Children’s Health

Children’s Health Issues

Photo of pregnant woman and text "probiotics and pregnancy"

Why You Should Consider Taking A Probiotic While Pregnant

There are many things you have to consider and prepare for when pregnant, and your gut should be one of them. A strong and healthy gut is vital for both mom and baby. If you have a poor diet, drink soda, take antibiotics, or have high-stress levels while pregnant, it can take a toll on your gut and your baby’s immunity. If you are taking a probiotic while pregnant, it could be essential to the health of you and your baby.

Probiotics have several health benefits for pregnant and nursing women. Studies have shown that what a woman consumes during pregnancy can have numerous effects on her and her baby, ranging from gestational diabetes and hypertension to asthma and depression.

Keep reading to learn about the benefits of taking probiotics during pregnancy.

Improved digestion

One of the most common conditions that can cause discomfort for pregnant women is constipation. It’s often the result of hormones that cause the smooth muscle in the GI tract to relax. Dietary manipulation that includes increasing fiber and fluids can help reduce constipation. Probiotics with a prebiotic (symbiotics) can be an excellent additional nutrition therapy, too.

Because probiotics help with digestion, healthcare professionals believe that they can be beneficial for pregnant women who could be more prone to constipation or diarrhea.

Better nutrient absorption 

A healthy gut also ensures that nutrients are absorbed efficiently. If the mother gets more nourishment, the baby will, too.

In 2016, a study evaluated the effect of high-dose probiotics in women during late pregnancy and their breast milk composition and if differences in breast milk can affect stool samples in newborns.

It was a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial where 66 women took either the probiotic or a placebo daily. There were decreased incidences of infantile colic and regurgitation and improved gastrointestinal function in the infants whose mother received the probiotics.

Reduce the risk of Infant atopic eczema and food allergies

Eczema, recognized by red, itchy patches of skin, is a precursor to a variety of other conditions such as food allergies and asthma, so reducing or preventing it is very important.

We know that differences in a baby’s microbiome link to increased allergy risks, and research is supporting the use of probiotics to prevent eczema.

A large Meta-analysis reported that pregnant women given probiotics during as well as the initial postpartum period reduced eczema by 22%.

Protect against Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM)

High blood sugar is never good, and it’s especially harmful during pregnancy. When glucose intolerance appears for the first time in pregnancy, it is called gestational diabetes mellitus.

During pregnancy, an imbalance in gut flora resembles metabolic dysfunction with increased inflammation and decreased insulin sensitivity.

A 2019 Meta-analysis using ten studies with a combined total of 1,139 participants, found that probiotics supplementation was effective at reducing GDM; it reduced the fasting blood glucose serum insulin levels and insulin resistance. It also shows that multi-strain probiotics are more effective than single-strain probiotics.

Did you know EndoMune Probiotics is multi-strain and multi-species? With ten different strains and 20 billion bacteria, you and your baby can rest assured you're getting the beneficial bacteria you need!

Reduced risk of Preeclampsia

Preeclampsia, a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure, is the number one cause of maternal death in the United States. Symptoms include high blood pressure, swelling of the hands and feet, and protein in urine. A study featured in the BMJ Open found a reduced risk of preeclampsia and preterm delivery when taking a probiotic supplement.

Healthy mom, healthy baby

We are all looking for ways to ensure pregnant moms and babies have all the possible advantages to a healthy and happy life.

The research shows probiotics may prevent pregnancy complications for mom and reduce baby’s risk of infant atopic eczema and food allergies.

While further studies continue, pregnant women should eat healthfully, exercise diligently, and consider taking a multi-species probiotic and prebiotic supplement.

Shop EndoMune Probiotics

“Helpful” Drugs Expose Your Child’s Gut Health To Obesity

There’s no question obesity rates are growing sharply across all age groups of Americans.

So far, nearly 40 percent of all adults age 20 and older have lost the battle with obesity, based on statistics collected by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

As with many health problems, however, problems with obesity start very early. According to the NCHS, some 14 percent of young children as early as age 2 may already be obese, and the numbers keep climbing to 20.6 percent by the time kids reach young adulthood.

These statistics appear to be pretty close to the mark, if not a little low, according to data collected by Harvard University that we cited recently.

