Why Use Probiotics For Children?
There are two main classes of probiotics soil-based and dairy-based. The more common are the dairy-based bacterial strains that need to be refrigerated, because their effectiveness declines with time. You could be growing your own by using the yogurt or kefir culture on milk or coconut water. The less well known are the soil based microbes. They are the ones you would ingest when you pull a carrot from your garden, wipe it clean, and start eating.
They are able to become dormant, and can be stored in their natural medium, humic and fulvic acids, for a very long time, without refrigeration. To grow your own, you would be fermenting vegetables to make sauerkraut or kimchi. The mainstream food producers have noticed that probiotics work, but as usual have tried to reduce the cost by reducing the complexity. You cannot miss the advertisements for yogurt that makes your belly dance a happy Polynesian hula, but the scientific studies are coming back inconclusive.
Because they are trying to comply with the misguided rules set up to regulate pharmaceutical poisons, the producers are testing isolated strains for their effectiveness for a specifically defined condition. I found three large, randomized controlled trials that provided evidence of a very modest effect (statistically significant, but of questionable clinical importance) of some probiotic strains (Lactobaccillus GG, Lactobaccillus reuteri, Bifodobacterium lactis) on the prevention of community-acquired diarrhea.
They can point out conflicting evidence on the efficacy of Lactobacillus GG and B. bifidum and Streptococcus thermophilus in the prevention of nosocomial diarrhea in children. The conclusions are that probiotics offer significant help with watery diarrhea and viral gastroenteritis, but are not that effective in bacterial diarrhea. Early treatment is more effective than late, so having some on hand in your emergency kit is a good policy. Here is my bottom line: up until about 100 years ago, children were crawling on dirt floors between piglets, puppies and chickens.
They put everything they touched into their mouth, and developed a strong digestive and immune systems that way. The analogy I use is exercise: if you dont push against resistance, your muscles atrophy, because they are not needed. Here we are developing a strong internal flora that can overcome an infection easily. I am not suggesting that we go back to those days, because lack of hygiene also facilitates the spread of illness, but I want to point out that we are not supposed to be trying to live in a sterile world.
When an unexercised digestive system encounters some new strains on your trip to Mexico, it will give you the famous Montezuma’s Revenge. How come the locals are not troubled? The solution is to take several capsules of a high-grade soil-based probiotic, and in a few hours the whole situation can be resolved. Let me review: the reason Why we Use Probiotics For Children is to help them develop a healthy intestinal flora, to help them prevent catastrophic reactions, and to enjoy fast and regular elimination.