Probiotics are one of the most important supplements as they can refill good bacteria in your gut. They are helpful in many health conditions like eczema, bowel syndrome, and the common cold. Probiotics intake helps adults get rid of many health conditions but do you think they are safe for children to take. In this article, I have tried to emphasize how probiotics benefit kids.
What are probiotics?
In general, bacteria are destructive to the human body, but all bacteria are not harmful. There are also good bacteria that can be beneficial for the body. Good bacteria can help you absorb nutrients and digestion and fight against harmful germs that can make you sick.
Every human body has a community of germs in their body known as the microbiome, and they are a combination of good & bad bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Their common places in your body include your skin, gut, saliva, and urogenital.
A paper published by American Physicians reviewed probiotics can help in treating inflammatory bowel disease. In addition, it explained that it could minimize the duration of diarrhea that happens because of gastroenteritis.
It is important to note that slanting good and bad germs in your microbiome can lead to infection and illness. For instance, an antibiotic has a likely substance to infection-causing bacteria, and it can also open ways for bad organisms that may lead to secondary infections. These can include urinary infections, yeast infections, and intestinal infections.
Probiotics also have good bacteria that are found in every human body naturally. It is also possible to have the type of bacteria or several types of species.
Should you Include Bacteria in Your Kids’ Diet?
Children produce their microbiome in the womb in the initial phase of childhood. Many health specialists claim that an unhealthy microbiome can cause many diseases. However probiotics can keep the microbiome healthy, but many studies do not support this statement.
The National Health Interview in 2012 claims that probiotics are the 3rd natural product by children.
How do Probiotics Benefits Kids?
Let’s find out more on this…
Decrease Diarrhea Symptoms
When they suffer from acute viral gastroenteritis, children and infants who take probiotic food, especially yogurt, their duration of suffering is likely to get shorter. In addition, probiotics can treat inciting bowel illness. Not limited to kids, adults are affected similarly and feel relaxed from gastro pain when they take probiotics.
Reduce Risk of Upper Respiratory Tract Infections
Probiotics also perform well in minimizing the occurrence of upper respiratory tract infections. It is a fact that RTIs are one of the most prevalent diseases worldwide among children. So, giving kids probiotics can help reduce the risk of upper respiratory tract infection.
Supports Immune System
Harmful bugs are common in places like schools and nurseries because they spread quickly at these places. 70% of our immune system is certainly present in our gut. And probiotics play a valuable role in supporting your kids’ immunity system and strengthening it.
The microbes in the gut help support an immune system that reacts to threats. Probiotics are friendly bacteria that protect our gut cells and immune system.
Improves Digestion and Energy
It is important to see that your child is constantly growing with his/her digestion power getting improved on a daily basis.
Microbiomes in the human body allow digestive enzymes to assist kids in breaking down their food with ease.
They provide good support to a healthy gut environment to make sure the nutrient absorption is good. In addition, microbes in their gut can also create essential vitamins that help your kids’ bodies to grow.
Improves Mood and Wellbeing
In addition to the above benefits, probiotics help moderate mood by connecting the brain and microbiome, called the gut-brain axis. Surprisingly, 90% of the serotonin hormone specified for releasing happy hormones is developed in the gut.
In addition, the neurotransmitter GABA also plays an essential role in assisting us in switching off and sleeping. And it is developed by friendly bacteria known as Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli.
Makes Skin Healthy
Eczema and acne are some of the most common diseases that most children face. Studies show that 1 in 5 kids suffer from eczema in the UK. At this point, probiotics help improve skin health. Probiotics can support healthy gut lining, increase levels of good bacteria, and decrease inflammation.
Best Probiotics for Kids
Can you easily select probiotics for kids? Whenever you select probiotics for kids, you must opt for supplements with probiotic strains specified for kids and infants. The microbiome certainly slows down at the age of 3 years.
How to Promote Probiotics Naturally in Kids?
If you have a newborn kid, you can provide him with probiotics. Breastfeeding indeed has probiotics and prebiotics (good bacteria). This milk has specialized carbohydrates that are only present in the mother’s breast milk and lead to growing healthy bacteria.
As far as growing up kids, they get probiotics from vegetables, fresh fruits, and yogurt that can improve gut health and the health of your kids. Make sure your kids avoid taking fatty foods or sugary beverages that are harmful to their gut and overall health.
Importantly, ensure your kids should not take oral antibiotics that kill good bacteria in your kids’ gut. If your child suffers from a severe bacterial infection, you can treat that with antibiotics but limit its use for viral infection.
How do Probiotics Work for Kids?
Probiotic strains perform differently to function in the body. Kids do not have any microorganisms in their gut until they are born. But the gut gets bacteria and microorganisms during birth, which is why kids need probiotics at their different age levels. Nevertheless, the research in this realm is still evolving.
Moreover, some probiotics are specially articulated for children, while others are useful for adults. The difference is because of the bacteria and the number of strains used in the formulation. It is more important that probiotics have high quality to overcome health conditions.
Best Time to give your Kids Probiotics?
In general, probiotics are helpful for every age of people, and even kids can take probiotics, but you need to make sure it is safe for kids. Bacteria play an important role in supporting healthy gut microbiomes to maintain good full health.
More importantly, probiotics are important if any kid is born with C-Section. Or you have to take an antibiotic, and it happens because these can negatively affect bacteria in the gut.
For instance, if your kid is suffering from digestive comfort, you can give him probiotics to comfort from this belly pain because probiotics play an important role in minimizing problems caused by colic and digestive discomfort.
Additionally, probiotics can treat when someone in your family suffers from allergies, digestive ailments, or food intolerances and if your kids also suffer from the same problems. This happens because probiotics reinforce the gut barrier and improve the immune system. You can also give probiotics to your kids if they suffer from digestive issues like diarrhea, constipation, or painful bowel movements.
Not just this, you can also treat stress in kids with the help of probiotics. In such a case, a probiotic supplement can help reinstate gut flora and respond to the negative effects of stress in the gut.
When should Kids not take Probiotics?
Remember that probiotics are not suitable for premature infants unless a pediatrician recommends them. In addition to that, if kids suffer from any serious health conditions like heart disease, cancer, heart defects, and compromised immune system, you must consult with a pediatrician before giving them probiotics.
Probiotics food vs. Probiotics Supplements: Which is Better?
There is a wide range of probiotic food products and drinks available. The most common examples are fermented vegetables, yogurt, and some yogurt alternatives like Kefir and Kombucha.
These items are formulated with a fermentation process, like using live bacteria.
It is important to remember that bacteria used during the fermentation process are not human bacteria. In other words, these do not leave the body and pass through stool.
Moreover, fermented foods and drinks remain in your cabinet before you use them, so bacteria in the product can be dead, or they may provide comprehensive benefits at a life stage.
Furthermore, bacteria have to pass through the acidic process in your stomach when you take probiotic food. The concentration of good bacteria further declines due to stomach acids and only a tiny fraction is able to reach the intestine.
In the case of a probiotic supplement also, stomach acids may neutralize the good bacteria but as compared to probiotic food, a larger fraction is likely to reach the intestine.
So, giving your kids a high-quality probiotic supplement is more effective in improving your gut health.
Overall, Probiotics for kids can help with smooth digestion and the immune system. The above blog tells in detail how probiotics benefit kids, and enhance protection for diseases. However, it is better to give kids probiotics that are specially formulated for kids only.