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Choosing The Right Probiotics For Infants

Choosing the right probiotics for infants is very essential. If you have a colicky baby, a baby with GI issues, or even a baby with eczema, you may have heard of probiotics as a possible treatment. 

A probiotic is a living bacteria or yeast. Most probiotics come in the form of live bacteria, which are often called good bacteria. Probiotics are not harmful to the body, unlike bad bacteria that can cause illnesses. When you consume probiotics, they are intended to provide health benefits. A probiotic usually lives in the gut and helps to maintain a natural balance of gut bacteria, which aids digestion and proper GI function. Probiotics have been used to treat colic, GI issues, and eczema in infants, but more research is needed to determine if they are truly effective.

 

Why Use Probiotics For Infants?

Gut health is important for future well-being. During infancy, having enough good bacteria in the gut helps build up the immune and digestive system of the infant. As a result, it lays the foundation for a healthy life. 

Babies are not born with all the good bacteria they need in the gut. Their GI tract starts weaker, so they are more susceptible to infections and GI conditions such as colic or reflux. Probiotics can help build-up, or restore, the good bacteria in the GI tract.

 

Choosing The Right Probiotics 

Choosing the right probiotic for your baby may seem overwhelming, but by prioritizing what’s most important: strain, transparency, quality, and live bacteria, you can find the right one.

To help parents navigate the hundreds of options of probiotics out there, these are the tips for what to specifically look for: 

  • Strain Matters

When choosing a probiotic, it is important to look for the specific name and strain of the bacteria. Research has proven that B. infantis is the most important good gut bacteria for infants. B. infantis is unique in that it’s the only bacteria that can convert special carbohydrates found in breastmilk, called Human Milk Oligosaccharides (HMOs), into important nutrients for the baby. 

  • Look for a Refrigerated Option

Probiotics for infants must contain live bacteria, which is why they must be stored at a low temperature because the bacteria are highly sensitive to heat. Make sure you choose refrigerated options and put them in the refrigerator or freezer immediately after purchase. 

  • High CFU or Multi-strain Probiotics Aren’t Always Best

It is a common misconception that a higher CFU or a blend of multiple strains, equals a more effective probiotic, but this simply isn’t true. Probiotics for infants must contain the specific strain that has been clinically shown to colonize the infant's gut and provide benefit to your baby. 

  • Look for a Probiotic That’s Transparent About Their Strain

It is important to look for brands that have published their clinical safety and efficacy data. This is important to make sure that what you are giving your baby is safe and effective.v

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