Nurturing Tiny Tummies: The Significant Role of Probiotics and Prebiotics for Kids - Medical Pulse



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Probiotics and prebiotics: definitions and differences

THE probiotics are living microorganisms, mainly beneficial bacteria, which contribute to the proper functioning of our digestive system. They can be found in certain fermented foods such as yogurt or lacto-fermented vegetables, as well as in the form of dietary supplements.

THE prebiotics, on the other hand, are non-digestible compounds that stimulate the growth and activity of beneficial bacteria present in our intestine. They are mainly found in dietary fibers contained in certain fruits, vegetables and cereals.

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Role of probiotics and prebiotics in the development of the intestinal microbiota

In babies and children, a healthy balance between different species of intestinal bacteria is essential to ensure good digestion, strengthen the immune system and promote harmonious overall development. Probiotics help maintain this balance by colonizing the gut with good bacteria while prebiotics provide the food they need to thrive.

Breast milk: impact on the infant’s intestinal microbiota

Breast milk is the ideal source of nutrition for newborns and plays a key role in the development of the intestinal microbiota. It contains not only probiotics, but also prebiotics called oligosaccharides which promote the growth of beneficial bacteria.

Influence of mode of delivery on intestinal flora

The method of delivery (natural route or cesarean section) can also influence the composition of the newborn’s intestinal flora. Babies born vaginally are exposed to bacteria in their mother’s vaginal canal, which helps colonize their gut with a greater diversity of beneficial microorganisms. Conversely, babies born by cesarean section tend to have less diverse intestinal flora and may be more likely to develop certain conditions linked to microbiota imbalance, such as allergies or asthma.

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Diet adapted to support the digestive system of children

As children grow, it is important to adapt their diet to support their digestive system and strengthen their intestinal microbiota. A diet rich in fiber (fruits, vegetables, whole grains), fermented foods (yogurt, kefir) and low in added sugars helps maintain a good balance between the different species of bacteria present in the intestine.

Safe Use of Probiotic and Prebiotic Supplements in Young Children

The use of probiotic and prebiotic supplements may be considered to support the intestinal health of babies and children, particularly in cases of digestive disorders such as colic or diarrhea. However, it is essential to correctly choose the bacterial strains and the appropriate dose to ensure their safety and effectiveness.

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Several products specifically designed for this age group are available on the market, such as:

  • PEDIAKID® Diaréa®, a food supplement based on Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG which helps reduce the duration and intensity of diarrheal episodes in children.
  • Colicillus® Baby L. Reuteri+, an oral solution containing the Lactobacillus reuteri strain DSM 17938 which helps relieve colic in infants.
  • PEDIAKID® Probiotics-10M, a mixture of 4 microbiotic strains (Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis, Bifidobacterium bifidum) adapted to the needs of babies from the age of 1 month.

Nutritional advice

To support the intestinal microbiota of babies and children, it is important to offer them a varied and balanced diet, rich in fiber and fermented foods. Do not hesitate to consult a health professional before introducing probiotic or prebiotic supplements into your child’s diet.

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