What could trigger that slide to obesity so quickly?

Exposure to antibiotics and heartburn drugs in the gut may be the culprits, according to a recent report appearing the journal Gut.

Too many “helpful” drugs?

Researchers examined the records of more than 330,000 children enrolled in the U.S. Department of Defense’s TRICARE health system, looking specifically for antibiotic and heartburn drugs (H2 blockers and PPIs) prescribed to kids during the first two years of their lives.

Nearly every child in the study had been prescribed at least one round of antibiotics (72.5 percent) or a heartburn drug (15 percent), and nearly 6,000 kids were prescribed at least one round of all three drugs.

Roughly 37,000 of the 47,000 of children who became obese over the eight-year study were prescribed a heartburn drug or antibiotic. A single round of prescribed antibiotics elevated a child’s obesity risks by 26 percent.

Another gut-related factor to childhood obesity discovered by scientists — C-section births — was a difference-maker, too.

The good news about this study: health providers are becoming more aware by the day about the damage common “helpful” drugs like heartburn meds and antibiotics can do to the bodies of our little ones (and their parents too), often through harming their gut health.

My probiotic protocol

There are times your children just can’t avoid taking an antibiotic or heartburn drug.

My best recommendation to protect the health of your kids and yourself safely and effective: Follow my simple protocol for taking a probiotic, ideally with multiple strains of beneficial bacteria.

One more thing to remember about taking a probiotic: Give your child’s body at least a two-hour break between taking an antibiotic or heartburn drug and a probiotic to allow those beneficial bacteria to do their work to protect his/her gut.

Just a reminder that EndoMune Junior Advanced Probiotic contains four key strains of helpful bacteria and a prebiotic (FOS) that helps feed the good bugs in their gut.

For convenience, EndoMune Junior comes in two forms: a powder to sprinkle on your toddler’s soft foods (for children up to age 3) and a chewable, berry-flavored tablet (for children ages 3-8).

Fussy baby being held by mother

The Probiotic Solution For Colic

Among the many problems parents face with their newborn babies, the one many moms and dads dread the most is the prolonged and frequent crying that comes with colic.

Crying and fussiness are very normal for babies up to three to four months old, especially when they’re tired, hungry or uncomfortable.

When parents encounter sudden distress and intense crying from their babies for no outward reason and that no amount of consoling relieves (for more than three hours a day for several times a week and lasting for more than three weeks), colic is the usual culprit.

Why does colic happen?

There’s no single reason colic occurs, although experts have targeted a few factors related to a baby’s developing gut health:

  1. Extra gas due to swallowing too much while crying.
  2. An undeveloped digestive system.
  3. A gut bacteria imbalance.
  4. Food allergies.
  5. Acid reflux.

Are you giving up on breastfeeding too soon?

Although colic is a short-lived problem — most babies outgrow it by the time they reach four months — the stress moms feel during this time may push some to give up breastfeeding early.

As you know, breastfeeding provides a healthy mix of vitamins, fats and protein along with antibodies that fortify a baby’s growing immune system.

Protecting a baby’s developing gut health at such an early time is critical, especially if a mom has delivered her child via C-section.

A C-section delivery, can alter the delicate balance of bacteria in their developing microbiomes, leaving babies more vulnerable to health problems like respiratory infections.

There are many ways to ease colic in young babies by decreasing their stimulation to sounds and noises or taking them for a ride in a car or stroller.

But these simple steps don’t help their developing gut health…

Boost your baby’s developing gut health with probiotics

Probiotics are emerging as the go-to way to treat colic and protect a baby’s developing gut health, according to a growing number of scientific reports.

In one recent clinical trial, Italian researchers tested the effect of probiotics as a treatment on a group of infants less than two months old who were diagnosed with colic.

Half of the 80 babies monitored were given a placebo while the rest received a single-species probiotic for 28 days.

Among 80 percent of the babies who received a probiotic containing Bifidobacteria lactis, the duration of their daily crying due to colic dropped by more than 50 percent.

(Bifidobacteria lactis is one of four strains of beneficial bacteria contained in EndoMune Junior Advanced Probiotic Powder formulated for newborns through age 3.)

