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Probiotics for kids: Know - How


Introduction to probiotics

Probiotics are good live bacteria and/or yeasts that live in your body. We simultaneously have both good and bad bacteria in our bodies. In case of infection, bad bacteria outnumber the good bacteria, creating an imbalance in our body. Probiotics helps remove excess bad bacteria, returning the balance

Probiotics for kids

With all the popularity and benefits, parents are curious about giving probiotics to children. Probiotics can be useful for both adults and kids. If your little one has an infection and is being treated with antibiotics/antiviral consuming probiotics in the diet will help relieve symptoms easily. I t can also be used to help relieve constipation, acid reflux, diarrhea, gas in children.

The best way to introduce probiotics into your child’s diet is through food. Foods like yogurt, buttermilk, and cottage cheese can be introduced in balanced diet very easily as these  foods are consumed almost across all ethnicities of the world.

There are many commercially available probiotic supplements over the counter specifically designed for infants and children available in local pharmacies and supermarkets. However, it is crucial to take advice from your doctor before introducing them to your kids or replacing with probiotics from natural sources of food.

In case you are already giving a balanced diet to your kids and their growth pattern is normal you don’t necessarily need to introduce probiotics to your kids unless they have any bowel issues.  Probiotics might help kids with digestive issues in kids along with medicine this does not mean that medicine needs to be escaped rather it will improvise the action if taken along with medicine by cutting short the symptom.

Probiotics, or useful gut bacteria, already present in some of the food we eat, such as yogurt. If we eat a variety of healthy food from natural sources we are already adding to the microbiome as diversity in the microbiome is related to a healthier gut. Consume some Immunity boosters for good health.

1. You need the suitable probiotics for the suitable job

Many of the hundreds of thousands of bacterial strains in the digestive tract do a different job, so it’s important to cure a particular illness with the correct probiotic species/strain. Consuming a generic probiotic may not improve the digestive condition.

2. Ask for doctor’s advice

A pediatrician will know which probiotic to give to your child based on symptoms. In case you want to introduce probiotics take the help of a doctor to draft a probiotic diet plan for your kid.

3. Probiotics are not yet regulated

Like many herbal drugs, vitamins, and many other supplements, the FDA does not regulate probiotics. So you must seek a doctor’s guidance before introducing probiotic supplement.

What are the benefits of probiotics for kids?

Research and study are still being conducted about all the benefits of probiotics and how they work. Probiotics may help with digestion, preventing infectious diseases, and even playing a role in maintaining a healthy weight. Some findings show probiotics help children with digestive issues such as:

·        Constipation

·        Inflammatory bowel disease

·        Infectious diarrhea

"The microbiome is not identical for each individual; almost like a fingerprint, it is unique. Most commercially available probiotics contain strains of lactobacillus, but there are many different types that may or may not exist in the human gut." Probiotics can only be of help if they contain the correct strains of bacteria for your child's gut; else, they may not have any effect.

 Probiotics and safety in kids

Though it is a little hazy as there is less research to support the benefit of probiotics in children, but there are enough research findings to support the fact that it won't cause any harm in healthy children. Doctors and pediatrician recommends parents to wait until a child is over 1 year of age before giving probiotics. There is not enough data on the safety of probiotics for infants. Children who are critically ill or who have a compromised immune system must consult a physician before taking probiotics. If your child has a port or central line, you must always talk to your physician before using probiotics.

Side effects of probiotics in kids

As probiotics are not regulated or tested by the FDA, it's unclear if they cause side effects like gas, constipation, or diarrhea. If your child begins to have these issues after they start taking probiotics, you should stop the probiotics to see if the symptoms go away.

Recommended dosage for probiotics

There is no recommended or set dose of probiotics for children. Consult your child's pediatrician to find which is the best probiotic supplement and how much to give your child.

Promoting probiotics naturally in child

In newborn or infant, breastfeeding is the best way to provide probiotics. Breast milk contains probiotics and prebiotics from the mother and also human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) which are specialized carbohydrates that only appear in human breast milk and act as "prebiotic," encouraging healthy bacterial growth. Commercially available baby formula is including these in the formulation nowadays just look for one, if you are a formula-feeding mother.

In toddlers, introduce a healthy diet filled with fresh fruits, vegetables, and yogurt free from processed food this will help to promote better gut health. Keep away from fatty foods or sugary beverages. Limit usage of antibiotics can kill good bacteria as well. Read the related article Easy to find probiotic foods.


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