Day: March 21, 2017

Probiotics for Kids

Why are probiotics useful for kids? In children, when the composition of the GI flora is out-of-whack, a myriad of illnesses (similar to that of adults) can ensue. Probiotics exert a major influence on the microbiome. A kid’s microbiome begins to develop inside the womb and matures during infancy and childhood. The newborn leaves the germ-free environment of the mother’s womb and enters a highly contaminated world, which mandates potent defenses to prevent disease.  The pro- and prebiotics confer long-term health benefits on the developing immune system of a child. This post will highlight the significance of adding probiotics to children’s diet.

 

Probiotics can Prevent Necrotizing Enterocolitis in Premature Infants

Some infants who are born prematurely can suffer from an intractable bloody diarrheal illness, called necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). It is a condition in which the intestinal tissue undergoes inflammation, injury, and begins to die. Infectious agents seem to colonize the gut in these infants after the introduction of formula milk. Specific strains of bacteria, primarily the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria can preclude the occurrence of NEC when fed to the preterm babies. These probiotics break down carbohydrates to produce lactic acid, creating an acidic milieu in the gut. This promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria, whereas hampers that of the harmful ones. [1]

 

These beneficial bacteria also strengthen the gut barriers, which fends off the harmful agents against navigating from the GI tract to the outside systems – a process called bacterial translocation.

 

Moreover, the preterm infants afflicted with NEC lack the ability to tolerate anything through the mouth. Statistics show that probiotics given to these babies can improve oral (mouth) intake via accelerating maturation of intestine. [2] Probiotic preparations containing either lactobacillus alone or in combination with bifidobacterium are found to be highly effective at keeping NEC at bay. What’s more? Probiotics also appear to minimize the death rates associated with NEC. [2]

 

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