Are Probiotics Safe For Baby
Current research indicates that probiotics are safe for baby to consume, as long as baby is healthy. Even babies born prematurely, and babies with a low birth weight, have tolerated probiotics well. Still, more research is needed to fully confirm this.
Probiotics may cause side effects, though, so they aren’t without risk. Some probiotics may cause stomach pain, diarrhea, gas and bloating, so there’s a chance that they may make GI problems worse.
How Can Baby Probiotics Help Your Infant’s Health
Studies have proven that microbes are a crucial component of maintaining both general and gastrointestinal health. Probiotics are particularly important for infants because at birth babies have a sterile GI system. This is because exposure to bacteria before birth can be dangerous to the fetus. So for those nine months, babies live and grow in a sterile safe zone that is microbe-free.
However, after birth, microbes like probiotics begin to be introduced into babies bodies which helps to strengthen their immune system and prevent infections. Infant probiotics aid immunity, boost infection resistance and nutrient absorption, and promote detoxification and metabolism!
Do Babies Need Probiotics
Amniotic fluid is not sterileits your babys first introduction to bacteria. And the kind of bacteria in the amniotic fluid is influenced by moms gut and oral flora.
In a perfect world, moms would have great flora to pass onto their babies. But over the last century, we have been subjected to antibiotics, GMOs, sugary/starchy diets, and lots of processed foodsall of which can degrade the gut flora passed onto our babies.
Baby probiotics are a babys first line of defense, since they help to improve the balance of good bacteria in their body.
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Challenges To Implementation: Parents Will Need To Purchase The Probiotics
As with any nonFDA-regulated product, it will be important to guide patients toward reputable manufacturers to ensure homogeneity of dosing. A 29-day supply of BioGaia probiotic drops , which costs $37 according to the manufacturers Web site, , should be affordable for most parents. Otherwise, little stands in the way of using this therapy to reduce the crying and subsequent stress associated with infant colic.
Can You Overdose On Probiotics
Taking the most common probiotic supplementseven large doses or over extended periodsis not likely to lead to an overdose for healthy individuals. The most common side effect of probiotics is digestive discomfort.
Scientific research on the gut microbiome and probiotics is relatively newit didnt start gaining attention until the 1990s. While the evidence is still growing, it does not appear that long-term use of probiotics is harmful since your gut already has tens of millions of beneficial bacteria. Most likely, any good bacteria in excess of what your body needs will just leave the body via your next bowel movement.
But probiotics are not advised for everyone. Those with a serious illness or weakened immune system might need to avoid probiotic supplements as they can cause adverse effects, including infection, even in doses that dont seem like too much. Adding a probiotic supplement to their wellness routine should be discussed with a healthcare professional.
While serious risks from taking too many probiotics are rare, you can still experience side effects.
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Balance Is The Secret To Natures Success
When you think about the jungle, it may be tempting to remove everything you consider unpleasant so you can enjoy an exotic hike when youre on vacation.
So lets say we had a way of removing all the mosquitos, spiders, and other pesky insects, as well as lions, and snakes, and gila monsters. That does make it sound like strolling through the jungle would be so much safer for us
How Can You Give Probiotics To Infants
Probiotics are available in liquid and powder forms, both of which are easy to give to the child. The supplements in the liquid form can be mixed into the regular diet of the child, be it breast milk or solid food. It can also be given to the child directly. If the supplement is in powdered form, you can dip your finger in it and make your child suck the powder off your finger. This also ensures that the supplement is absorbed by the body instantly.
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Benefits Of Probiotics For Infants
Probiotics have been found to be helpful in treating conditions like diarrhea and eczema in infants. They may also help in managing allergies, preventing urinary tract infections, and relieving symptoms of colic in infants.
Other conditions that probiotics may help manage include:
- Acute infectious diarrhea
- Chronic inflammatory bowel disease
Atopic diseases. Infants who are at risk of getting atopic conditions may benefit from probiotic supplements. This is especially helpful for formula-fed infants. Some studies also suggest that probiotics might also be beneficial when taken during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Necrotizing enterocolitis. Preterm infants are at a high risk of contracting necrotizing enterocolitis. This is because of antibiotic administration after birth and the limited development of normal digestive microorganisms. Probiotic supplements may help preterm or low-birth-weight infants develop these vital microorganisms.
Diarrhea. Probiotics help prevent diarrhea in some instances. These supplements have been found to delay the symptoms of acute infectious diarrhea in children and otherwise healthy infants.
Chronic inflammatory bowel disease. Probiotics may be helpful in the management of chronic inflammatory bowel disease together with or as a replacement for medications prescribed for this condition. However, there is no conclusive research demonstrating whether it actually works as a treatment of this condition in infants.
How Probiotics Might Be Bad For You
Because these good bacteria already exist in the body, theyâre considered safe for most people. But there are some things to consider.
