When it comes to buying probiotics for your child, here’s a short guide on what to look out for and be mindful of:
- Always go for ‘practitioner’ labeled probiotics that are kept in the fridge (to keep the bacteria alive). Note you have to keep the supplement bottle chilled until you get home and then straight away pop it in the fridge. Health pharmacies will often provide an ice pack for you to keep your probiotics cool until you get home.
- Consider where you’re buying your probiotics. Supermarkets and mainstream chemists are unlikely to have ‘practitioner’ grade products. Saying that they are becoming more available and some good chemists will stock them. I always get mine directly from my practitioner or in a health food store or a natural/health pharmacy.
- Probiotics used for adults and children differ greatly so always look for ‘practitioner’ only brands suitable for kids and check the age groups in the label along with the dosage recommendations.
- Make sure the probiotics are dairy free for bubs that have a sensitivity or allergy to dairy.
- Look for a high quality ‘multi-strain’ probiotic from different groups of good bacteria to ensure optimal results. Generally speaking the more good bacteria strains the better, so that it can help build diversity in your baby’s gut. Saying that beware of brands with 10+ strains with vague probiotic numbers (especially if they’re cheap). There’s a reasonable chance they’re padding out the product with fillers to try and make it look more impressive than it is. With probiotics you get what you pay for.
- Make sure your child’s probiotic has at least 5 – 10 billion+ CFU (Colony Forming Units). When there are billions of CFU of live probiotics being ingested, there is a better chance of survival rates reaching the gastrointestinal tract. The reason we need so many is because a lot of the ingested microorganisms wont survive the journey.
- Its not uncommon and often advised to switch up the probiotics from time to time so get exposure to other strains and colonies of bacteria.
- Speak to your practitioner about a probiotic formula that can help treat specific conditions such as eczema, asthma or allergies.
- Check out the below recommended probiotics for newborns, infants and children that are reasonably accessible now and of very high quality.
Recommended practitioner probiotics:
Flora Care For Kids by Metagenics
Ideal for everyday support of gut health and digestive function in children. The specific therapeutic probiotic strains found in this supplement are immuno-supportive and have been shown to assist in the treatment of dermatitis, food allergies, and the boosting of immunity to prevent respiratory tract infections in infants and children. This product is also designed to restore healthy gut flora following antibiotic use and to prevent infectious diarrhoea in children.
BabyBiotics 0+yrs by Bioceuticals
BabyBiotic 0+yrs is a dairy-free probiotic powder specifically designed to nurture healthy gastronintestinal microflora in neonates, infants and children. It combines Bifidobacterium breve, B, lactis and B. bifidum – three of the most common species of bifidobacteria present in the gastrointestinal tract of healthy breastfed newborns and infants.
Pro6-Infant 10 Billion CFU Probiotic Powder
Pro6-Infant probiotic powder is a practitioner quality gluten and dairy free Australian made infant specific formula containing 6 strains of beneﬁcial micro-organisms with 10 billion colony forming units (CFUs) per gram. It helps support normal immune system function and assists with the digestion and absorption of nutrients. It also contains
Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG which can help reduce the frequency and severity of mild abdominal pain in children with medically diagnosed Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
Eczema Shield by Ethical Nutrients
Designed to reduce the incidence of eczema and allergies in children. A clinical trial showed that when taken by mothers during pregnancy and breastfeeding,
Lactobacillus rhamnosus (LGG®) strain may:
• Reduce the incidence of children developing eczema.
• Reduce the symptoms of eczema such as itching and sleeplessness.
• Reduce the incidence of children with atopic conditions including allergic rhinitis and food allergy.
MultiGen Biotic by Bioconcepts
A multi-generational probiotic formula for infants, children, teenagers, pregnancy, adults and the elderly. MultiGen Biotic is formulated for all ages and sets a new industry benchmark for incorporating the most scientifically documented strains within a 9-strain 30 billion CFU probiotic formula.
– First to Australian clinical practitioners
– Present in more than 40 years of research and hundreds of scientific publications
– Naturally found in the gastrointestinal tract of healthy breastfed newborns and infants
– The predominant bacterial in the intestinal tract shortly after birth
Other great pharmaceutical grade brands include Biomedica, Medlab and Nutrition Care.
Always seek advice from an integrative practitioner to determine the best supplement support specific for your baby.