Probiotics in Childhood
Last week we covered Probiotics in Pregnancy and touched on how supplementing babies can help reduce the incidence of eczema and other allergies. But what about other common complaints in infancy? Can probiotics help there too?
Let's look at some of the usual suspects: Colic is something that has troubled parents forever! The worst thing about colic is that we don't really know exactly what causes it. Having said that, anyone who has ever tried to comfort a colicy baby knows it's usually tummy trouble so trying a probiotic would make sense. A recent study now shows that introducing a probiotic has seen crying in infants fall by at least 50%.
Another nightmare for new parents is reflux. (Not to be confused with 'happy pukers' it's totally normal for breastfed babies in particular to guzzle a little too much and then puke out the extra. It's part of their self regulation and why there is now a link between breastfeeding and reduced childhood obesity. If baby seems fine after they vomit you've probably got one of these!) Probiotics can be helpful here too. An Italian study has shown that probiotics can increase gastric emptying and therefore decrease the frequency of regurgitation.
Constipation is also a common digestive problem in small children. Studies have shown that taking a probiotic can increase stool frequency and improve the consistency of stools. It has also been found to reduce the frequency of faecal incontinence and significantly reduce tummy pain. Severity and duration of boughts of diarrhoea have also been reduced by taking a probiotic. One finnish study found that the probiotics successfully colonized the gut and reduced the duration of watery diarrhoea usually associated with the rotavirus.
In the ProChild study children were given either a placebo or Proven's Fit for School probiotic for six months. Children taking Fit for School had:
If you would like to know more or to discuss your probiotic needs with Beverley our registered Nutritional Therapist just pop into the shop: Nourishing Insights, 44 St Andrew Street, Aberdeen, AB25 1JA.
A. Bird Schreck et al. (2016) Probiotics for the Treatment of Infantile Colic: A Systematic Review. Journal of Pharmacy Practice p1-9.
F.Indrio et al. (2011) Lactobacillus reuteri accelerates gastric emptying and improves regurgitation in infants. European Journal of Clinical Investigation. 41(4) p 417-422.
N. Bekkali et al. (2007) The role of a probiotics mixture in the treatment of childhood constipation: a pilot study. Nutrition Journal. 6(17)
M. Tabbers et al. (2011) Is Bifidobacterium breve effective in the treatment of childhood constipation? Results from a pilot study. Nutrition Journal. 10(11)
A.V. Shornikova et al (1997) Bacteriotherapy with Lactobacillus reuteri in rotavirus gastroenteritis. The Paediatric infectious disease Journal 16(12) p 1103-1107.
I. Garaiova et al. (2015) Probiotics and vitamin C for the prevention of respiratory tract infections in children attending preschool: a randomised controlled pilot study. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 69 p.373-379.
Do you spend summer a snivelling mess constantly searching for a hankie? Hay fever is a sure fire sign for many that summer is on it's way, that first tell tale sneeze in late spring as everything starts to bloom. Yup it's tissue time again. If like me you can't leave the house without a packet of tissues at this time of year our salvation may have been found....Probiotics!
Researchers at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine have reviewed 23 studies analysing the most up to date data on the use of probiotics in the treatment of hay fever. They concluded that in the majority of studies patients symptoms improved significantly by using probiotic compared with those who don't.
So there you have it, teeny tiny microorganisms are the answer we've been looking for! There are a number of different options available and we usually advise on particular strains of bacteria based on other health challenges.
Other foods that can worsen symptoms are caffeine and alcohol and foods that contain histamine e.g., red wine, cheese, chocolate, and tomatoes. Wheat based foods can add to the inflammation for some and dairy products can increase mucus production as can sugar and excess starchy foods. Then there are those foods which are individual to you and these can be tested for via IgG Food Intolerance testing.
Foods that support hayfever sufferers are those that reduce inflammation. Oily fish which increases our omega 3 fatty acids is anti-inflammatory. We can also supplement with this especially over the season. Incorporate ginger, rosemary and thyme into your cooking. Make ginger teas from fresh ginger and nettle. These foods will help counteract a runny nose and itchiness.
Raw honey bought from local farms and bee keepers has been spoken about for a while and many have found taking a spoonful a day to be extremely helpful during pollen season.
Supplementing vitamin C is helpful as it’s a natural anti-histamine. Most important is ensuring a rainbow diet with lots of flavonoids and a good range of nutrients.
Another natural anti-histamine is quercetin found in foods such as red onion, peppers and citrus. This can be supplemented but if you are on medication, please contact a Nutritional therapist as it does have some drug nutrient interactions.
Tumeric is another favourite of ours for hay fever support as research published in the journal Molecular Nutrition and food research 2008 demonstrated that turmeric prevented mast cells from releasing histamine.
Oil of oregano has been shown in animal studies to prevent histamine release due to its component rosemarinic acid.
Two of our favourite products for hay fever prevention combine the above to take best advantage of the latest science. These are quercetin plus and Epigenar Curcumin oregano quercetin complex.
Whichever you go for, we hope that you will soon be able to leave your hankies at home!
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