Before pick out the best probiotic supplements, we’d like to understand what the probiotics is for firstly, and how we can call a probiotics product is the best probiotics.
What is the probiotics?
A definition from the World Health Organization, 2001:
Probiotics is live micro-organisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.
You can found these ‘friendly’ strains of bacteria in our dietary everywhere, in yogurt, cheese, and some fermented foods.
We calculate the number of live organism cells with CFU (Colony Forming Units).
Why do we need probiotics, especially for pregnant women and infants?
- Antibiotic-associated Diarrhea (AAD). Some evidence proved that probiotic shows benefits to support the treatment of AAD. This kind of AAD will happened among 20% of children after an antibiotic treatment.
- Infections. A few strains of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) may decrease the dental caries in children, reported by one clinical trials; these LAB product might be helpful for the children who are affected by rotavirus infections.
- Necrotizing enterocolitis. Some clinical researches proved that the probiotics possibly reduce the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis and the death rate in premature infants.
- Eczema. From 2007 to 2011, there were a lot of evidences found to prove the effectiveness from probiotics intake during pregnancy and infancy, reduced from 34% to 26% in the rate of atopic dermatitis in fourteen trial studies.
You may find some useful strains of probiotics when you’re conceived or nursing. Here is the benefits of different probiotics from recent research:
Lactobacillus paracasei St11 (or NCC2461):
Reduce the diarrhea rate in children;
Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM combined with Bifidobacterium animalis subsp lactis Bi-007:
Decrease running nose by 59%, coughing by 62%, fever by 73% and shorten the duration of above symptoms by 48%;
Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC 55730 (Lactobacillus reuteri SD2112):
Mitigation diarrhea in children; reduce crying in colicky babies; fever and diarrhea in children;
S. salivarius K12 (Bactoblis®, BLIS K12®):
Fewer throat infection, streptococcal infections reduced by 96%, viral oropharyngeal infections reduced by 80%
Lactobacillus reuteri Protectis (DSM 17938, daughter strain of ATCC 55730):
Shorten the duration in diarrhea children, reduce crying in colicky babies; reduce diarrhea rate in children; affect children’s chronic constipation and functional abdominal pain; decrease in feeding intolerance and hospitalization duration if given to premature babies;
Lactobacillus GG (a strain if Lactobacillus casei):
Reduce the severity and frequency of abdominal pain in the children aged from 5 to 14.
Lactobacillus fermentum CECT5716 or Lactobacillus salivarius CECT5713:
Helpful in the mastitis in breastfeeding mothers and a lower rate of recurrence of this inflection than those took an antibiotic;
Base on the current literature we had researched, taking probiotics when in pregnancy or lactating doesn’t have any evidence for adverse effect for women and fetuses or infants
What is the best probiotics for infants?
You may refer to following tips before pick out the best probiotic supplements.
1. It’s better if the probiotic has FOS (fructooligosaccharides, a kind of Prebiotics) essential in the supplement formula. FOS is an assistant fuel for bacteria bioactivity when absorbs in the gastrointestinal tract. It is termed synbiotics when combine probiotics and prebiotics in one capsule.
2. Take the proper strains of probiotics suits your specific purpose. As you know from the introduction of probiotics benefits listed above, for your daily health support you can choose a combined probiotics supplement. But you’d better find the right strain which shown to work for your condition.
3. Make sure if the dosage intake provides an adequate number of organisms for your symptom. From some clinical trials, you cannot see any benefit until you take enough dose probiotics.
4. The enteric coated or microencapsulation of the probiotics supplement can ensure the viability of organisms survive from stomach acid and break apart to release ingredients in small and large intestines.
5. Keep probiotic supplement out of heat, light and moisture. Some may need store in fridge after open.
6. Compare the price. We will compare the vary product and find the best probiotics supplement with best price-value ratio.
There are few probiotic supplements designed for infant or kids. Some of them were found contains less amount than their label from a testing report by ConsumerLab. Here we have some recommendations for different demands:
Best Probiotic Supplement for children over 3 months:
Garden of Life Raw Probiotics Kids, 96 Grams
Multiple strains of Lactobacillus gasseri, Lactobacillus plantarum, Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus acidophilus;
Supports digestive and immune system;
Inulin (a kind of prebiotic) supports the growth of probiotics;
23 RAW and organic fruits and vegetables;
5 billion CFU per serve for children over 3 months;
With USDA organic certification;
Store in a dry place at 71°F (22°C) or below. Best if refrigerated;
Best Probiotics for infants:
Gerber Soothe Colic Drops
Lactobacillus reuteri Protectis® (DSM 17938);
Shorten crying time 50%, relief from infancy colic;
100 million CFU, 5 drops per serving, safe for infants;
Store in a cool, dry place. Maximum 77°F/22°C
What is the probiotic side effects?
It is safe for most of the healthy people if take probiotics in an appropriate dose. Occasionally some people may feel a more digestive gas after a probiotic serving.
In some rare reports in 2012, two cases with eosinophilic syndrome (a kind of autoimmune disease) were in onset after taking probiotics. Another woman developed eosinophilic esophagitis several weeks after serving Pearl IC in 2012.
These reactions are uncommon, but we still need to watch out if any allergic reaction by your immune system after probiotics intake.
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