The term probiotics refers to a vast collection of various strains of live microorganisms, mostly bacteria and/ or yeasts that live in your body and help keep it healthy and functional. They can do this by facilitating an optimum balance of microbes in their microbiome.
Microbes are all the microorganisms in the body, including bacteria, fungi (like yeasts), and protozoa. Probiotics are positive microbes that combat negative microbes and stimulate the body’s immune system to resist them. All the microbes exist in a microbiome which is a collective term for their environment and the microorganisms themselves.
Through maintaining an optimum balance in the microbiome, probiotics promote efficiency in the gastrointestinal (GI) system, the skin, and the immune system. The result is less irritation of the skin and throughout the digestive system, eradication of GI problems, improved immunity, and a better physical and mental disposition.
The Best Probiotics for Infants
Quite a number of the body’s microbes establish themselves in the gut at infancy and early childhood. Babies acquire them from their mothers, and young children also get them from what they consume. Thus, they will remain the gut’s gatekeepers throughout the baby’s life, which is why they are sometimes referred to as resident probiotics.
Probiotic supplement products have consequently emerged in baby formula, supplements, and foods. However, because babies are not the best communicators in the world, adults need to be careful when making nutritional decisions for them. Stick around for a tour of the best probiotics for healthy infants, which have been formulated to cover their sensitive dietary needs.
Each scoop of roughly half a gram contains 5 billion organisms of variant probiotic species, which can form a protective colony to boost GI and immune health. In addition, the powder is formulated to facilitate healthy digestion and absorption of nutrients in breast milk by breastfed infants, baby formula, and other food sources.
It contains lactobacillus and five Bifidobacterium species, which produce enzymes and fermentation products that help the body resist harmful microbes. They enhance the development and effectiveness of the infant’s immune system.
The probiotic species have been picked for their ability to survive passing through the upper digestive tract so that they are still alive when they reach the colon. The organisms are needed alive to deliver their health benefits in the colon.
The formula has inulin, a natural prebiotic. Prebiotics promote the growth of healthy and friendly bacteria in the baby’s gut, hastening colonization.
There are diverse ways to administer it to the infant as it comes in powder form. For example, it can be mixed with infant formula or expressed milk, placed on the nipple to be suckled by the child, or sprinkled onto food as the child is weaned from breast milk.
It is suitable for vegans and vegetarians because no animals or animal products have been used in its making. It is also free from wheat, gluten, and soy, making it ideal for infants predisposed to allergic reactions.
This liquid supplement carries 100 million live probiotic organisms of the L. reuteri Protectis strain per doze. This probiotic strain naturally colonizes the digestive tract, restoring balance in the gut microbiome. It is also found in breastmilk for breastfed babies.
The culture is usually dormant in the bottle but is activated by saliva when consumed, making it ready to regulate microbes when it gets to the gut.
The anti-inflammatory properties make it great for managing digestive discomfort and relieving symptoms of colic. It can even deter the onset of colic if administered preventively. This way, it keeps the infant healthy and at the same time reduces fussiness and crying.
This probiotic supplement can be fed directly to the child using a spoon or mixed with breast milk, infant formula, or food.
This product contains 1 billion cells per serving of pure single strain Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG probiotic. The strain has proven capable of maintaining beneficial microflora in the intestines, enabling the body to fight infections. It also has soothing properties that manage irritations in the bowel and the body at large.
It is free from the top known allergens as it has no added sugar, alcohol, artificial flavors, or colors. It is also non-GMO. This means your child’s probability of developing an allergy from the supplement is minimal.
It is produced using a unique microencapsulation process that protects the probiotic cells from digestive enzymes in the digestive tract until they reach their destination in the colon. This preserves their potency and keeps them alive to optimize delivery.
The probiotics in this supplement have been naturally extracted using water from a proprietary blend of three organic grasses. This means you don’t need to worry about chemicals like fillers being used in their production. They are 100% plant-based, unflavored, gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO, and USDA-certified organic. They are therefore highly unlikely to cause allergic reactions from your child.
It has four live probiotic strains specialized for early childhood development; Bifidobacterium lactis for the development of the immune system, B. infantis to ensure the tummy lining stays healthy, B. bifidum to boost nutrient absorption into the system, and Lactobacillus reuteri, which is a soothing and anti-inflammatory agent. It reduces irritation and fussiness, which results in the baby crying less.
It is a raw probiotic, so the contents are still potent, and the body gets to maximize the benefits.
This product contains 70mg of safe docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), critical for early childhood emotional, behavioral, social, and cognitive development. It has also been linked to better vision and mitigation of inflammatory responses.
The probiotic strains include Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG and Bifidobacterium lactis BB-12, which play multiple roles in the support digestive and immune health.
It has been formulated with vitamin D, which helps in the development of strong bones. Thus, it is a well-rounded supplement for a growing child.
This is a blend of 8 critical probiotic strains spread over 15 billion colony forming units (CFU). It is recommended for children between 12 months and four years to help restore the natural balance of healthy gut bacteria.
