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Understanding Children Probiotics

Posted on08 Jan 2020
Trillions of bacteria already live in your child's (and your own) gastrointestinal system, many of which are considered to be good because they help keep him healthy. They've been there since birth, when your baby's GI tract became colonized with good, bad, and benign bacteria (known as flora) as he passed through the birth canal and picked up some of your microbes.

Because babies delivered by C-section miss out on this, they initially end up with a different collection of flora, explains Mary Ellen Sanders, Ph.D., a microbiologist and the executive director of the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics. If you nurse, you help your baby build up more good bacteria, because breast milk contains substances known as prebiotics that promote the growth of healthy bugs.

They supply nutrients to the living bacteria and enhance their ability to survive and thrive in your child's gut. "By shaping the content of an infant's gastrointestinal tract, breast milk also helps 'educate' the developing immune system," says David Mills, Ph.D., a University of California, Davis microbiologist. (Prebiotics are also found in high-fiber foods like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.) Once your child weans and starts on solid foods, his gut microflora will change, and then remain pretty much constant throughout his or her lifetime.

But there are outside forces that may throw off the balance. Antibiotics, for instance, can kill both bad and good bacteria in your child's gut flora -- and that can lead to gastrointestinal distress. "About 20 to 30 percent of kids develop diarrhea when they take antibiotics," says Daniel Merenstein, M.D., director of research in the department of family medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center, in Washington, D.C. Various diseases, too, can disturb this otherwise fixed amount of microflora.

Some research has shown that consuming probiotics through foods or supplements can positively affect your child's balance of bacteria, and consequently, his health. Interestingly, your child's GI tract is as unique to him as his fingerprints are. Each child (and adult) has trillions of different microbes living in him, and no two kids have the same mix of bacteria. Two of the most common categories of beneficial bacteria that naturally occur in our body are called Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, and it is generally these healthy bacteria that food manufacturers use in their products.

The marketplace is rife with specific strains of each of these bacterial groups (such as Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus reuteri, and Bifidobacterium lactis). "Like antibiotics, probiotics are confusing to people because each one is different," says Dr. Merenstein. The antibiotic that will treat your child's ear infection won't necessarily treat her pneumonia. The same holds true for probiotics -- one strain does not prevent or treat all ailments. And it's not just the strain that's important, but the dose.

Some experts believe that the best type of research involves a specific product rather than a particular probiotic strain. These kinds of studies are the only way to determine how many probiotic bacteria remain alive and kicking in the food after travel and shelf time. "Without them, we really don't know how well -- or how many -- live bacteria survive in products by the time they're eaten," says Dr. Merenstein.

- Lactokids + Probiotics are clinically proven with a unique patented double coating protection technology that protects the probiotic strains from acidic conditions in the stomach and assuring over 90% of probiotic strains are delivered optimally to your child's gut. Whatever the benefit, it's important to note that probiotics' infection-fighting effects are only temporary.

This is because the probiotics don't build up in your child's gastrointestinal system. "Once you stop taking any probiotic, whether it's in food or in medicinal form, it disappears from the GI tract and your microflora levels return to what they were," says Frank R. Greer, M.D., professor of pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and a coauthor of the American Academy of Pediatrics' (AAP) report on probiotics.

- With just one sachet of Lactokids+ probiotics daily, it supplements all the adequate beneficial bacteria, so your child can have a well balance microflora. Because most foods do not contain nearly enough probiotic CFUs to be considered "therapeutic," you'll most likely need probiotic supplements to find higher doses and target specific problems.

- Lactokids + has 9 specially selected strains and with 10 Billion probiotic strength, it promotes a better digestion and stronger immune function for your child's health. Source: Parents.com/toddlers-preschoolers
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