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How Children Can Benefit From Probiotics

Posted on21 Nov 2019

Probiotics are generally seen as popular natural remedy for kids and a way to improve gut health and immunity.

Here are 3 ways they may be beneficial for kids:

1. Probiotics may reduce the effects of diarrhea Research by the American Family Physicians has shown that probiotics could prevent antibiotic-associated diarrhea in healthy children. It also found that children who ate probiotic foods (mainly pure yoghurt) early on while having acute infectious diarrhea could reduce its duration by one day.

2. Probiotics may reduce the risk of developing eczema and allergies A study in New Zealand found that having yoghurt as part of a regular diet before age one reduced a babies chance of developing allergies and eczema. The American Academy of Pediatricians advises parents to introduce cow’s milk after age one but notes that oher milk-based products such as cheese and yoghurt are safe.

3. Probiotics could help reduce the risk of upper respiratory symptoms A 2016 study involving children from newborn to 18 years old found that probiotic consumption significantly decreased the number of subjects having at least one respiratory tract infection episode. Children supplemented with probiotics had fewer numbers of days of respiratory tract infections per person compared with children who had taken a placebo, and had fewer numbers of days absent from day care/school.

Children can get their probiotics naturally through probiotic-rich foods (yoghurt, kefir or fermented foods) or through supplements. Not probiotic supplements are made equal, so refer to our guide when choosing a supplement. Probiotics are generally not harmful. However, giving probiotics to kids isn’t without risk. Children with compromised immune systems may experience infection, gas or bloating. Always check with your doctor before giving probiotic supplements to children with compromised immune systems.