Can Probiotics Support My Kid’s Immune Health?
Kids’ Immune Health
Kids are not simply pint-sized adults. Their immune systems are different from ours.
To understand why probiotics may be such an important tool for immune support—and why childhood is a good time to support immune health—let’s take a quick look at how kids’ immune systems work.
Like adults, kids have both an innate, or natural, immune system and an adaptive, or acquired immune system. And like adults, seventy percent of the activity of their immune system resides in their gut.
So How Can Probiotics Help?
Remember, 70 percent of the immune system resides in the gut. Probiotics supplements help to support digestive health and healthy immune function by supporting the microbiome as a whole. Good bacteria (Probiotics) are important as they help to maintain a sense of balance. If the digestive microbiome is kept in balance it has been demonstrated in research to support immune health and general overall health and well-being.
The food kids eat—or most likely, don’t eat—is another important thing to consider when it comes to probiotics and supporting immune health. Fermented foods are a rich source of probiotics. However, most American kids’ diet is more mac and cheese than kimchi and kombucha. Supplemental probiotics are an easy way to help support the diversity of the bacteria in kids’ guts.
How To Choose an Immune Health-Supporting Kids’ Probiotic
Look for a probiotic formulated specifically for children. Not only is it important for a product to be formulated with the quantity of bacteria that’s best for kids’ bellies, it’s critical that the specific strains include the ones best studied in children, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria. Check that the product is free from GMOs and magnesium stearate.
Make sure the product includes not only probiotics, but prebiotics and postbiotics, too. Prebiotics are sources of soluble fiber that nourish probiotics, empowering their support of the digestive and immune systems. Postbiotics, gut healthy compounds created as probiotics work, may deliver gut health-supporting benefits of their own.
And, of course, it helps if the probiotics are yummy. Probulin My Little Bugs Total Care Probiotics for Kids feature a natural watermelon flavor kids love and bug-shaped chewable tablets that make them more fun to take. Learn more about how they can help support your child’s immune health from the inside out.
Leyer GJ, et al “Probiotic effects on cold and influenza-like symptom incidence and duration in children” Pediatrics 2009; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2008-2666.
Lazou Ahrén, I., Berggren, A., Teixeira, C. et al. Evaluation of the efficacy of Lactobacillus plantarum HEAL9 and Lactobacillus paracasei 8700:2 on aspects of common cold infections in children attending day care: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study. Eur J Nutr 59, 409–417 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00394-019-02137-8