Infant probiotics have recently emerged in the market, and there are various concerns that parents have about their safety. Medically, probiotics are healthy bacteria which is excellent for the digestive system and immunity.
However, there is yet uncertainty in the research that’s going on in infant probiotics. Various studies have shown that probiotics for infants reduce acid reflux, constipation, and colic in infants.
Many parents have admitted that infant probiotics have helped them save money since they dramatically reduced visits to the pediatrician. So, let’s dive into it and learn about it more.
The Safety of Infant probiotics
The good news is that probiotics for infants have shown positive results. However, it cannot be taken as a guarantee, as no sizeable medical body backs up the efficacy of probiotics in babies.
A smart way is to consult a doctor before feeding it to your baby. However, remember the following points before discussing.
- Different strains of infant probiotics work in different ways
- They are dietary supplements, as per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This means they are not regulated the same way medicines are
- There are no ideal doses that should be given to infants
- There can also be side effects like allergic reactions, stomach pains, diarrhea, gas and bloating
Even though dietary supplements are not harmful all the time, it is safer to consult your doctor before buying them. Infants require special attention, and probiotics should not be taken unless the doctor recommends them.
What Are Probiotics?
Probiotics have gained massive traction over the last decade because of their health benefits. For example, the National Health Interview Study in 2012 claimed that before the study was done, 4 million adults and 300,000 children had already used probiotics while experiencing positive health benefits.
Consider probiotics as an umbrella term for all the different types that are good for your body. Probiotics are excellent in maintaining a perfect balance of good bacteria in the digestive tract.
Many regular food items contain probiotics, too, such as.
- Other Dairy Products
The most common strains of bacteria present in infant probiotics are.
- Saccharomyces boulardii
Most adults have these required bacteria present in their bodies. However, consuming probiotics increases the number of good bacteria, creating a more substantial barrier in the digestive tract against infection.
Infants have a sterile GI system when they are born. So, infant probiotics are a dietary supplement that is good at filling the gap. Over time, as the babies grow into adults, they will have stronger immunity and digestive systems.
Infants are commonly prone to conditions like constipation and pain on several occasions. The symptoms can be constipation and stomach pains. This continues till the baby has built the bacteria. Colic is a common occurrence in infants.
The baby acquires probiotics naturally as he intakes breast milk, formula, and with time food. However, the lack of good bacteria depends on multiple factors like delivery method, gestational age, and whether they took antibiotics in the early stage of their life.
Infant probiotics have significant benefits like boosting good bacteria levels, balancing the types of bacteria in the body, eliminating symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, and preventing diarrhea caused by infection or antibiotic use at an early age.
However, there is yet no concrete evidence of the safety of probiotics. Hence, it is suggested that you discuss it with a doctor before giving it to your baby.