Probiotics in infant food

Probiotics in infant food

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It's been decades since the arrival of probiotics on the market, but from then until now, the variety of probiotic strains, as well as the diversity of foods that contain them, have grown like foam. Specifically, products for children are increasingly varied and numerous.

Are probiotics good for kids, or is it just a myth?

According to who, probiotics are live microorganisms which, when supplied in adequate amounts, promote benefits in the health of the body. In particular, one of the main functions of probiotics is to maintain balance in the intestinal microflora.

The bacteria present in the gastrointestinal tract are in direct communication with the immune system, so that, if the microflora is damaged, it directly affects the body's defenses, putting them at risk. The microflora is believed to be definitively established around 2 years. Therefore, in the first years of a child's life, with their immune system still forming, and their microflora gradually establishing themselves, any setback can affect them.

Research in recent years reveals that probiotics can be beneficial for a multitude of diseases, mainly gastrointestinal in nature, and especially to strengthen the immune system when it is damaged.

1. After administration of a course of antibiotics, the intestinal microflora is seriously damaged, so that the possibility of contracting a secondary infection is high. Probiotics, in general, can help restore that intestinal microflora and therefore to reduce the risk of secondary infections, helping the immune system.

2. They are also beneficial in diarrheal episodes, especially those whose origin is bacterial and those caused by the cycle of antibiotics itself, being convenient to consume them at the same time as the antibiotic itself, in order to avoid the appearance of the episode of diarrhea itself. In the case of children, who often fall ill frequently in the early years, it may be advantageous to consider probiotics as an aid to their recovery, although no improvement has been observed in the health of healthy children who consume them regularly. .

3. Certain probiotics also have benefits for lactose intolerant children, since they soften the symptoms and help the digestion of lactose, which is why they are an interesting alternative to keep dairy products, so rich in calcium, in the diet of the lactose intolerant child.

4. Some studies suggest that probiotics also protect against neonatal necrotizing enterocolitis, a fairly serious disease whose cause is still unknown, in which the tissues of the wall of the gastrointestinal tract begin to swell and die. In this case, supplementation with probiotics in premature babies born weighing more than 1.5kg significantly reduces the appearance of this disease and also reduces its aggressiveness.

However, the variety of probiotic strains is wide, and each of them or their combinations can have different properties, so it is not convenient to generalize as to the benefits they can provide. It is also important to differentiate dairy derivatives with probiotics from yogurts, since they are not attributed the same properties.

You can read more articles similar to Probiotics in infant food, in the Infant Nutrition On-Site category.