Ever had your digestive system knocked out of whack after an illness or using an antibiotic? Check out how Probiotics may help improve your digestion, strengthen your immune system and may even help soothe a colicky baby.
Whether we know it or not, we have trillions of bacteria swarming throughout our digestive tracts. But don’t let that alarm you, because these bacteria are the friendly type that help us digest our food and keep the bad guys from taking over our digestive systems.
Probiotics are not at all a new topic, but with the increase of processed foods in our diets, they seem to be making a comeback as more and more people are seeking natural ways to combat problematic digestive issues and strengthen their immune systems.
Sourcing Probiotics Naturally from Foods
One of the best natural sources of Probiotics is from eating fermented foods like kimchi or sauerkraut. Eating fermented foods is not at all a new concept, since we can trace back thousands of years and find fermented foods have been in people’s diets for a very long time. More recently the yogurt and kefir industry have experienced a huge growth explosion as more and more people are searching for food products that will help naturally incorporate Probiotics into their daily diet.
If you’re interested in learning more about preparing fermented foods yourself, cookbooks like Wild Fermentation and Fermented Foods for Health might be a good place to begin, but there are dozens of others available on the subject.
Probiotics Sourced from Supplements
Utilizing Probiotic from purchased supplements is different than sourcing Probiotics from food, since most Supplemental Probiotics that are formulated by laboratories are proprietary strains, which means they are often blended laboratory formulations. There’s nothing really wrong with that, except that it can sometimes make it difficult to determine exactly which strains are included without having access to laboratory testing, so the next best thing is to look for third-party certification on any product you purchase. Third party certification is comprised of various unbiased organizations that provide independent testing to evaluate the ingredients in supplements.
Most Probiotic supplements typical include Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, but there are some Mega Probiotics that include multiple strains of bacteria, although that doesn’t necessarily mean one is better than the other. You can choose from pills, liquid or powder formulations, and some experts claim it may be helpful to switch brands every few months to help produce a more balanced result.
Can Probiotics Help Soothe a Colicky Baby?
Fortunately, neither one of my daughters were colicky babies, but I’ve witnessed a couple of friends who’ve experienced bouts of colicky episodes with their babies and the patience it requires can truly take you to the edge. Some of this stress is due to the resulting sleep deprivation and the emotional component of overwhelming frustration and fear that results from worrying about not understanding what’s causing the inconsolable hours of crying and the apparent suffering your baby seems to be experiencing.
There have been many studies, mostly from the European countries, that provide some indications that supplements of “good bacteria” might help to reduce the distressful symptoms in colicky babies. In addition to this, a JAMA Pediatrics reports clinical trials done with 589 infants that give some positive reductions in crying, constipation and regurgitation using Pediatric Probiotics during the first 3 months of life.
You should always consult with your health care professional first to determine what they recommend for your individual situation and if they concur that using Pediatric Probiotics could be useful for your individual situation.