You will also find that some children’s multi-vitamin and mineral supplements have added probiotics. Corelab Advanced Children’s Multi Nutrient Probiotic Formula is one example of such a product.
If your child is an infant, then some of the supplements listed in the tables above may be suitable. There are also a good number of probiotic supplements, which are specially designed for babies. Have a look at our dedicated page on
probiotics for infants
for more details on many of these specific baby probiotic supplements.
Click heretoo to find answers to many of your frequently asked questions on baby probiotics and learn about scientific evidence supporting the use of probiotics in infants
By this stage you may be totally overwhelmed by the vast number of products on offer. Panic not!
To help you, we have put together a buyer’s guide. This will help you navigate your way through the immense choice of probiotics for children, enabing you to sort the wheat from the chaff and allowing you to select only quality products.
We have also written a page to help you
compare the cost
of different probiotics. This way you can be sure of getting the best value for your money.
Which Is The Best Form of Probiotics for My Child - Foods or Supplements?
You can give friendly bacteria either as probiotic foods in your child’s diet or as probiotic supplements.
If you are simply trying to maintain you child’s existing health – to ward off winter cold and flu bugs for example – then including probiotic food in your child’s regular diet can be an excellent and inexpensive way of getting probiotics into him/her. There is a wide range of probiotic foods to choose from. These include those that contain probiotics naturally, as well as processed foods that are fortified with probiotics. Our advice is to focus on the foods that contain probiotics naturally such as probiotic yogurt, fermented cabbage (sauerkraut), buttermilk and milk kefir as the processed foods are often loaded with unhealthy additional ingredients such as cane sugar. Also foods which naturally contain probiotics tend to be very cost effective and can even be homemade. Take a look at our page on probiotic foods for more information and ideas.
Remember that it’s also important to include a good supply of fresh fruit and vegetables in your child’s diet. These foods also feed the natural probiotic bacteria in the large intestine, and with too few in the diet the population of probiotics is likely to decline.
A lower strength, good quality probiotic supplement, like many of those listed in the tables above, is also excellent as a preventative measure for a healthy child.
If though, your child is already suffering from ill-health and you intend to try your child on probiotics, then it may be more appropriate to give your child a
high potency probiotic supplement such as VSL3 (suitable from 3 months+) or a Custom Probiotics product such as a multi-strain powder or the Infant Formulation for babies. In such circumstances it is also a good idea to include probiotic foods in your child’s diet.
Can Probiotics Help against Specific Health Problems?
You may at this stage be wondering whether or not probiotics can help against specific child health problems. The scientific study of the benefits of probiotics in children is still in its infancy and therefore evidence is limited. The research that does exist, however, suggests that probiotics can help with some child health complaints including:
Many experts believe that probiotics could also help with many other health problems. Indeed preliminary evidence also exists to suggest that probiotics for children may be beneficial in treating Helicobacter pylori gastritis, persistent childhood diarrhea12, constipation in children 13, chronic
and infantile colic. It is also thought that probiotics may be helpful in preventing and treating childhood atopic allergies such as infantile eczema14. These results are very encouraging but require further confirmation15.
In What Circumstances Should I Give My Child Probiotics?
If you know your child’s digestive flora is likely to be compromised – for example if the child is currently taking or has recently undertaken a course of antibiotics - then giving probiotics is a good way of re-balancing the digestive flora. What’s more, probiotics can also help in preventing antibiotic-associated diarrhea.
If your child has any of the complaints listed under our previous heading, then it may be worth your while giving probiotics a go. Probiotics are also excellent as a preventative measure – to keep your child healthy.
The choice is yours!
Be sure though to consult the child’s healthcare professional before you begin probiotic therapy.
Which Are The Best Probiotics for Children?
Unfortunately, at this early stage of the scientific research into probiotics for children, it’s not yet possible to know for sure which are the best strains and species of probiotics to give. The evidence that exists however suggests that the follow species and strains of probiotics are beneficial to children:
Where Can I Buy Probiotics for Children?
We have teamed up with Amazon.com to provide you with an wonderful range of probiotics for children. We supply probiotics in capsules, chewable tablet and powder form to suit your specific need. Click here to visit our aStore.
Internet retailer iHerb.com also supplies a fantastic range of well priced children's probiotic supplements. Their international shipping rates are also very reasonable. Click here to browse their store and receive $5 USD off your first purchase.
1.Definition provided by the World Health Organization (WHO)
2.Other probiotic products are also available in this range.
3.This product contains freeze-dried kefir culture, which although has been counted as one species only for the purpose of this table, is likely to contain many more.
4.This probiotic contains the probiotic yeast Saccharomyces boulardii.
5.Depending on age related dosage for children. Age 0-4 years dose contains 4 billion CFUs of probiotic bacteria whilst age 5-12 dosage contains 8 billion CFUs.
6.Other probiotic products are also available in this range.
7.Weizman Z et al; Effects of a Probiotic Infant Formulation on Infections in Child Care Centers: Comparison of Two Probiotic Agents;Pediat; Jan 2005; Vol 115; 5-9
8.Hatakka, K.et al; Effects of Long-Term Consumption of Probiotic Milk on Infections in Children Attending Day Care Centers: Double Blind Randomized Trial;JAMA; July 2001; 399
9.Rerksuppaphol S &, Rerksuppaphol L; Lactobacillus Acidophilus and Bifidobacterium Bifidum Stored at Ambient Temperature are Effective in the Treatment of Acute Diarrhoea; Ann Trop Paediatr.;2010;30(4):299-304
10. Thomas DW et al;Probiotics and prebiotics in pediatrics;Pediatrics; ; 2010 Dec;126(6):1217-31
11.Guandalini S et al; VSL#3 Improves Symptoms in Children with Irritable Bowel Syndrome: a Multicenter, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind, Crossover Study; J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr; July 2010;51(1):24-30
12.Bernaola Aponte G et al; Probiotics for Treating Persistent Diarrhoea in Children; Cochrane Database Syst Rev; Nov 2010;11: CD007401
13.Noor-L-Houda Bekkali et al; The Role of a Probiotics Mixture in the Treatment of Childhood Constipation: a Pilot Study; Nutr J; 2007; 6: 17
14.Zhu DL et al; Meta Analysis of Lactic Acid Bacteria as Probiotics for the Primary Prevention of Infantile Eczema; Zhongguo Dang Dai Er Ke Za Zhi.; Sep 2010;12(9):734-9; [Article in Chinese]
15.Thomas DW et al;Probiotics and Prebiotics in Pediatrics;Pediatrics; 2010 Dec;126(6):1217-31