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Do Kids and Babies Need Probiotics?

People think of probiotics as an adult dietary staple. We stock up on yogurt and kimchi as well as relying on supplements to give us the healthy gut flora that our lifetimes may have altered with illness and antibiotics. Probiotics are called “good bacteria” and help us to adequately digest and absorb our food and its nutrients. However, even infants and young children may need probiotics for the same reasons that adults do.

From Fringe Supplement to Mainstream

Not so long ago, probiotics could only be found on the shelves of health food stores catering to adults. However, probiotics are popping up everywhere. Ongoing research shows that probiotics at an extra layer of protection in the gut that works against infection and inflammation. We are starting to understand the critical role that gut bacteria play overall body health, and even the Cleveland Clinic notes the beneficial effects of probiotics on children and babies.

  • Probiotics replace intestinal flora lost to illness or antibiotics.
  • Probiotics help to relieve constipation, acid reflux, colic, and symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease and Crohn’s disease.
  • Probiotics help to fight infections in the gut such as Clostridium difficile.
  • Probiotics may help to manage eczema.

In no way should parents rely only upon probiotics as a primary treatment, what should instead consult with a holistic pediatrician to help you find the best probiotic for toddlers and infants. Children are notoriously fussy about the way things taste and may not be able to handle pills or caplets the way that adults can. Dairy sensitivity can also inhibit the ingestion of probiotics through yogurt and other products. Ask your pediatrician or healthcare practitioner to help you find the best probiotic for toddlers and infants and soothe the tummy troubles before they start.

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