Choosing Probiotics for Children

Our bodies are naturally filled with trillions of bacteria, some are harmful, but most of this bacteria is friendly. Probiotics (the healthy bacteria), along with the unhealthy bacteria primarily populate the digestive tract. Helping to maintain a good balance of these two types is critical in promoting optimal health, if notdysbiosis (microbial imbalance) occurs. Kids are exposed to harmful pathogens and/or have diets lacking in important nutrients, so supplementing with a product providing healthy probiotic strains is very important. Additionally, antibiotics are the typical answer for many of our kids when they are sick. However, along with killing the negative bacteria causing the sickness, these drugs also kill the healthy bacteria which our kids need. Bacterial imbalance is one of the most common causes of acute diarrhea in children under 5 years of age.

There are countless strains of probiotics. It’s important to choose a product that utilizes a variety of strains so more ground is covered. Some of the most researched probiotics include Lactobacillus plantarum, which works to promote immune health and reduce gas production. It has also has a role in the synthesis of L-lysine, an essential amino acid. Lactobacillus paracasei is another probiotic known to reside in the human intestine, which aids in promoting the bacterial balance as well as supporting digestion. One of the most intensely studied probiotics is Lactobacillus rhamnosus, which has shown to be very effective in balancing the gut microflora, maintaining the integrity of the stomach lining, supporting stomach comfort and providing relief from occasional diarrhea. Lactobacillus salivarius is unique in that it’s a probiotic which resides in the mouth, throat and nose and works to promote oral health. Streptococcus salivarius is known to populate the upper respiratory tract within the first few hours of birth and because it also resides in the oral cavity. It works to help reduce halitosis (bad breath) and supports healthy teeth and gums.

In addition to using a variety of strains, choosing strains that deliver high amounts of CFUs (colony forming units) is also very important to ensure optimal effects. Additionally, because probiotics are living organisms, ensuring they are viable and alive upon entering the stomach is absolutely critical. LiveBac® is a patented process which guarantees extended shelf life for probiotics, even at room temperature. Another advanced delivery technology is BIO-tract®, which not only protects probiotic organisms from stomach acid on their way to the intestinal tract, but also enables custom release profiles optimized for probiotics and other active ingredients. Using a product with these advanced technologies provides a huge advantage, and better ensures the healthy effects of the probiotic strains.

Probiotics work to support a healthy bacterial balance, which in turn promotes healthy digestion leading to normal bowels and stomach comfort. Every child can benefit from probiotic supplementation and feel the benefits of this microbial balance!