Probiotics Are Good Bacteria
Your body is home to billions of organisms like bacteria, fungi and yeasts. Most of these organisms are harmless and many help your body work properly they form whats called the human microbiome.
Probiotics are some of the helpful good bacteria that make up your microbiome, explains Dr. Drass. They come in supplement form, but they also occur naturally in certain foods.
These fermented and aged foods are packed with probiotics:
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Can Baby Probiotics Help With Acid Reflux
Reflux is a common gastrointestinal disorder in the first year of life and can affect up to 40% of infants between two and four months old. For most babies, the frequency of reflux decreases as they get older.
Regurgitation and acid reflux becomes an issue for babies when it is a frequent occurrence, causing failure to thrive and other health conditions.
Current research on how effective probiotics are in addressing infant acid reflux is limited. But data from small studies are promising and may help reduce gut-related symptoms when taken as prescribed. The key to adding probiotics is finding the right strain for the ailment that youre looking to address.
In one study, researchers used a combination of B. infantis Bb-02, B. lactis Bb-12, and S. thermophilus TH-4 which helped reduce the incidence of acid reflux. Another small study used L. reuteri DSM 17938 and showed improvements in regurgitation issues for infants.
Which Probiotics Are Best For Bloating And Gas
Probiotic dietary supplements restore balance to the gut. By having a sufficient amount of good bacteria in our colons and digestive tracts, we reduce negative side effects like gas and bloating. Its even been shown that probiotics can increase gut motility, speeding up digestion, so things dont get backed up.
If you suffer from bloating and gas, it is most important to figure out what the cause is so that you can work against this. For example, if you have a food allergy or sensitivity to dairy and this causes bloating and gas, then it is a good idea to avoid dairy-rich foods.
That said, taking a probiotic supplement with key beneficial bacteria that restore and maintain a healthy gut microbiome can be very helpful in reducing bloating and gas.
Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are the two probiotic strains that scientists have demonstrated to be most helpful during trials on patients with IBS, SIBO, or Functional Abdominal Bloating and Distention .
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How Do Probiotics Help
Although its well known that probiotics influence the health of the gut, how they do so remains a mystery, Greer told Healthline, I would certainly feel better about this study if anyone could explain how probiotics make colic better.
Colic, while common and not life-threatening, can send even the most patient parents over the edge. Babies believed to have colic cry for at least three hours per day, at least three days per week.
The exact cause of colic is unknown. Hunger, acid reflux, gas, cows milk proteins in breast milk, and overfeeding may all contribute to stomach problems associated with an uncomfortable baby.
To think that colic can be cured by something as simple as a single probiotic is very unlikely, Greer said. It may help some babies with colic, but certainly not all.
The study reported that infants who received the probiotic cried for about 38 minutes at a time, as opposed to 71 minutes. They spat up three times a day versus almost five times a day compared to infants who received a placebo.
The study involved 554 newborns in nine hospital pediatric units.
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Development Of The Gut Microbiome
Babies begin to develop their unique intestinal bacterial profile, known as the gut microbiome, even before birth as they are exposed to bacteria in the womb. During the birth process, the gut becomes further colonized with bacteria from the mother.
A 2019 study found that 63% of infants’ gut bacteria matched their mother’s bacterial profile, demonstrating that maternal health directly affects babies’ health from birth.
Other factors that influence strains of gut bacteria in early life include exposure to antibiotics, premature birth, genetics, and nutrition. Breast milk naturally contains probiotics, and while many infant formulas have probiotics added to them, the research is unclear on whether they provide the same benefits for gut health.
Benefits Of Probiotic Supplements For Babies
Theres still a lot of research that needs to be done on giving probiotics to infants, says Carrie Kaufmann, a pediatric nurse practitioner at Stanford Childrens Health in Palo Alto, California, adding that she doesnt see it as a necessary supplement for every baby.
There are some cases where a probiotic supplement may be beneficial, though, including:
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Mary Ruths Liquid Probiotic For Infants
Why its great: Soothing and supporting our babies overall health is a goal all of us mommas have, and this infant probiotic delivers. This proprietary blend is intended for babies 0-12 months. Each bottle contains 84 servings of organic probiotics , which is more than most of the other options. Another added bonus, unlike some probiotics, this blend doesnt require refrigeration.
Keep in mind: This probiotic isnt flavored, so some babies have an aversion to the taste .
Good for: Mommas with multiple babies needing probiotics, as the bottle is bigger than most of its competitors.
Challenges To Implementation: Parents Will Need To Purchase The Probiotics
As with any nonFDA-regulated product, it will be important to guide patients toward reputable manufacturers to ensure homogeneity of dosing. A 29-day supply of BioGaia probiotic drops , which costs $37 according to the manufacturers Web site, , should be affordable for most parents. Otherwise, little stands in the way of using this therapy to reduce the crying and subsequent stress associated with infant colic.
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Are Infant Probiotics Safe
Although few studies have specifically focused on the safety of probiotics, they have an extensive history of safe consumption by both humans and animals.
After all, they are a natural part of our diet!
