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Oh Poop: How Probiotics May Help With Infant Constipation

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

We all know or have heard of the benefits of probiotics for adults...especially when it comes to aiding digestion. Now studies suggest that they may also have amble benefits for babies, especially those who suffer from constipation.

According to a new study, probiotics were described as being a special kind of bacteria that is helpful in equalizing the populations of bacteria in the intestines and keeping bacteria that cause disease from manifesting. Little ones experiencing constipation have been show to have different types of bacteria in their stool than their "healthier" counterparts, leading experts to conclude that adding probiotics to their diet can help ease and relieve the symptoms.

Still, some say there is yet no definitive evience to conclude that children with chronic constipation "should" be treated with probiotics.

Howerver, the recent study conducted found that while giving probiotics to babies did not improve stool consistency, but children taking probiotics did have more bowel movements than babies put on a placebo after two, four, and eight weeks, suggesting that the probiotics "did" help with constipation. In fact, babies typically had an average of three bowel movements per week but nearly five bowel movements weekly after being put on probiotics for eight weeks. Furthermore, the probiotics treatment did not have any side effects, at least according to the report, published online in The Journal of Pediatrics.

Research has revealed at approximately three percent of babies suffer from constipation prior to their first birthday, and nearly one third of these children continue to have symptoms for at least six months. Babies may be at risk for constipation once they are switched from breast milk to formula or from baby food to solid food.

Experts however are not necessarily encouraging all parents of infants with constipation to go out and purchase probiotics. Instead they are merely stating that giving children probiotics seems to be a natural, safe, well-tolerated way to deal with the issue.

Others note that the study is not enough to even warrant a change in how constipation in children is currently being dealt with, and they add that, in their opinion, parents and medical practitioners should probably start with oral laxatives first. Some doctors also suggest giving babies water or extra fiber to combat constipation.

The FDA classifies probiotics as a food or dietary supplement available without a prescription. However companies that sell probiotics are not allowed to market them as treatments for any specific ailments or diseases.

Long Island Health, Fitness & Beauty Articles > Oh Poop: How Probiotics May Help With Infant Constipation

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