Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Benefits of Probiotics

I was so delighted to see an article in our local newspaper about a recent study by the American Academy of Pediatrics recently published in the journal Pediatrics discussing the "possibility" of benefits from probiotic usage in children.  

To view that abstract, click here.

First of all, let me just say I have no doubt in my mind that it isn't just a "possibility" but that there are great benefits to probiotics for most children and adults.

Humans have well over 500 different bacteria living naturally in our stomach and intestinal tract and these bacteria play a vital role in our body's health.  The study used examples of the benefits of probiotic use in children.  It discussed:
  • probiotics, taken early during bouts of diarrhea from a viral infection, may shorten the duration of the illness in otherwise healthy individuals
  • probiotic use coinciding with the use of antibiotics will help prevent the side effect of diarrhea from the antibiotic use in individuals
Other known uses for probiotics (not proven in the study):
  • probiotic use can help with constipation
  • probiotic use can help with irritable bowel syndrome
  • probiotic use can help with Crohn's Disease
  • helps with eczema
  • helps with asthma
  • helps with acne (my dermatologist recommended it)
I know I've spoken about this in the past but for any of you who have not heard it, this is my example of the power of use in probiotics in infants:

When Park was born, I ended up with a UTI due to the catheter I was given during delivery.  Because of this, I was prescribed antibiotics.  I didn't know that because I used antibiotics, it passed through my breast milk and affected Park's already sensitive stomach.  He was a "gassy" infant and always seemed uncomfortable. Unfortunately, nothing I tried seemed to alleviate the problem.  I always felt bad for him and knew he would be a more relaxed infant if he didn't suffer from an upset stomach.

When he was 2 1/2 months old, I phoned my chiropractor because I had heard rumors that a simple adjustment in infants can help digestive problems.  Before we scheduled the appointment to bring Park in, my chiropractor asked me if I had ever taken antibiotics since delivering.  I explained that I had.  She suggested I try giving Park a probiotic for a few weeks and if that didn't help, then to bring him in.

So I picked up a probiotic suitable for infants from Whole Foods and began administering it to Park.  In only 3 days, and I'm not exaggerating, Park was a completely different child.  His gas was gone.  I felt horrible that all along it had been something I had done that made is poor little tummy hurt.  Fortunately, I discovered the root of the problem and knew how to fix it!

There really are so many great benefits to making sure your intestinal tract has a healthy amount of bacteria in it.  I hope they continue studying the importance of this bacteria on other parts of the human body so the public can be more aware of keeping up on probiotics, whether in food or supplements.  Now that I know more about the importance of probiotics, I've always made sure my family has an adequate amount...and I know we have benefited from it in many many ways. 

Below are some great resources for more information on benefits of probiotic usage:
Have a wonderful day,

Mommy Bridget


  1. Thanks for this ... I have been thinking about starting myself on a probiotic for awhile, but I didn't realize there was a growing body of scientific research on the subject. I'm glad to have the links and will be looking more into it!

  2. Our family can definitely verify how great they are too! Our son has had severe eczema and food allergies/intolerances and no one could help us figure out what was causing this or how to help him. The one and only thing that has helped him is his Belly Boost children's chewable probiotics. They began to help him immediately and we have been so shocked and thankful at the same time. I am so confident that probiotics have many great things to give us all. We have been through it and we have seen how amazing they are!

  3. Wow i didn't know the antibiotics can be passed through breast milk. It's a good thing Park recovered quickly from being gassy to being a healthy baby again :)

  4. It's nice to know that many are know aware of what benefits we can get from taking probiotics. This is something that can be of big help to our body.