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Probiotics for Infants: Know Why Babies Need Them?

Last Updated: Feb 01, 2021, 1:16 pm

In recent times probiotics have become a very integral part of a healthy lifestyle, as more and more people are becoming aware of it, we are heading towards an understanding to probiotics in all stages of our life. Studies have shown that probiotics play a huge role in ensuring the health of the digestive system and are also responsible for the nutrient absorption processes of a child in a huge manner.

Basically, if we look through a natural perspective, doctors do not usually recommend buy probiotics for new-born. Infants are born with a sterile gut, having absolutely no trace of any kind of intestinal microflora. The first interaction of this “good bacteria” with the gut of the child happens only after breastfeeding. By the time the child is about a year old he acquires ample healthy gut flora from the breast milk they drink, and the baby food diet which is given to child and hence due to this, probiotics are not deemed necessary for children.

But as the child starts growing he is also exposed to various “harmful-disease causing bacteria” because of which the child may suffer from the severe vomiting or diarrhoea. This may lead to the child having to take antibiotics, which in turn disturbs the gut microflora of the child and hence, this is where probiotics become very important for children.These ensure that healthy gut flora return to the intestinal tract and the immune system of the child is strengthened again.

Infants might also suffer from conditions affecting their GI system like acid reflux or have colic. Because of these conditions its very difficult to manage in this situation for both baby and parents. Probiotics may relieve from these symptoms and help the infants cry less.

Various researches have shown that probiotics can be administered to children from an early age, as they do not have any harmful effects on the child. In fact, the infant’s microbiome actually helps direct brain development. This has long-term implications not only for brain health, but for functionality as well.

A recent study conducted on 75 children who were given probiotics for the first six months of their life, in comparison to children given a placebo showed that 14% of the placebo were diagnosed with either ADHD or a form of autism at age 14 years, while none of the children who took the probiotic developed either of these disorders. Another systematic review has concluded that probiotics may be beneficial in preventing eczema in infants. The typical probiotic strains manufactured include Bifidobacterium and lactic acid bacteria such as Lactobacillus species.