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Probiotics for Your Baby: 4 Things You Should Know

By    |   Wednesday, 07 October 2015 02:49 PM

Probiotics have been proven effective in treating several gastrointestinal issues, but additional studies are exploring whether these good bacteria might benefit your baby's health.

Medical researchers are focusing sharply on the potential of probiotics, both in foods and in supplements, to impact a wide variety of conditions, including everything from mental health to weight loss to irritable bowel syndrome. As evidence is gathered regarding how probiotics work to alter gut bacteria and how that impacts health, several studies have shown promise for how probiotics affect babies.

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Here are four things you should know about your baby and probiotics, and how they may help:

1. While the Food & Drug Administration recognizes probiotics as GRAS, or Generally Recognized As Safe, some concerns have been raised about pediatrics and probiotics. In 2010, the American Academy of Pediatrics released a report that while probiotics appear to do no harm, their usefulness has not been proven. In addition, as in adults, AAP said probiotics are not recommended for use in infants "who are immunocompromised, chronically debilitated, or seriously ill with indwelling medical devices." Consult your pediatrician for recommendations.

2. A study published in the JAMA Pediatrics journal in 2014 found that giving infants probiotics during the first three months of life may decrease their chances of developing gastrointestinal disorders, according to Medical News Today. The strain of probiotics studied was Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938.

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3. A study published in fall 2015 found potential for helping prevent children from developing asthma by giving them specific probiotics during their first year of life, the BBC reported. While the study is preliminary, researchers found that children who lacked four types of bacteria at 3 months of age had a higher chance of developing asthma. In a mice study, mice given those four bacteria had reduced inflammation, the BBC said. Researchers emphasized the study was just the beginning of learning about potential treatment.

4. Probiotics show some potential for treating colic, a problem that can cause parental distress and involves hours of infant crying. In looking at studies conducted on breastfed infants, an article in the journal BMC Pediatrics said there was a significant reduction in crying times. However, more studies need to be conducted, since it was unclear if probiotics helped with formula-fed infants. According to Medical Daily, probiotics are widely given to infants in Europe to treat colic. It should be noted that another study, published in the British Medical Journal, found probiotics did not help colic.

Other studies are showing promise in the area of preventing eczema and allergies, but much more research needs to be completed.

Doctor: Not All Probiotics Are the Same, Some Are Dangerous! Read More Here

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Probiotics have been proven effective in treating several gastrointestinal issues, but additional studies are exploring whether these good bacteria might benefit your baby's health.
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Wednesday, 07 October 2015 02:49 PM
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