Good Bugs for Better Health: The Basics on Probiotics for Children
The connection between your intestinal (gut) health and your immune system is becoming increasingly intertwined as more research is done. Experts believe that greater than 80% of your immune system is correlated to the bacteria present in your intestines, but we live in a world that has become very caught up with the importance of sterility.
The idea of good and bad bacteria is hopefully not a new concept to you. Our body plays host to billions of good bacteria that work to protect us from the bad bacteria that exist in the world. When the good bacteria is reduced in numbers then the bad bacteria has the opportunity to overtake us and make us sick. Modern medicine is not always able to discern between appropriate bacteria and inappropriate bacteria so when you take an antibiotic both types are often killed. This may have the short term effect that you desire (in the case of an ear infection, yeast infection, sinus infection) but can be detrimental to your health in the long term.
At birth you have no bacterial colonization in or on your body, and the first good bacteria you receive is from your mother as you pass thru the vaginal canal. If you are born by cesarean or you (or your mother) received antibiotics during labour and in those first few days of life then you’re already starting out with a challenged bacterial culture. We continue to gain bacteria from our mothers nipple and milk when we breastfeed, so those who are formula fed meet yet another challenge.
For this reason adding a child specific probiotic is important to establishing and boosting your child’s natural immunity. It is recommended that children receive 10 billion CFU’s of probiotics daily. CFU stands for colony-forming unit. Probiotics are recommended on an ongoing basis because they are transient, not adhering to the intestinal wall and pass thru the gut in 3-30 days. Taking a probiotic in conjunction with antibiotic prescription is especially important to prevent secondary infections once your prescription is compete (ever notice infections come in cycles?).
Dairy products such as yogurt have gained popularity among parents through their addition of probiotics but these are greatly lacking in number and strain to ever be of the desired benefit.
Adding a high quality child specific probiotic to your child’s diet has been shown to alleviate acute diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, prevent childhood eczema and increase the body’s natural resistance to infectious diseases of the intestinal and upper respiratory tract.
Village Wellness carries Nutritional Fundamentals of Health Children’s ProbioSAP. These are the same probiotics we use and love for our own children. They take them without any issue by adding them to smoothies and apple sauce. Speak with Drs. Chad or Megan for more information about the benefits of probiotics for yourself and your children. You can read more about this product here: ProbioSAP