OptiBac probiotics for your child’s health review part 1
Charlotte Stirling-Reed’s review of Optibac Probiotics for Children starts with an explanation of what probiotics are. Read on to find out about the benefits of probiotics to children’s health or go straight to the product review here.
Why are people talking about probiotics?
Use of probiotics has increased in popularity in recent years. This increase is based on the array of health benefits associated with probiotics and their avid promotion by both the media and manufacturers of medicines and supplements. Often referred to as ‘friendly bacteria’, probiotics (meaning ‘for life’) are natural, non-pathogenic-residents of the human digestive system.
What are probiotics?
Scientifically, probiotics are described as ‘live micro-organisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host’. Researchers are becoming increasingly convinced that probiotics are an essential link to good health and well-being, and may help us to get the most nutritional value from our food.
Are probiotics for children?
When I was asked to write a review on the OptiBac For your child’s health blend, I didn’t have to look very far to find data that support the use of probiotics by infants and children. Probiotic use is especially well documented for gastrointestinal (digestive system) health and the treatment of diarrhoea in infants and children. The benefits of probiotics may occur due to the friendly bacteria competing with ‘harmful bacteria’ or pathogens for nutrients, space and other factors in the digestive tract, as well as helping in the digestion of food.
Studies indicate that probiotic supplements are beneficial to premature babies who often have abnormal patterns of bowel bacteria compared to term infants. In such cases, probiotics act to reduce the number of harmful bacteria, strengthen baby’s immune system and reduce baby’s dependence on intravenous.
Formula-fed babies and infants may also benefit from probiotics. Compared to breastfed babies, they have reduced exposure to the helpful gut bacterium – Bifidobacteria – which passes from mother to baby in breast milk.
Research also suggests that probiotic intake may also support the immune system generally. For example, stimulation of the infant’s immune system may help prevent atopic eczema. A huge body of evidence supports the safety of probiotics. In Europe, any dietary supplements for use by infants and children must go through very specific safety and health checks before being allowed onto the market.
Author Disclosure: I was provided with samples for the purposes of this review. All opinions are my own.
Mindful Mum Disclaimer: This content had been paid for or otherwise remunerated, through our Media & Ad Network partnership with MDBG.
1 WHO (2002), Guidelines for the Evaluation of Probiotics in food, Working Group Report. Canada
2 FAO/WHO (2001), Paper presented at: Joint FAO/WHO Expert Consultation on Evaluation of Health and Nutritional Properties of Probiotics in Food Including Powder Milk with Live Lactic Acid Bacteria; 2001; Cordoba, Argentina.
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