If you're like most parents, you want to do everything you can to ensure your children are healthy. You feed them a nutritious diet, make sure they get enough exercise and take them to the doctor for regular checkups. You may also be interested in giving them supplements to promote a healthy gut microbiome. But can kids take adult probiotics? Let's find out.
The gut microbiome is a population of trillions of microbes—including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa—that live in the gastrointestinal tract. These microbes play an important role in immunity, digestion, and overall health. Probiotics are live microorganisms that, when taken in adequate amounts, can provide health benefits. So, how do you know if your child would benefit from taking a probiotic supplement? And if so, which one should you give them?
The Role of Probiotics in Gut Health
Probiotics are "good" bacteria that help crowd out harmful bacteria in the gut. They do this by producing substances that inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria, competing for space and nutrients, producing vitamins and enzymes that support gut health, and stimulating the immune system. A healthy gut microbiome is important for proper digestion and absorption of nutrients as well as for immunity against infections.
Probiotics are found naturally in some foods—such as yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, and miso—but they can also be taken in the form of supplements. Probiotic supplements come in many different strains (or types) of bacteria. The two most common strains are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Some probiotic supplements also contain yeast.
Do Kids Need Probiotics?
There is some evidence to suggest that probiotic supplements may improve symptoms of certain gastrointestinal disorders in children—such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), infectious diarrhea, antibiotic-related diarrhea, and Clostridium difficile infection—as well as atopic dermatitis (eczema). Probiotics may also help prevent respiratory infections in children.
Which Probiotic Is Right for My Child?
If you decide to give your child a probiotic supplement, it's important to choose one that has been shown to be safe and effective for children. The strain(s) of bacteria in the supplement should be backed by research showing that it is effective for the condition you're hoping to treat. It's also important to choose a supplement that contains an adequate amount of live microorganisms—typically 1 billion to 10 billion colony-forming units (CFUs)—and that's manufactured by a reputable company.
You should always talk to your child's doctor before giving them any type of supplement—including a probiotic supplement. This is especially important if your child has a medical condition or takes medication(s) regularly.
As a mother you know that gut health is important for your child. Probiotics are a great way to promote a healthy gut microbiome. But with so many products on the market, it can be hard to know which one to choose. That's why we've done the research for you and compiled a list of the best children probiotics on Amazon. Just click the link to check it out. Thanks for reading!