They can trigger an allergic reaction. They might cause mild stomach problems, especially the first few days you start taking them. You might have stomach upset, gas, diarrhea, or bloating. Those symptoms usually go away after your body gets used to them.
If you have an immune system problem or another serious health condition, you may have a greater chance of issues. Some reports have linked probiotics to serious infections and other side effects. The people most likely to have trouble are those with immune system problems, people who’ve had surgery, and others who are critically ill. Don’t take probiotics if you have any of those issues.
Always talk to your pediatrician before giving probiotic supplements to your child. If you’re pregnant or nursing, you should also talk to your doctor before you try one.
Most probiotics in the U.S. are sold as dietary supplements. That means the companies that make them don’t have to test their products and show that they work or that they are safe. More research is needed to confirm that probiotics are safe and effective.
Ask your doctor which probiotics are the right ones for you. Be sure to stop taking them if you have any problems.
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Allergy Symptoms / Allergic Reactions
One cause of having allergic symptoms is when youre sensitive to histamines. If you experience symptoms of allergy, though, it doesnt necessarily mean that youre allergic to the supplement itself.
Some allergy symptoms include:
To some people, their histamine levels increase in their GI tract as certain bacteria population grows. When this happens, youll be experiencing things almost identical to symptoms of being exposed to a particular allergen.
However, you might still experience these symptoms due to the most natural reason that we know: exposure to an allergen.
Some people have a specific food, ingredient, or substance that their bodies are intolerant to. For some, it may even be more than one. So, if you are exposed to an allergen, your body would react to it and you might end up experiencing the symptoms stated above.
Probiotic supplements can contain allergens that might cause varying reactions to some people. To avoid accidental intake of an allergen, make sure to read the labels carefully.
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Health Benefits Of Baby Probiotics
Despite what product marketers might want us to believe, not all probiotics are good for specific health effects. There is a vast array of probiotic strains, most belonging to either the Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium group. Each strain within these groups has unique characteristics, functions, and potential health perks. The benefit of baby probiotics depends on the specific strain. And researchers havent probed every strain out there.
This is why, aside from a few probiotic strains shown to be effective for certain health conditions, its too soon to say with certainty that all babies and toddlers benefit from taking daily probiotics. Some could benefit, Merenstein says. But not enough enough clinical trials have been done on children to know for sure. For instance, probiotics seem to do some general good for the immune system and gastrointestinal health, he says. But from the existing research, its difficult to tease out exactly why or how theyre helping or which strains are actually effective.
That said, experts do know for certain that probiotics are overwhelmingly safe with few, if any, negative side effects. And although many more clinical trials are needed, it seems that most strains hold the potential to do something positive for health. But again, is this enough proof to make it worth giving a relatively healthy baby or toddler a daily probiotic?
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Easy To Follow Recommendations For The Correct Probiotic Dosing
One of the most common questions I get from patients is, Can I overdose on probiotics? A simple internet search will give you a myriad of different answers to this question.
You see how confusing it can be trying to weed-out thetruth. Luckily, the truth is a lot lesscomplicated than we make it.
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Some Strains Can Increase Histamine Levels
Some bacterial strains used in probiotic supplements can produce histamine inside the digestive tract of humans .
Histamine is a molecule that is normally produced by your immune system when it detects a threat.
When histamine levels rise, blood vessels dilate to bring more blood to the affected area. The vessels also become more permeable so that immune cells can easily get into the relevant tissue to combat any pathogens .
This process creates redness and swelling in the affected area, and can also trigger allergy symptoms such as itching, watery eyes, runny nose or trouble breathing.
Normally, histamine that is produced in your digestive tract is naturally degraded by an enzyme called diamine oxidase . This enzyme inhibits histamine levels from rising enough to cause symptoms .
However, some people with histamine intolerance have trouble properly breaking down the histamine in their bodies, seeing as they do not produce enough DAO .
The excess histamine is then absorbed through the lining of the intestinal tract and into the bloodstream, causing symptoms similar to an allergic reaction (
Theoretically, they may want to select probiotic supplements that do not contain histamine-producing bacteria, but to date, there has been no research on this specific area.
Some histamine-producing probiotic strains include Lactobacillus buchneri, Lactobacillus helveticus, Lactobacillus hilgardii and Streptococcus thermophilus .
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How To Recognize Foods With Probiotics
Foods may not always have an indication on the label that they have probiotics. If you intend to get yogurt with probiotics, you should make sure that it’s pasteurized. Also, check the ingredient list to make sure that it includes live, active cultures.
Yogurt should have at least 100 million cultures per gram before being labeled as having live and active cultures. The label may also indicate the specific probiotics in the yogurt.