Natural sources of probiotics include dairy products with live cultures such as yogurt and kefir, fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut and pickles, and probiotic drinks such as kombucha.
The most important safety consideration with probiotics relates to buying them in supplemental form, which is usually packaged as a powder, capsule, or drops. Consumers should purchase a reliable brand that delivers the precise strain of bacteria youre looking for. When ordering supplements, it is also important to pay attention to any storage instructions, as some must be kept cold.
Ways To Sooth Colicky Babies
Some colicky babies just cant be soothed, but there are several interventions that parents can try out.
- Cuddle, rock, or gently bounce the baby
- Massage the belly with gentle, clockwise strokes to release gas
- Take the baby out for a ride in a stroller or car
- Use a white noise machine
- Use angled baby bottles to reduce air swallowing and gas
- If breastfeeding, remove dairy, soy and other allergens from the mothers diet
- Prevent any exposure to tobacco
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Caveats: Will It Work For Bottle
This study was conducted in exclusively breast-fed, healthy infants whose mothers avoided dietary cows milk, which limits its applicability to a more general infant population. The study was funded by the makers of the probiotic, but the rigorous study design with random allocation, double-blind design, and intention-to-treat analysis makes bias unlikely. Although no adverse effects were reported during this study, there is little available evidence about the long-term effects of probiotics in infants. As L reuteri are naturally occurring gut bacteria, however, it seems unlikely that it would be harmful in the long term.
A Distressing Problem With Few Remedies
Despite the ubiquity and frustration that accompany colic, its exact etiology remains unclear and effective treatments remain elusive. With very little quality evidence to support interventions for colicky infants, we often have nothing more than grandmotherly advice to offer parents of babies with this vexing condition.
Current guidelines recommend only one strategy for breastfeeding mothers: a lowallergen diet. However, recent studies suggest that low counts of intestinal lactobacilli may play a role in colic and have documented improved symptoms after treatment with lactobacilli compared with treatment with simethicone.- Infant formulas that contain probiotics are now available, as a result.
Although the results of the recent studies have been promising, they were not double-blinded or placebo-controlled. The study detailed here is the first to provide compelling evidence for a safe intervention for colicky breastfed infants.
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Treating Gas And Bloating
Belly bloat and gas pains are most often treated with dietary changes and lifestyle modifications. Changing what you eat may help reduce the amount of gas that you produce or help gas move through your system more quickly. Some find that keeping a journal of what they eat may help to pinpoint problem food items, while others find that smaller portions and making a point to thoroughly chew food is more effective.3
If youre a smoker, you might be swallowing excess air with every cigarette. Quitting can drastically affect your overall health, as well as reduce the potential for gas pains. Regular exercise has been found to be beneficial to your digestive system. It reduces the risk of constipation, which can cause a buildup of gas in your colon, leading to uncomfortable bloating.3
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What Are The Benefits Of Probiotics For Babies
Different strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium bacteria offer distinct benefits .
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Zarbee’s Naturals Baby Daily Probiotic Drops
Why its great: The Zarbees brand was created by a pediatrician and father that wanted to make products that were chemical-free and made from natural ingredients. The probiotic drops are just one of the many products the company makes. They include 2 strains of probiotics that are great for gut health and decreasing colic and gas in infants.
The dropper is easy to use and get an accurate dosage. Plus, this can be used right away for newborns. Plus, this one doesnt need to be refrigerated, however, it does need to be kept in a cool, dry place.
Keep in mind: This is a smaller bottle and only contains 30 doses, so it doesnt last as long as some of the other options.
Good for: Parents that want to make sure their babys probiotic is composed of all natural ingredients.
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What Role Probiotic Supplements Play For Formula
For formula-fed babies, there are options for formulas that have been fortified with probiotics along with all the other nutrients your little one needs. The inclusion of probiotics in baby formulas not only reflects the natural contents of breast milk but also helps to promote a healthy balance of bad and good bacteria in your babys gut. These probiotics work alongside your baby’s microflora to improve your baby’s wellbeing. As an added advantage, a probiotic enriched formula may help to prevent or treat tummy problems.
Why Is My Baby More Gassy At Night
Gas accumulation is a function of gut motility and positioning. As our body rests, our digestion slows. Gut slowing results in more gas buildupOrr WC. Gastrointestinal Functioning During Sleep: A New Horizon in Sleep Medicine . Sleep Med Rev. 2001 5:91-101. . During the night, you and I have the luxury of moving our bodies when we feel this discomfort. Our body movement releases any trapped gas bubbles, allowing us to burp or fart to relieve the painful pressure.
Babies cant freely move while they sleep. At night, we tightly swaddle our babies and lie them on their backs to sleep. This technique is important for infant soothing and decreasing the risk of SIDS, but limits the movement of tummy bubblesTASK FORCE ON SUDDEN INFANT DEATH, S. Y. N. D. R. O. M. E. SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Updated 2016 Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment. Pediatrics. 2016 138. . Tummy gas builds during quiet rest until the pain wakes your baby up.
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