Are probiotics safe?
Are probiotics beneficial?
If, when, and how should probiotics be used?
At Woodburn Pediatric Clinic, we get many questions from parents about probiotics for kids. In this blog, we’ll tackle the topic and provide all the information you’ll need to make an informed decision about probiotics for your children.
What Are Probiotics and How Do They Work?
Probiotics are naturally found in the human body and are often called “good” bacteria. The right balance of good bacteria, such as Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Streptococcus species, in the digestive tract helps to support the body’s immune system and intestinal health.
Probiotics can be taken as a supplement or in the form of enhanced foods like probiotics yogurt and can help restore the balance of bacteria in the body.
Are Probiotics Safe for Kids?
There is no evidence that the use of probiotic in healthy children of any age is unsafe. Until further conclusive evidence has been established, the American Association of Pediatrics does not recommend the use of probiotics in children who are seriously ill. Further study is required to determine the optimal duration, dosage, and species of probiotic supplements.
Are Probiotics Beneficial?
Research has indicated that probiotics are beneficial and can shorten the duration of diarrhea due to stomach viruses, may prevent cases of diarrhea when taken daily, and reduce the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis in premature infants.
Some probiotics trials have found that probiotics may also reduce symptoms of colic, reflux, constipation and irritable bowel syndrome in children.
There is even preliminary research that indicates probiotics could be beneficial in treating or preventing eczema, allergies, and asthma.
How Should Probiotics Be Used?
Unfortunately, there are a lack of official guidelines when it comes to how probiotics should be used. At Woodburn Pediatric, we’ve seen benefits with the following regimens:
- For Acute Diarrhea – 1 pill of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (should not be given to children with a milk allergy) for 7 days. The contents of the pill can be added to something cold your child likes to eat or drink.
- While Taking Antibiotics – Antibiotics kill all intestinal bacteria, both good and bad. Taking 1 pill of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (should not be given to children with a milk allergy) or Saccharomyces boulardiifor the entire duration of the antibiotic treatment can help restore the good bacteria. The contents of the pill can be added to something cold your child likes to eat or drink.
For more information about probiotics for kids or to schedule an appointment, please contact us today at Woodburn Pediatric Clinic.