What are the benefits of probiotics for children?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
There's some preliminary evidence that probiotics -- good bacteria that coat the gastrointestinal (GI) tract -- are not only beneficial for children's digestive systems but can also reduce the incidence of cold and flu symptoms by more than 65 percent. Get them in the spore form, which come in pills that you can mix with formula or baby food, rather than in live culture. The live culture (yogurt-based ones, generally) does not survive the acid in the stomach very well. Also, the protein in yogurt is not well handled by the intestines of children under one; it can punch holes in the intestines if given in more than a few spoonfuls.
YOU: Raising Your Child: The Owner's Manual from First Breath to First Grade

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YOU: Raising Your Child: The Owner's Manual from First Breath to First Grade

There’s little doubt that parenting can be one of the most rewarding and satisfying experiences you’ll ever have. But it can be plenty tough, too: Around the clock, you’re working to keep your...

Continue Learning about Dietary Supplements

Dietary Supplements

Whether you're visiting the drug store, grocery or natural food shop you'll likely find an aisle where there are jars and bottles of things for you to put in your body that are neither foods nor medicines. Ranging from vitamins an...

d minerals to fiber and herbal remedies, these supplements are not regulated in the same way as either food or medicine. Some of them are backed by solid research, others are folk remedies or proprietary cures. If your diet does not include enough of certain vitamins or minerals, a supplement may be a good idea. Natural treatment for conditions like constipation may be effective. But because these substances are unregulated, it is always a good idea to educate yourself about the products and to use common sense when taking them. This is even more true if you are pregnant or taking a medicine that may be affected by supplements.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.