Probiotics support vitality by improving digestive health, assisting nutrient absorption and helping guard against illness and infection. In recent years, particular attention has been paid to the benefits children receive from probiotics, through either supplements or fermented food and drink. Allergies, digestive problems, colic and acne are all often traced to gut dysbiosis and can be improved through probiotic supplementation. The following will discuss what parents should consider when choosing a dependable probiotic for their children.
Certain disorders and health problems have been the focus of probiotic research. Inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis, have been shown to respond best to mixtures of good bacteria rather than single strains. Children’s diarrhea is best treated by either Lactobacillus rhamnosus or a mix of strains. Researchers found Lactobacillus reuteri to be best for reducing colic in babies. For replenishment after a course of antibiotics, Saccharomyces cerevisiae boulardii, Bacillus coagulans GBI-30 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG work best. Certain strains, such as Lacobacillus casei DN-114001, support immunity against colds and respiratory illness.
Single Strains or Mixtures?
Raw, naturally fermented foods and drinks contain numerous species of good bacteria, but many probiotic supplements contain single strains. The most commonly supplemented probiotics are also among the most heavily researched, making supplements containing them a good bet for positive results. Many experts, however, believe that a mixture of strains is likely to produce superior benefits. As a diverse colony, the combined power of similar positive strains provides additional protection against bad gut bacteria and illness. For this reason, seek out a quality probiotic with multiple strains of beneficial bacteria.
Freshness and Shelf-Life
Some probiotic supplements require refrigeration and will become ineffective if left out at room temperature for long periods. To ensure freshness at time of purchase, shoppers should look for storage information on the packaging of probiotic supplements to make sure that storage requirements have been met at the store. Online retailers of probiotics should inform consumers clearly about products’ refrigeration requirements. For ease of use, many consumers prefer probiotics that can be stored at room temperature as these supplements can be bought online without concerns about spoilage during transport.
Ease of Use
When children take supplements, ease of use is essential to consider. Because capsules are unbearable for some kids, liquid supplements are preferable. Liquid probiotics can be mixed with juice or other beverages to mask the taste, making them undetectable to your child.
Some products combine diverse colonies of good bacteria with a raw, fermented substrate for dramatic benefits. Pro EM•1 Probiotic is an example of this, supplying individuals with diverse probiotics and a wide range of natural vitamins and enzymes in liquid form. Many children with gut issues suffer from certain food intolerance; this makes it important to choose a supplement free of common food allergens, such as wheat, gluten, dairy, nuts and soy.
With the recent FDA ban on BPA in packaging for children's consumable products, be mindful of finding a probiotic that is packaged in a BPA-free bottle. PET bottles (the same type of bottle as a soda bottle) are BPA-free. Glass is also BPA-free.
As with any type of supplement, certain products will be more reliable than others for improving children’s health. A wholesome, comprehensive probiotic contributes to optimal health with non-genetically modified beneficial bacteria, toxin-removing phototrophic bacteria and lack of preservatives or animal products. To support the probiotic population in a child’s gut, the child’s diet should include plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, as beneficial bacteria thrive on soluble fiber. At the same time, high-sugar foods should be restricted, as simple carbohydrates are preferred by harmful yeasts that will crowd out beneficial microorganisms if allowed to proliferate. In addition, kids should drink plenty of purified water to keep the intestines well-hydrated, and exercise should be performed regularly to support blood flow to the intestines. With the combination of a high-quality, comprehensive probiotic supplement and a wholesome lifestyle, children can enjoy improved immunity, better mood and stronger physical and mental development.