Why should I give my children probiotics?

Why should I give my children probiotics?

All parents want to support their children’s health, but with busy schedules, fussy eaters and processed foods, children often do not meet all of their recommended daily value of nutrients. Research is beginning to show that one of the most important ways to support your child’s health is to start from the inside out – with their gut. Probiotics can be an easy addition to their daily routine to boost their gut health, which in turn impacts their digestion, immune health, skin health and mental wellbeing.

The human microbiome (gut bacteria) is established at birth and by the age of three the composition of the microbiome is complete, so if your child is generally fit and healthy you might wonder why it is important for them to continue looking after their gut bacteria?

Well, the balance of the gut microbiome is very important and a child’s population of friendly bacteria can be easily disrupted. In fact, the childhood years can be a very challenging time for the microbiome. Factors such as school, stress, high sugar & low fibre diet, medications/antibiotics, and busy lifestyles can all impact your child’s microbiome composition and reduce levels of friendly bacteria. So giving your children probiotics can provide them with that extra support they may need in the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Benefits of probiotics for children include:

Digestion and energy
Your child is growing very quickly and, as such, it’s vital they are digesting their food and absorbing the nutrients well. Our microbiome provides digestive enzymes to help children to break down their food. Plus, they support a healthy gut environment ensuring good nutrient absorption. Many microbes in our gut can also produce essential vitamins.

Supporting immunity
With 70% of our immune system being located in the gut, you can support your child’s immunity with probiotics. Our microbes essentially act as teachers, they help ensure the immune system is responding to threats appropriately. Probiotics can even become part of our friendly bacteria barrier, which protects our gut cells and immune system.

Mood and wellbeing
Approximately 1 in 9 children between age 5-15 suffers from a mental health disorder in the UK (1). Probiotics may be able to modulate our mood via the gut-brain axis. It’s estimated that 90% of serotonin, otherwise known as our ‘happy hormone’ (although it is actually a neurotransmitter), is produced in the gut. The neurotransmitter GABA is important for helping us to ‘switch off’ and sleep. GABA can be produced by friendly bacteria in the gut such as Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli.

Skin health
Children often suffer from skin problems such as eczema or pre-teen acne and the gut-skin axis is starting to be explored. Research is starting to show that conditions such as acne, eczema and psoriasis are all linked to gut health and probiotics may be able to improve skin health by supporting a healthy gut lining, increasing the levels of good bacteria in the gut, and calming down inflammation.

 Baba West Multibiotic & Multivitamin
Any supplement is only as good as a child’s willingness to take it and parents know that children can be finicky about the taste no matter how nutritious. This is why the Baba West multibiotic formula comes in a delicious natural strawberry flavour and contains a mix of vitamins, minerals and probiotics, specifically developed to support your child’s microbiome and to supplement their diet.

 

  • H. Foundation, "Mental Health Foundation," 23 November 2018. [Online]. Available: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/blog/what-new-statistics-show-about-childrens-mental-health.

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