Probiotics are bacteria cultures that form the basis of the healthy intestinal microflora. The body of the baby is not yet fully adapted to adverse aggressive effects. He must constantly adjust to the appearance in the diet of unfamiliar foods. Therefore, probiotics for children play a special role. They are necessary for the correction of dysbiosis and the maintenance of a weak immune defense.
The idea of targeted improvement of the gastrointestinal microflora by using products containing lactic acid bacteria belongs to I.I. Mechnikov. He proposed a therapeutic diet based on yogurt fermented with Lactobacillus bolgaricus.
With the development of pharmacology, Mechnikov’s theory was embodied in the creation of a new class of microbial preparations containing bifidobacteria and lactobacilli. Their use in medical practice began in the 30s of the 20th century. However, the name “probiotic” was coined much later. It combines the Latin and Greek words “pro” and “bio”. Together they mean “for life”. The term familiar to us was proposed in 1977 by the professor of microbiology R.V. Parker. He invented it as an antagonist to the word “antibiotic”, which translates as “against life.”
Mechanism of action
Probiotics for children are not chemical drugs, but immunocorrectors of human microbiological balance. For children with an immature digestive system, they can act as a “tuner” of the correct formation of intestinal microflora. The role of the intestine for the growth of a healthy baby is difficult to overestimate. This organ is most important for maintaining immunity because it contains approximately 60% of all immune complexes of the body.
After ingestion, the microorganisms reach the intestine, where they attach to the mucous membrane. Colonies of cells of the same name began to grow around them. Thus, the number of healthy microflora increases, and pathogenic decreases.
Functions of probiotics
Normal microflora, which forms after taking probiotic preparations, performs several essential tasks in the child’s body:
- Suppresses the growth of alien bacteria.
- Corrects the immune status of the child’s body, accelerating the synthesis of specific immunoglobulin.
- Contributes to the normalization of digestive functions.
- Facilitates the full absorption of nutrients, including calcium, which is indispensable for building a strong bone skeleton of a child.
- It helps remove toxic substances formed by pathogenic flora, including viral and bacterial infections.
- It acts as a catalyst for the production of vitamins B and K.
Classification of probiotics
Russian medical authorities have authorized more than one hundred types of preparations, as part of which there are beneficial bacteria for children of different ages. The main classification is based on the nature of the constituent bacteria.
List of probiotics for children by type of bacteria
- Escherichia coli
- sugar cubicles,
- yeast-like fungi,
Generations of modern probiotics for children
Another systematization takes into account the chronology of the emergence of more advanced types of probiotics for children. Pharmacologists are constantly searching for the best probiotic cultures. Scientific research is conducted to identify more resistant types of beneficial bacteria, as well as to increase their digestibility by the body.
The first group includes drugs of any one type, for example, lacto-or bifidobacteria.
Probiotics based on spore bacteria and yeast-like fungi. A feature of these microorganisms is that they are not typical for the intestines. This class includes Baktisubtil and Enterol. About a month after they receive, they are completely neutralized by the body. Nevertheless, their antagonistic effect on pathogenic flora has been proven.
Poly drugs that have a combination of several microorganisms (Bifiform Malysh, Links).
Probiotics that contain beneficial bacteria, fixed on a natural carrier – sorbent. These include Probifor, Florin Forte.
Symbiotics are multicomponent biopreparations containing the probiotic + prebiotic complex. Prebiotics are non-digestible substances that serve as a kind of food for beneficial bacteria. Due to these additives, they act more intensely. Examples of the latest generation of drugs – Acipol and Beefilis.
Initially, only dry probiotic cultures were represented in the pharmacological market. After the bacteria have dried, their vital activity is suspended. When released into a favorable liquid medium, they have activated again. A clear advantage of dry forms is the possibility of long-term storage (about two years).
Probiotics for children in liquid form contain a nutrient solution with live cultures of bacteria. These are the fastest biological products. They start working immediately after they reach the intestines.