Fermented foods also contain probiotics. Fermentation preserves and promotes probiotic growth. Foods that can be fermented include cabbage, cucumbers, soybeans, and milk. Fermentation also helps preserve food and promotes the formation of enzymes, omega-3 fatty acids, and B vitamins.
While fermenting foods may promote the growth of probiotics, the downside is that the taste and smell may get too strong. Also, not all fermented foods have probiotics. Some products, like beer and wine, undergo processes that eliminate probiotics.
Baking or canning will kill prebiotics.
What Role Probiotic Supplements Play For Formula
For formula-fed babies, there are options for formulas that have been fortified with probiotics along with all the other nutrients your little one needs. The inclusion of probiotics in baby formulas not only reflects the natural contents of breast milk but also helps to promote a healthy balance of bad and good bacteria in your babys gut. These probiotics work alongside your baby’s microflora to improve your baby’s wellbeing. As an added advantage, a probiotic enriched formula may help to prevent or treat tummy problems.
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Giving Your Newborn Probiotics Read This First
If you eat yogurt, you probably have at least a vague understanding of probiotics. Theyre organisms, like good bacteria and yeasts, that aid in digestion and boost the immune system. But a new study suggests they may not be so good for newborns.
The study looks at just one subject, a baby boy in Poland who was administered both antibiotics and a probiotic product at two days old. Although he was born full term, the baby weighed just 5 pounds and was diagnosed with intrauterine growth restriction meaning he had a slow growth rate in the womb. The antibiotics were to prevent suspected infection, while the probiotic was to prevent diarrhea from the antibiotics.
Four days later, a blood test and genetic test confirmed he tested positive for an infection from the same strain found in the probiotic.
Heres why were thinking this happened, and why probiotics arent the best choice for babies: because of the fragile lining of a newborns intestinal tract, some bacteria from the probiotics could seep into his bloodstream . A better choice for cultivating necessary gut bacteria is breast milk.
Luckily, there is a happy ending: the infection only resulted in sensitivity and crying, and the baby was home by the time he reached one month old.
Is your baby taking any medications or supplements?
Do Breastmilk Fed Babies Need Probiotics
Breast milk is considered a functional food meaning it contains all the nutrients like probiotics and prebiotics need for a healthy life. But probiotics levels in breast milk may be on the decline. Studies report that breastfed infants in industrialized societies have been found to have lower levels of probiotics in their GI system. This reduction in probiotics is thought to be related to factors such as the rise of c-section births and antibiotic use.
Probiotics play an important role in creating an undesirable environment for potential pathogens. It has been posited that this lack of probiotics amongst infants’ microflora in industrialized societies has contributed to an increase in inflammatory diseases like autoimmune disease, allergies, and asthma.
New research has confirmed that supplying breast milk-fed babies with probiotics can play an important role in digestive system health. Thus, they may help to counteract this trend towards probiotic decline!
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Allergic Reactions To Probiotics
Experts estimate that only one in a million dogs and people could have an allergic reaction to probiotics for reasons that have yet to be identified. Signs that a dog may be suffering an allergic reaction to one or more of the live bacteria composing probiotic supplements are intense all over itching, difficulty breathing, swelling of the tongue and lips and unsteady gait. Dogs exhibiting these symptoms after being given probiotics should be taken to a veterinarian as soon as possible for supportive care.
Why Might An Infant Need Additional Probiotics
The digestive system of an infant is delicate and certain experiences, such as the use of antibiotics during delivery, can wipe out the healthy bacteria in an infants gut. An imbalance of good and bad bacteria can cause a number of symptoms that can be distressing to both parents and baby:
- Bowel issues including diarrhea and constipation
- Asthma and allergies
- Acne and eczema
- Upper respiratory infections
Probiotics serve to assist the body in remedying and/or preventing these symptoms by activating the immune system.
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Probiotics Fail To Soothe Colicky Babies Randomized Study Finds
The researchers found that, contrary to many a weary parents hopes, the probiotic supplements may actually worsen babies discomfort.
Heres some news thats bound to disappoint many parents of colicky newborns: Giving babies supplements containing probiotics does not help reduce excessive crying.
In fact, such supplements may actually make symptoms worse.
The findings counter previous and much smaller studies that reported that probiotics specifically Lactobacillus reutieri could help reduce crying in colicky babies. Those earlier studies, though, had significant limitations, particularly in how they selected the infants that were followed.
The findings also differ from those reported earlier this year by a team of Italian researchers. That study found that giving all newborns probiotics supplements was associated with a reduced rate of fussiness and colic.
One in 5 infants
During those months, however, a colicky baby can turn an already very tiring period of parenthood into one of great frustration and exhaustion. Indeed, research has found that mothers of colicky babies tend to be more anxious and depressed than moms of non-colicky babies. They also tend to end breastfeeding earlier. Infant colic is also associated with an increased risk of shaken baby syndrome.
A double-blinded study
The tincture of time