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Health And Family

WATCH: Spanish scientist explains good bacteria benefits for back-to-school kids

Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines — During birth, bacteria, including probiotics, are transferred from mother to baby as it passes through the vaginal canal. The presence of good bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract protects the baby from diseases and infections, said Dr. Eduardo Lopez-Huertas, a research scientist and author of published clinical researches on babies’ nutrition and health.

Women who deliver babies by CS are less likely to breastfeed or delay breastfeeding initiation. It has been shown that CS-born babies possess less beneficial bacteria and more potentially pathogenic bacteria in the gut. This increases the risk of diseases later on in life like asthma or atopic dermatitis.

For CS-born babies who cannot be breastfed, infant nutrition containing a combination of l.fermentum and GOS may be considered.

“For babies who cannot be breastfed, the combination of the breastmilk probiotic l.fermentum and the prebiotic GOS in infant nutrition presents advantages regarding community-acquired infections mainly gastrointestinal infections. In addition, for babies born by CS who cannot be breastfed a formula with pre and probiotics should be considered due to its possible benefits,” Lopez-Huertas said.

 

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are live microorganisms that help maintain the balance of good and bad bacteria in the digestive tract. It works like this: A human digestive tract has about 100 trillion healthy bacteria. Bacteria aid in digestion and help the body defend itself against illness.

 

Benefits of probiotics

  • Can aid with immunity and help protect from common cold and flu.

Recent studies published in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition & Pharmacological Research reveal that a combination of the probiotic lactobacillusfermentum and prebioticgalacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) given to babies over a six-month period significantly reduced the rate of gastrointestinal and respiratory infection in babies between 6-12 months of age.

  • Reduced gastrointestinal infections

It was demonstrated that l.fermentum was safe and well tolerated in babies from one to 12 months of age. As a secondary outcome, the consumption of the combination of l.fermentum and GOS  improved the health of  infants (one to six months) by reducing the incidence of gastrointestinal infections by 71 percent.

Kids tend to have a higher risk of getting digestive health-related diseases such as diarrhea and constipation from harmful bacteria. A stomachache is not only uncomfortable; it alters the child’s mood and his or her attitude for the day.

Experts say probiotics may help ease your child’s digestive disorders and make potty training more manageable.

  • Less risk of upper respiratory infections

Breastmilk is the gold standard in infant nutrition and exclusive breastfeeding is the recommended way of feeding infants. The new study shows that, if breastfeeding is not possible due to the mother’s condition, infant nutrition may be an alternative. Breastmilk contains lactic acid bacteria like bifidobacteria and lactobacillus, including l.fermentum, and prebiotics containing galactose. The administration of l.fermentum in infant nutrition to babies between six to 12 months of age produced reductions of gastrointestinal infections (46 percent) and reductions of upper respiratory infections (27 percent) such as common cold, pharyngitis, tonsillitis.

  • Lessened infant colic, bloating and flatulence

Every person, child or adult, needs a balance of good bacteria in the body. However, this balance is easily upset by a number of factors such as a poor diet, stress or taking antibiotics and other medication.

Children can get probiotics from eating yogurt and beverages that contain probiotics. The amount and quality of probiotics in those food and beverages, however, may not be enough.

Available in Mercury Drug by June, Erceflora ProbiBears is a tummy chewable supplement with the combined 2-in-1 probio-booster of Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium lactis – good bacteria that help prevent gut problems such as diarrhea, upset stomach, and other digestive illnesses.

Lactobacillus is good bacteria that are present in a lot of food. A study has shown that Lactobacillus was an effective treatment against infant colic and even helped improve immunity. Bifidobacterium, on the other hand, helps ease digestive issues such as bloating and flatulence. It also has a longer shelf life.

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