Are Probiotics Safe To Use For Infants?
Probiotics are one of the most exciting discoveries in recent years. Actually made up of live and beneficial bacteria, probiotics have been demonstrated to help with a variety of different conditions, and to provide a variety of different health benefits. In terms of infants, it has been shown that probiotics can provide a number of benefits, from helping to reduce colic to possibly even preventing, or at least delaying, the onset of certain conditions like asthma and eczema. Probiotics are considered safe for infants to use, except in certain types of circumstances.
To understand why it is that probiotics can be safe to use for infants, it is important to understand what probiotics are. The bacteria that make up probiotics are not what we think of when we usually think of bacteria. Rather, these bacteria are the bacteria that can be found in the digestive system. These bacteria make up the gut flora, which is just another way of talking about the environment inside of the digestive system. The gut flora are responsible for a number of important tasks like aiding digestion and synthesizing vitamins. Here is where probiotics tend to help with colic. Probiotics like L. reuteri Protectis work so well as part of gut flora that they tend to help the stomach tolerate foods much easier. Gut flora also can boost the immune system, which is how probiotics can affect asthma.
In some cases, probiotics should not be used for certain infants. This is generally the case when an infant already has a compromised immune system due to one condition or another. Probiotics have not yet been proven to be harmful in this case, but there is some evidence to suggest that they could pose certain dangers. If your infant falls into this category, it is best to speak with your health care provider before using probiotics or before using any other sort of medicine or supplement for your infant.
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