In a world that’s continuously getting dominated by supplements, probiotics are cherished. They are commonly used to increase the number of good bacteria in the body. Probiotics can help in treating conditions such as eczema, common cold, and irritable bowel syndrome.
A majority of adults can use probiotics without experiencing any side effects. But is it the same case for children? There are a number of things you need to understand before introducing probiotics to your kids.
What are probiotics?
Bacteria are often seen in a bad light, but they are not that bad. Your body requires a certain type and number of bacteria to stay healthy. Bacteria play important roles in your body, including nutrient absorption, digestion, and fighting other harmful germs that cause sicknesses.
Inside your body, there is a community of germs referred to as the microbiome. It comprises good and bad bacteria, fungi, and viruses. All these are found in your gut, skin, saliva, and urogenital tract.
When the balance between good and harmful germs in the microbiome is altered, you are likely to fall sick. For instance, the use of antibiotics destroys bacteria-causing infections.
But in the process, even the good bacteria get killed. This can lead to secondary infections like intestinal and urinary tract infections due to the high number of bad bacteria in your body.
Probiotics have live and good bacteria that naturally live in the body. They may have a mixture of various species or just one type of bacteria.
What are the benefits of probiotics?
There are many benefits of probiotics to your health and that of your child. Some of the common benefits include:
- They increase the number of good bacteria in the body
- They help to improve digestion
- They prevent conditions such as constipation and diarrhea
- They protect you against diseases such as the common cold
Should children eat probiotic food?
Children normally create their microbiome in the womb, and the process continues throughout their childhood.
There’s no enough evidence to prove the effects of probiotics for kids. However, there are many benefits that your child stands to gain by taking probiotics.
Are there any side effects of probiotics in children?
It is not clear whether there are side effects in children who take probiotics. This is because the supplements are not tested or regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). But you should keep an eye for any symptoms and stop the probiotics immediately if they appear to worsen.