tract few days after birth and exclusive breastfed babies are found to have more healthy intestinal system compared to formula-fed babies due to the presence of Bifidobacteria in breast milk. There are researches done to show successful treatment of :
- irritable bowel syndrome
3. Saccharomyces boulardii
This probiotic is a type of yeast and it is commonly used to treat and prevent diarrhea such as
- Rotaviral diarrhea in children
- Travellers diarrhea
- Diarrhea caused by antibiotic
4. Streptococcus thermophilus
These bacteria is able to produce lactase enzyme which is useful to treat and prevent lactose intolerance.
The use of probiotics have to be evaluated by doctor or pharmacist. The misuse of probiotics may incur other side effect and may not have the desire health benefits.
Is probiotics safe?
The use of probiotics in preventing and treating some disease has proven safe and no side effects. However, the use of probiotics shall be closely monitored its storage, exposure to heat and light and temperature condition. Some need to be stored in the refrigerator and consumed at normal room temperature ( above 60 degree can kill live bacteria ).
For those group of people like pregnant women, infant / children, elderly people, and those people had health complication issue should be more cautious about taking probiotics as it may increase the chances of getting more sick. Always consult your doctor or pediatrician under these circumstances.
Food rich in probiotics
You are able to get good bacteria in your diet. Food that is rich in probiotics are:
- Aged soft cheese
- Other fermented vegetable and fruit
For babies who have started to eat solid food, most commonly probiotics food given by parent is yogurt. Yogurt is a fermented milk rich in live culture such as Lactobacillus and Streptococcus species. Some studies show very promising result using yogurt to treat and prevent certain gastrointestinal problem like lactose intolerance, constipation, diarrhea, H, pylori infection, inflammatory bowel disease and allergy. Besides, yogurt is a good source of calcium and protein. It is believed the protein from yogurt is easier to digest than protein from milk because it is predigested by the live bacteria. Calcium plays very important role in bone formation which is essential for the babies growth.
Yogurt contain lower lactose than milk, that is why yogurt is more tolerated than milk and can be consumed by those who are lactose intolerant. This is because the bacteria in the yogurt expresses the enzyme called lactase which further break down lactose and make it better tolerance for people who are lactose intolerant.
One can conclude that taking yogurt provides various health benefits. In order to know more in detail, there is a research paper on yogurt and gut function for your reference.
Probiotics supplement for infants, are they necessary?
Wonder you are looking for probiotics supplement for your babies who are having gastrointestinal problem and colic? As you know most probiotics products are sold as dietary supplement, do not need FDA approval before they are marketed. There are still some risk of taking probiotics especially infants so make sure consult your pediatrician before you purchase.
Should we purposely buy probiotics supplement for our children? There are so many questions from the parents whether they should feed their children to solve their problem such as colic, constipation, diarrhea, lactose intolerance etc. In fact, there is limited evidence to show taking probiotics purposely do any good to babies health and uncertainty to their long term effect of constantly having probiotics supplement. Due to they are not FDA approved, no one is confident that these probiotics are able to do their work and no contamination which will put our babies’ health at risk.
My opinion is to nurture our babies with the natural probiotics. Babies who are delivered naturally via vaginal birth, they pick up good bacteria from the mother during the delivery. Those who are exclusively breastfed will also get good bacteria transmitted from the breast milk such as Bifidobacteria. Therefore, it is important for healthy full term babies, there is no necessity to purchase probiotics to your babies. And again, please consult your pediatrician or health professional to whether it is necessary to give probiotics supplement to your babies. If your babies are preterm and/or having antibiotics treatment, there will be another scenario.
When your babies is old enough to take solid food, nurture them with natural probiotic food such as yogurt and all variety of food rich in fiber such as fresh vegetables and fruits will solve your babies problem such as constipation.
The effect of probiotics does not work instantaneously. It will take time to build the right microbiome and consistent adding the probiotics in babies’ diet will maintain the good microbiome in our babies’ system.
If your babies are experiencing health problem which need medical attention, it is always the best way to find out the cause of the illness and go for approved treatment. Non approved treatment like purposely purchase over-the-counter supplement and delayed treatment sometimes will not solve your children health problem and may put your babies’ health at risk.
Please drop me a comment on how you think about probiotics. Do you think it will help your child with diarrhea, constipation, colic, eczema? Share you experience with us and I hope it can be beneficial to those who are reading this article too.