Probiotics for newborns
After birth, the baby begins to actively adapt to the unusual conditions of life for him. His digestive system, which is found with a lot of unfamiliar microbes, is experiencing the greatest burden. Gradually, the baby’s intestines begin to colonize with beneficial microflora. Their best source is the mother’s milk.
Artificial milk mixtures are not able to fully replenish the necessary micronutrients. Therefore, in children deprived of breast milk, the risk of dysbiosis and other diseases increases.
When the first signs of trouble appear (intestinal colic, loose stools), pediatricians prescribe lactose-free probiotics for children. The physiological characteristics of newborns are such that they can be given exclusively bifidobacteria drugs.
Babies under one-year-old are recommended probiotics in liquid form. They contain the maximum concentration of digestible living microorganisms and are easily dosed.
What children’s diseases do probiotics help?
Clinical studies in the field of pediatrics confirmed the positive effect of probiotic cultures in many diseases. Among them:
Which probiotic to choose depends on the degree of imbalance of the microflora. In case of minor deviations from the norm, one-component biopreparations are recommended. Moreover, the shortage of lactobacilli does not mean that you should use only lactic compounds. In dysbiosis of grade II-III, probiotics of the latest generations show good results.
2. Diarrhea associated with antibiotic therapy.
In the case of such diseases in children, like pneumonia, purulent otitis, can not do without antibiotics. At the same time, along with the pathogenic bacteria, almost all of the intestinal microflora perishes. The undesirable effect of antimicrobial therapy most often becomes diarrhea.
To avoid an adverse symptom, doctors recommend using the antibiotic + probiotic treatment regimen. It uses drugs that are resistant to antibiotics. According to experts, a sufficient degree of stability was demonstrated by lactobacilli, enterococci, and saccharomycetes.
3. SARS, flu.
Probiotics are not only curative but also an excellent prophylactic. A course of beneficial bacteria and vitamins will help to cope with seasonal respiratory infections. In this case, preference is given to combined probiotics with good immunoregulatory properties.
In addition to these conditions, probiotic preparations are prescribed in the treatment of the following diseases in children:
- Rotavirus infection.
- Food dermatosis.
- Inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, in particular, caused by Helicobacter pylori.
- ENT pathologies: pharyngitis, tonsillitis, sinusitis, etc.
The effectiveness of probiotic preparations
According to parents, the effectiveness of beneficial bacteria in the treatment of children’s dysbiosis is ambiguous. There is no super-probiotic that is guaranteed to help in most cases. A promising prefix used by some manufacturers of probiotics for children is nothing more than a publicity stunt. They include the same lacto-and bifidobacteria, used many decades ago.
The answer to this question should be sought in the plane of diagnosing the root causes causing a violation of microflora. If we are talking about such unconditional factors as antibiotics or intestinal infection, then a competently selected biological product will certainly cope with the task. However, there are other provocative moments that adversely affect the function of digestion in children. These include:
- violation of the diet;
- early introduction to the menu of food, not suitable for age;
- the use of products containing a large number of chemical additives, soda water, fast food, etc.
In these cases, the reception of biological products will restore the microflora only under the condition of dietary correction.
Is probiotic treatment effective in children? Of course. One of the clinical trials was conducted in 2005 in Israel. It was attended by 14 pediatric clinics across the country. Children involved in respiratory illness participated in the observation. As a result of long-term administration of lacto and bifidobacteria, ARVI began to flow in a lightweight form without serious complications. This reduced the need for antibiotics. However, a decrease in the duration of febrile states and the prevention of intestinal disorders was noted.
New scientific developments are associated with the cultivation of beneficial bacteria derived from the patient’s body. The identity of the obtained biological products of their own intestinal flora will in the near future effectively treat immunodeficiencies, allergic manifestations, and other childhood diseases. Some progressive medical scientists predict that the era when probiotics will force out antibiotics is not far off.