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Probiotics For Kids: Are They Healthy For Your Children?

Yourgutt

October 4, 2021

When we talk about bacterias, most of us would think that bacterias are harmful and it could cause harm to our body. Harmful bacterias could cause infections on wounds, diarrhoea, stomach aches, and fever. However, some bacterias are good, and they already exist in our bodies! The most commonly known ones are our gut bacterias. Still, bacteria can also be found under our skin, and they all serve a common goal, to protect us from harmful microbes and improve our bodies. The most beneficial ones that would benefit us inertly are our gut bacterias or gut flora. 

Our gut microbiome consists of at least 700 different species of bacterias. Each has unique functions such as processing foods, absorbing nutrients, creating vitamins, and fending off harmful bacteria from infecting our gut. 

Does this mean that our gut contains all good bacteria only? Well, no. Our gut will always have some harmful bacterias sticking around, but as long as it is the minority, it would not cause any harm to us. This state is called eubiosis. Hence, when described as having a balanced gut microbiome, it is frequently referred to as the eubiosis state of the gut. When the harmful bacterias overpower the good bacteria and cause harm, it would be called dysbiosis. When dysbiosis happens, it could affect your hormones and cause inflammations, mood, and affect immune systems (4). All these situations are not exclusively for adults only. Children can experience dysbiosis as well. When kids are moody or irritated, we would just think of them as being kids, when it could be some underlying signs and symptoms of their gut health or overall health.

 

Signs of Imbalanced Microbiome

The most obvious sign of imbalance in the microbiome is after antibiotic treatment. This medication will destroy all bacteria in your body to treat the infection regardless of good or bad. Hence it is often advised to supplement probiotics after the treatment (3). Other signs of the unhappy gut caused by illness, infection, stress, or unhealthy diet are:

  • Indigestion
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea
  • Fatigue
  • Brain fog

So the next time your child is feeling unwell has difficulty pooping, or cannot focus, try giving them some probiotics.

 

How do probiotics help your child?

Probiotics can help in restoring your body’s immune system and fight off harmful bacterias. Still, they are not miracle supplements that can just be given to any condition, and they would cure or treat your child’s condition. But it can help alleviate and improve their conditions, namely:

  • Diarrhoea (especially after antibiotic treatment)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Urinary tract infections (especially after antibiotic treatment)
  • Lactose intolerant
  • Eczema

A well-balanced diet with an active lifestyle could be as good in boosting your immune system and enough for your child to stay healthy as they grow.


Other Main Benefits Of Probiotics 

Improve Digestion

Probiotics work together with enzymes in your gut to aid in breaking down food, which makes the food digested better and faster, hence reducing indigestion. Furthermore, after breaking down foods, probiotics also produce byproducts that can help nutrients to be absorbed better (2).

Balanced Gut Microbiome

Balance of gut microbiome essentially means it can gang up and beat harmful bacterias to a pulp. Jokes aside, good bacterias when they are the majority, can prevent harmful bacteria from colonizing the gut, hence preventing any infections. The ratio of good bacteria and harmful bacteria can roughly be 80:20. So the next time your child is putting random things from the floor in their mouth, it can be safely assumed that your gut is there to defend it (3).

Synthesize Vitamins

All probiotics can synthesize vitamins and minerals. The most common ones are folate and short-chain fatty acids. Certain strains of probiotics can produce vitamin K, vitamin B’s, such as biotin, cobalamin, pyridoxine, and riboflavin. These vitamins are essential in helping your child grow stronger as they play a significant role in metabolism and nerve development (1).

Improve immune system

When there are more good bacteria in your gut, there are more soldiers to fight harmful bacterias and signal your body to produce more immune cells to fight—putting your body in high defense mode to any infection and pathogens. Studies showed that probiotics can promote the production of antibodies in our body, such as white blood cells, natural killer cells etc. However, they are not conclusive on how long it will stay boosted, but it does aid in reducing frequency and severity of infection (4). 

Probiotics food Sources

There are plenty of foods that naturally contain good bacterias and are as equally beneficial as probiotic supplements. Of course, the number of strains is not known. Food that undergoes fermentation contains probiotics such as:

  • Yoghurt
  • Buttermilk
  • Kombucha
  • Kimchi
  • Sauerkraut 

These foods generally contain lactobacillus probiotics and are sensitive to heat. Some foods naturally contain probiotics but are cooked; hence, the probiotics are killed; sourdough bread, miso soup, and tempeh are examples of food that contains good bacteria but are often cooked, hence killing off the probiotics. Sometimes eating yoghurt or kimchi every day may result in a lack of variety in your diet. The good news is, you have a tastier alternative now.  Expand your palette with YourGutt Instant Pre + Probiotic . It comes in chocolate malt and tropical mango taste to excite your taste buds and your gut health. 

 

Recommended Reads:

5 Facts About Whether Probiotics Is Best For Your Children

What is Gut Health and How to Improve it

Ways to Boost Your Immune System During the Pandemic

What is it?: YourGutt Prebiotic, Probiotic, Postbiotic First in Malaysia & Asia.

 

Reference

  1. Gu, Q., & Li, P. (2016). Biosynthesis of Vitamins by Probiotic Bacteria. Probiotics And Prebiotics In Human Nutrition And Health. doi: 10.5772/63117
  2. Jäger, R., Purpura, M., Farmer, S., Cash, H., & Keller, D. (2017). Probiotic Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086 Improves Protein Absorption and Utilization. Probiotics And Antimicrobial Proteins, 10(4), 611-615. doi: 10.1007/s12602-017-9354-y
  3. Khan, S., Imran, A., Malik, A., Chaudhary, A., Rub, A., & Jan, A. et al. (2018). Bacterial imbalance and gut pathologies: Association and contribution of E. coli in inflammatory bowel disease. Critical Reviews In Clinical Laboratory Sciences, 56(1), 1-17. doi: 10.1080/10408363.2018.1517144
  4. Maldonado Galdeano, C., Cazorla, S., Lemme Dumit, J., Vélez, E., & Perdigón, G. (2019). Beneficial Effects of Probiotic Consumption on the Immune System. Annals Of Nutrition And Metabolism, 74(2), 115-124. doi: 10.1159/000496426
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Melvin T

Melvin T

Graduated from UCSI University with BSc (Hons) in Nutrition with Wellness, Melvin decided to venture into research & development with past experiences in clinical setting, food service, and retail pharmacy. His goal is to formulate health products that are scientifically driven and culturally acceptable.

Furthermore, he is passionate in the science and art of preventing diseases and health education. Hence, he took the role as community nutritionist to advocate primary health care to the community.

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