Metro Mama & Metro Baby

By Patricia Wersinger

Did you know that about 80% of our immune system originates in the gut and that without the trillions of beneficiary bacteria in it we could not survive? Most of us, however, don’t have enough of these healthy bacteria that help prevent the production of toxic substances in our intestines. High fat, high sugar diets, tap water, caffeine, alcohol, preservatives and stress destroy intestinal friendly bacteria. Our abuse of antibiotics has also depleted our immune system and made us vulnerable to super bugs. Taking probiotics helps reestablish the right balance between good and bad bacteria and build up our immune system.

In the cold season, probiotics help increase our immune resistance and prevent disease and in turn, the need to take antibiotics. If you are pregnant or contemplating pregnancy, taking probiotics is recommended by doctors to strengthen your body and protect your future baby.

According to research, probiotics are also good for digestive support and help children absorb the nutrients in their food better. Probiotics are also beneficial in the treatment of allergies. They have been proven to support the intestinal lining by prohibiting allergens from entering the digestive track. Probiotics are also effective in the treatment and prevention of eczema. Probiotics come in all sizes and forms these days so I decided to sort through the different brands and present my favorites.

Dr. Shahani was a foremost pioneer of probiotics who discovered the DDS-1 strain of Lactobacillus acidophilus that predominates in the small intestine. The Dr.Shahani’s ™ Lactobacillus Acidophilus DDS – 1 Probiotic strain is especially recommended for adults who have yeast infections, skin problems, diarrhea, bad breath, stomach ulcers or gas. It is of human origin and adapts better to the human gastrointestinal tract. This brand helps to digest proteins and carbohydrates. It also produces B vitamins, folic acid, enzymes and natural acids to help digestion. The body produces Acidophilin, a natural antibiotic-like substance that suppresses pathogenic bacteria such as E.coli and salmonella, after it takes this probiotic. Pro-Flora™ Children’s Chewables contain two probiotic strains, the Lactobacilllus Acidophilus and the Bifidobacterium Bifidum that colonize in the large intestine and colon. The combination works synergistically to maintain great protection for the digestive system of children. Each tablet contains over 1.5 billion live organisms. The raspberry taste is delicious and really appealing to children and adults alike. It contains Sucrose and Ascorbic Acid. More information on Dr Shahani’s L.Acidophilus and Pro-Flora ™ Children’s Chewables is available at http://www.drshahaniprobiotics.com.

If your digestion needs a boost or you suffer from allergies, the Vidazorb Daily for daily digestive support provides nutritional support. The strain of Probio-Tec ™ L.Acidophilus and La-5 ™ used in this formulation provides a healthy colony of beneficial probiotic bacteria. It helps build vitamins including B-12. There is no artificial color or flavor but a light natural lemon taste with Sucralose added to it. Vidazorb™ Super C with enhanced antioxidant support also contains Bifidobacterium, BB-12™ and Masquelier’s OPC and vitamin C for increased antioxidant support, cardiovascular support and healthy immune protection. It has a delicious pineapple and orange natural taste. Vidazorb Belly Boost for kids helps kids absorb nutrients better and address the specific immune and digestive needs of children. Caesarean delivery and bottle – feeding can result in inadequate microflora in the infant gut that can cause allergies and gastrointestinal diseases. Belly Boost ™ uses Chr. Hansen’s clinically substantiated probiotics, Probio-Tech ™.Bificobacterium , BB -12 ™ and S.themophilus TH-4™. These two strains have been found to be effective for children with viral and antibiotic associated diarrhea. Children with severe food allergies or eczema are prime beneficiaries of a probiotic such as Belly Boost in their daily diet. The story of Ethan, a little boy born with severe food allergies and a horrible case of eczema, is told on the Vidazorb website. He suffered from red itchy skin and was only cured after taking Vidazorb probiotics on a daily basis. You can check before and after photos and read the moving testimony of his journey back to health at http://www.vidazorb.com

Culturelle Probiotics for Kids offer the first dairy-free probiotic that comes in little packets to dissolve in a bottle or sippy cup unnoticeably for the infant or toddler who cannot (or like mine, refuses) to take anything solid in his mouth. Lactobacillus GG is the most studied probiotic in kids and is proven safe and effective for infants as well as small children. Your child will not even know it is there because there is no taste. Taking probiotics is always good for children but especially for children with milk protein allergies or babies who are not breastfed enough. In order to make up for natural probiotics deficiency in case of milk intolerance, taking probiotics regularly like Culturelle is highly recommended. Culturelle Probiotics for Kids alleviate tummy troubles, reduce digestive upset, replenish good bacteria in body, help in digesting food or in alleviating poor nutrition. Culturelle contains no sucrose, no corn syrup or artificial coloring, flavor, sweetening or preservatives. It is dairy and gluten free and contains no allergens. http://www.culturelle.com

Whether you are an adult or a child, you should consider taking probiotics to strengthen your immune system and help fence off bad bacteria in your gut. Studies have also shown that children probiotics aid in oral hygiene and limit dental cavities. These three brands offer exceptional quality and are recommended for your family’s protection.

Disclaimer: Before you or your child take any oral supplements, consult your doctor and/or pediatrician.

Originally published February 2011
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