Probiotics have become a buzzword over the last decade, capturing the attention of public health experts and nutrition specialists alike. They've found their way into supplements and infant formula. But what exactly are probiotics, and what benefits do they offer, especially for babies and infants? Let's explore the answers in this article.
Probiotics, also known as good bacteria, is a comprehensive term encompassing several live strains of microorganisms, often bacteria. These beneficial bacteria are beneficial for health as they help maintain the balance of bacteria in the digestive system. While our bodies naturally have beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract, consuming probiotic-rich foods or supplements increases their numbers for added benefits.
When babies are born, their digestive system is sterile and free of beneficial bacteria. This lack of bacteria can make them susceptible to digestive symptoms like colic, diarrhea, and constipation. However, over time, the infant's body acquires beneficial bacteria that protect their digestive system, strengthen their immune system, and guard against infections. Therefore, giving infants probiotics in the form of infant supplements or as an added component to formula provides several benefits:
It's essential to note that the benefits of probiotics for infants are only achieved through the consumption of probiotic supplements prescribed by a pediatrician or the intake of infant formula containing probiotics.
Probiotics should not be given to infants without the approval of a pediatrician, especially in the following cases:
While many foods contain beneficial bacteria, only a few are suitable for infants. Once your baby is accustomed to solid foods, and after consulting with a pediatrician, you can introduce them to fermented foods like yogurt or kefir. Mixing these with mashed fruits ensures your baby receives a nutritious meal with probiotics, promoting a healthy digestive system and a strengthened immune response.