Probiotics


My daughter is fed via g-tube for medical reasons.  This doesn’t actually have much to do with today’s post on probiotics, except for one thing which I”ll tell you at the end.

According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary a probiotic is “a prepartion containing live bacteria (as lactobacilli) that is taken orally to restore beneficial bacteria to the body”.  Translation of probiotic:  for life.

History shows probiotics in the form of fermented milk products have been around for literally thousands of years. They were used to improve appetite, and treat dysentery (diarrhea).   Eastern Europeans have long been found to live  more than 100 years, still actively enjoying life. Frequently one of the notable differences in their lifestyles is consumption of yogurt (which contains probiotics)! A Nobel Prize winner in physiology and medicine in the early 1900’s discovered that many disease-producing organisms failed to develop, or died, in milk that contained lactobacillus.

Research has been done in countries around the world about the benefits of probiotics. The most prominent healthy bacterium in the small intestine is lactobacillus acidophilus.  Bifidobacterium bifidum is the healthy bacterium in the large intestine.  The super strains of these two bacterium  have proven antimicrobial and antifungal characteristics. There are lots of claims as to what probiotics can do. Whether or not they are all true is still being researched around the world.

Studies show probiotics:

  • can shorten the duration of infectious diarrhea in infants and children (such as rotavirus and C.diff)
  • reduce antibiotic-associated diarrhea
  • keep harmful microorganisms in check
  • aid digestion and nutrient absorption
  • contribute to immune function
  • may help people with Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome
  • may help maintain urogenital health (like the intestinal tract, the vagina is a finely balanced ecosystem)
  • may alleviate symptoms of eczema, asthma, and allergies

Probiotics are present in a normal digestive system. I have seen the benefits in my daughter’s health (and the rest of my family) from regular use of probiotics.  It is always best to work with a practitioner familiar with probiotics  to know which bacteria are best for your child.  We are blessed that our M.D. is PRO probiotics and mentions them at almost every visit!

The advantage for my g-tube fed daughter is that I can feed her the yogurt or the probiotic capsule (dissolved in water) through her g-tube, without resistance!  I dissolve the capsule enough to get the probiotics from inside it, pull the water and healthy bacteria into a syringe and voile’!

References:

Harvard Medical School “Family Health Guide” Sept. 2005 update

University of Michigan “Health System” March 6, 2006 newsroom update

“Pediatric Views” February 2007 article “Understanding pros and cons of probiotics” Children’s Hospital Boston interview of Athos Bousvaros, MD

http://www.usprobiotics.org

The Power of Probiotics by Natasha Trenev

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4 thoughts on “Probiotics

  1. I was sent your blog by Stacy harris and told that you have a lot of valuable information on your site. My little lady bug is 2. she had a NG placed at 8 months after several months of no weight gainand then a gtube at 11 months. In june of last year we had to switch to a g-j because of poor stomach emptying (or so they tell me) we are still not 100% sure what is causing her lack of weight gain (currently only 22lbs) and chronic stomach pain/poop problems etc. Our WONDERFUL GI believes it is Psuedo Obstruction. We also struggle daily with SPD, which is newly dx, extremely confusing and exhausting. I am not sure if this is a genetic struggle or because of her medical history, possibly a little of both.
    Anywho, just wanted to give you a brief history before my question that is actually related to this post! I am just curious what probiotic you are using? I have tried a couple but didnt notice much difference. I have heard that VSL#3 is good but also VERY expensive.
    Let me know!! Thanks so much for providing such a helpful site!!

    • Lindsay, I sent you an email with more details, but for anyone else wondering, I ask at the health food store for their recommendations. I use probiotics from the freezer section that are dairy-free, soy-free, yeast-free, etc. Currently I am using Natren.
      Hang in there – you sound like an awesome mom, your blog and Emma are ADORABLE!!! Take it one day at a time and know that you are a special mom, taking care of a special girl and you need to take your rest when you can get it.
      Lynn

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