Probiotics and Children
Probiotics are natural, helpful bacteria that are most notably found in the digestive system. Without these "good" microorganisms, the balance of bacteria can get out of control and cause illness and digestive problems. While adults commonly turn to probiotics to regulate these systems and create a harmonious body bacteria balance, probiotics can also be beneficial to children.
Many health care professionals suggest that probiotics may benefit children of any age, and that under certain health circumstances, these bacteria should be used as part of the child's health plan. Probiotics may be able to benefit children when:
- They are on antibiotics. While helpful and effective, antibiotics can kill nearly all body bacteria, including the good bacteria that are needed for normal regulation of functions like the digestive system. A probiotic supplement can help restore levels to normal and promote optimum health.
- They are suffering from diarrhea. Diarrhea is often a symptom of a digestive problem, and is a common side effect of antibiotics. Probiotics can help your children fight diarrhea and its side effects by promoting healthy digestion.
- They have a poor diet. With modern families often relying on convenience foods to feed their families, many children do not have a properly balanced diet. Children with diets high in carbohydrates and low in fiber can benefit from the digestive benefits of probiotics. These can be obtained easily by adding probiotic foods to the diet.
- They are suffering from stress. It has been shown that the digestive system can have a direct effect on other parts of the body, including the immune and nervous systems, and vice versa. Stress can cause poor digestion, which can interrupt the normal bacterial balance in the intestines. Make sure your children are eating probiotic foods or taking appropriate supplements.
Before you introduce probiotics to your children, consult with your health care provider to address their specific needs and discuss what types of probiotics could most benefit your family.