This is necessary because it is the age when toddlers receive the most antibiotics. Antibiotics purge both good and bad bacteria from the system, creating the need to replace good bacteria before the bad bacteria colonize the microbiome.
The growth of healthy microbes supports the body’s immune system and maintains a healthy gut.
It is administered by emptying the contents of a probiotic stick into the toddler’s food or drink.
This infant probiotic contains seven probiotic strains spread over 4 billion CFU, which is more than adequate to facilitate the development of your baby’s digestive system and sustain their immune system at the same time.
It has no artificial flavors, dyes, sweeteners, or chemicals that would irritate the infant’s sensitive system. It is even certified organic and non-GMO.
The soothing properties will regulate the reaction to new bacteria, reducing cases of upset stomachs and colic triggers in general.
This probiotic has been tested to improve gastrointestinal balance and is billed to reduce bad bacteria by up to 80%. Their magic wand is the 8 billion CFU of activated B, infantis EVC001, reversing infant gut deficiencies.
The bacteria are live throughout and ready to work against harmful microbes in the stomach and, by extension, the entire body.
This protects your baby and yourself from the symptoms of bacterial imbalances like diaper rash, fussiness, colic, and sleepless nights.
This is part of Dr. Zack Zarbock’s chemical-free products for natural family health. The pediatrician’s formulas include hand-picked natural ingredients which create the best solutions for sensitive young bodies.
These infant probiotic drops are microencapsulated, so the probiotics can get to the gut without being killed by digestive juices. As a result, their potency is retained up to the point where they are needed to work.
It can be safely administered to newborns because it has gentle ingredients, and the dropper will help you get the correct dosage, so it is not too much for the developing child.
It has organic extra virgin oil, which is an anti-inflammatory agent and also boosts metabolism. It, therefore, works in synergy with the probiotics in the product to facilitate digestion while protecting the stomach lining from irritation.
All Wellements products are free from artificial preservatives, which make them potentially irritating to the child. In addition, they have been certified organic by the USDA, meaning the components have been scrutinized and confirmed safe.
Are Probiotics Effective in Supporting Infant Health?
A majority of case studies to date show a positive correlation between infant health and probiotics, as much as the research is not conclusive. Probiotics have demonstrated the capability to reduce inflammation and manage gastrointestinal problems like irritable bowels, diarrhea, ulcerative colitis, and a handful of other issues.
Developing a healthy balance of probiotic bacteria in the digestive system within the first stages is an important part of early childhood development. It lays the foundation for a lifetime of digestive health.
These soothing properties have even seen probiotics considered possible remedies for colic, mainly attributed to irritations from a myriad of possible sources like indigestion, allergies, or bacterial imbalance.
Increasing the number of probiotics can also help to control sepsis in infants. This condition is the body’s extreme response to infections. According to the CDC, most cases of sepsis are caused by bacterial infections, with others being attributed to viral infections.
Probiotics fight off the harmful bacteria which cause these infections while stimulating the immune system to produce antibodies that combat viruses. Their soothing effect may also help regulate the body’s response to the infections should they occur, preventing an escalation to sepsis. Finally, probiotics will assist in managing the sepsis symptoms such as pain and fever if the problem escalates.
The answer to whether probiotics are safe or even beneficial to our infants is therefore long overdue. Moreover, it informs the basis of this article.
- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies probiotics as supplements, so their regulation is not as strict as what is there for medications.
- Being a relatively new nutrition consideration, scientists are still developing a methodology to determine if they are harmful, whether they possess harmful contaminants, and the extent to which they are beneficial to different classes of humans. Unfortunately, this lack of regulation opens up a loophole for inconsistencies in the probiotic provision, whether intentional and unintentional.
- Several strains of probiotics also work in different ways, and each individual microbiome is uniquely constituted. This makes it impossible to have a standard official recommended dosage to administer to infants currently.
- Certain components of probiotics are too complex to be processed by an infant’s GI tract. Lactic acid derived from certain strains of lactobacillus produce the D (-) isomer, which is one of these compounds. Other species produce the L (+), which can be easily metabolized by healthy infants. You need to ensure the baby can handle the strain of probiotics you expose them to.
- Overexposure to probiotics has also been linked to side effects like allergic reactions, bloating, gas, stomach pains, and diarrhea. These can make the infant really uncomfortable.
In light of the above, make a point to consult your baby’s doctor before introducing any probiotics. They are better placed to recommend the relevant probiotics or alternative treatment courses should they feel it is inappropriate under the circumstances.
The baby’s future health depends on what they consume today as it forms the basis of their immune system development and their microbiome composition. It will impact how their bodies will handle irritation and can prevent them from developing sensitivity and allergies. Therefore, you shouldn’t spare any effort in ensuring their microbiome develops a healthy and well-balanced population of probiotics. Also, as your child grows, you will then also have the option of a chewable probiotic.
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