How do pediatricians feel about probiotics?Monday Nov 13, 2023
Pediatrician-Approved Probiotics: Experts And Baby Gut Health
When it comes to your baby's health, you want the best advice and guidance possible. Pediatricians play a vital role in ensuring your little one's well-being. In recent years, the use of probiotics for infants has gained attention, and many parents are eager to understand what experts have to say about baby gut health and the use of probiotics.
Understanding Baby Gut Health
The gut is the epicenter of your baby's overall health, playing a crucial role in digestion, immunity, and more. A healthy gut microbiome sets the foundation for a strong immune system and proper nutrient absorption. Pediatricians emphasize the significance of maintaining a balanced and thriving gut environment for infants.Prebiotics are supplements or foods that contain a non-digestible food ingredient that strategically sparks favorable growth and activity of indigenous probiotic bacteria - in other words, making the gut a habitable place for good bacteria to thrive. Human milk actually contains substantial quantities of probiotics and prebiotics and for many babies is part of a well functioning system between mother and baby that provides the essential building blocks of a healthy microbiome, complete with a balanced microflora, setting the new baby's gut up for a smooth entrance to life. In fact, infants have sterile gastrointestinal tracts at birth, but bacterial colonization happens quickly which is why it is so essential to colonize with probiotics and beneficial species instead of pathogens.
Expert Opinions on Probiotics
Many adults have no idea how to maintain their own microflora, much less a brand new infant. A great pediatrician is like a partner to new parents, and can offer insights into the gut requirements of newborns, babies and toddlers in order to set them up as best as possible for a healthy gut throughout life.
So how do pediatricians feel about prebiotic and probiotic supplements?
- Balancing Gut Flora: Pediatricians acknowledge that probiotics, which are beneficial live microorganisms, can help maintain a balanced gut flora in babies.
- Managing Digestive IssuesMany pediatricians recommend probiotics for managing common infant digestive issues such as colic, constipation, gas, and diarrhea.
- Boosting Immunity: Probiotics can bolster the immune system of infants, potentially reducing the risk of infections.
Pediatrician-Recommended Probiotic Strains
While the use of probiotics in infants is generally supported, pediatricians often specify certain strains that have shown effectiveness:
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG): This strain is well-regarded for its digestive health benefits and is commonly recommended by pediatricians.
- Bifidobacterium infantis: Known for its ability to alleviate digestive discomfort in babies due to its ability to help them digest breastmilk.
- Saccharomyces boulardii: Effective in managing diarrhea and other gastrointestinal issues in infants.
The Power of Custom Probiotics
While pediatricians provide valuable guidance on probiotics, the effectiveness of custom probiotics cannot be overstated. Custom formulations take into account your baby's unique gut microbiome, ensuring that the probiotic strains and dosages are precisely tailored to their needs and their age, since an infant's gut microbiome changes drastically, depending on their age and on their diet (breastfed vs formula, whether baby is starting on solid food).This personalized approach can lead to faster and more effective results in promoting baby gut health.
Another factor to consider with custom probiotics is the higher level of care with both sourcing ingredients, lab testing, and even how they are made and shipped to you: our probiotics are stored in cold conditions before formulating, ensuring that they're alive upon delivery while most over the counter probiotics (especially Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species) die when sitting on the shelf for months.
It's clear that probiotics can play a positive role in maintaining and enhancing baby gut health. Using the insights provided by a practitioner and following recommendations for specific strains highlights the importance of choosing the right probiotic product for your infant.
Always consult with your pediatrician before introducing probiotics to your baby's routine to ensure it aligns with their unique health needs. If you're interested in having your doctor involved, send them this link or click here for more information.