All The Benefits Of Giving Your Baby Probiotics
One of the simplest ways to positively affect gut health is by introducing probiotics into the diet, either through naturally probiotic-rich foods (like yoghurt, kefir, or fermented foods like sauerkraut) or with supplements. And lately, research has shown the benefits probiotics have for our little ones too.
Note: It is not recommended to give probiotics to children with compromised immune systems, as they can experience infection, bloating, and other serious side effects. Talk to your GP before giving your child probiotics if you have any concerns.
For most children, though, research tends to point to positive effects of increasing their probiotic consumption. Here are five benefits:
It can benefit babies even before they're born
Recent studies have shown, probiotics can lower the risk of pregnancy complications like preeclampsia and premature birth, particularly when consumed in the first and third trimesters.
Probiotics can provide relief to babies with colic
A study in America found that the probiotic strain Lactobacillus reuteri was more effective than a placebo at treating colic in babies.
In fact, the "probiotic group was almost twice as likely as the placebo group to experience treatment success" at the testing time points (day zero, seven, 14, and 21). The babies fed probiotics cried significantly less than their placebo counterparts. Studies have even found that probiotics occur naturally in breast milk to protect babies from inflammation and infection.
Yoghurt reduces your baby's risk of developing eczema and allergies
Giving your little one yoghurt daily by aged 1 has been shown to decreased eczema and allergies in babies by up to 70%. While it is recommended to wait to introduce cow's milk to a baby's diet until age one, other milk-based products like cheese and yoghurt are safe. A new study found that the more regularly yoghurt was served, the greater the effect at preventing allergies.
Probiotics could help ease diarrhoea symptoms
Infants and children who are given probiotic foods (particularly yoghurt) while suffering from acute viral gastroenteritis experienced a shorter duration of symptoms. Additionally, probiotics can also be helpful in treating inflammatory bowel disease. The effects can be similar for adults, too, so feel free to steal a few spoonfuls if your tummy is bothering you.
Probiotics can help reduce the risk of upper respiratory tract infections
Probiotics have been shown to reduce the occurrence of upper respiratory tract infections—as well as the number of days absent from school. Considering Respiratory Tract Infections are one of the most common health issues experienced by children around the world, that can help us all breathe a little easier.
Written by Laura Doyle staff writer at FFHQ who also blogs at www.lovelifeandlittleones.com.