So, why does giving your baby a probiotic relieve colic?

Scientists believe probiotics increase the production of butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid that has been linked to reducing inflammation and increasing bone volume.

Babies who were given a probiotic also enjoyed longer sleep and more frequent and consistent stools, all things that will improve your baby’s developing gut health and calm your peace of mind.

Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics

Mayo Clinic

Healthline

American Pregnancy Association

Cleveland Clinic

Are Artificial Sweeteners Harming Your Unborn Child?

There is a lot of focus put on your diet and nutrition during pregnancy. Doctors tell you to eat a wholesome, well rounded diet and to cut back on processed carbs and refined sugars. Many women will largely cut back on sugar while pregnant, only to replace it with foods and drinks that are artificially sweetened. Which makes people wonder; are artificial sweeteners harming your unborn child?

First, let’s answer the question:

What are artificial sweeteners and where are they hiding?

Artificial sweeteners are synthetic sugar substitutes. They add sweetness to food and are many times sweeter than regular sugar while adding virtually no calories to your diet.

You can find artificial sweeteners in a variety of food and beverages marketed as “sugar-free” or “diet” and they are widely used in processed foods, including:

  • Soft drinks
  • Baked goods
  • Candy
  • Pudding
  • Canned foods
  • Jams and jellies
  • Dairy products

If you find yourself consuming a number of these items, you’re not alone. In a Study by the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, “[artificial sweetener consumption] numbers represent a 200 percent increase in LCS (low-calorie sweeteners) consumption for children and a 54 percent jump for adults from 1999 to 2012” and the numbers are only going up.

Those are some significant statistics to digest!

Artificial sweeteners can look like an attractive alternative because you only need a fraction of the amount you would use with normal sugar, but they can be a double-edged sword, depending on your current health.

A handful of artificial sweeteners have been approved by The FDA as sugar substitutes that people often use to help them lose weight, which is a good thing for sure.

However, the use of artificial sweeteners comes with risks.

Some studies have found that artificial sweeteners may even have the opposite effect of increasing a patient’s risk of developing diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

A newer risk emerged recently when we reported on how consuming the same amounts of two specific artificialsweeteners contained in 1.5 liters of diet soda over just a two-week period was enough to harm the balance of bacteria in the human gut.

These same artificial sweeteners — sucralose and acesulfame-potassium — from this previous study — wereexamined in a new report about exposure in the womb and after childbirth via breast milk in mice.

Scientists exposed more than 200 pregnant and lactating mice to one of the following: (1) the maximum acceptable daily amounts (ADI) of sweeteners, (2) double the ADI or (3) water, according to this new report appearing in Frontiers in Microbiology.

Some amounts of sweeteners are passed on through the placenta and breast milk, but researchers weren’t sure how their bodies would adapt metabolically.

The Real Problem

No surprise, the metabolic and gut health changes that followed in both animal groups exposed to sweeteners were very obvious and should be a concern if you use them regularly.

For one, the benefits of using artificial sweeteners — losing weight and lower blood glucose levels — was only seen in mice fed twice the maximum amounts.

Plus, researchers detected drastic shifts in the gut microbiomes of animals exposed to artificial sweeteners even the smaller typical daily dose.

Currently, future moms are advised to use artificial sweeteners only in moderation, and avoid saccharine altogether.

Yet, with artificial sweeteners turning up in increasing numbers of products apart from foods (toothpaste and mouthwash), it’s hard to keep track of how much your body is being exposed to these substances every day.

Some Solutions

Here are some simple steps you can take right away to protect your health.

  1. Protect your gut by taking EndoMune probiotics everyday. EndoMune Advanced Probiotic safeguards andfortifies the balance of bacteria in your gut with 10 strains of beneficial bacteria and a prebiotic that keeps your good bacteria
  2. Avoid artificial sweeteners as often as possible and be more mindful about cutting back on that extra diet
  3. Do your homework by reading Nutrition Facts Labeling.

If you want to lose weight safely and need a jumpstart to do it, you may want to consider EndoMune Metabolic Rescue. It’s a unique blend of the prebiotic, XOS, that promotes a feeling of fullness and a probiotic, Bifidobacterium Lactis, which supports a healthier gut Microbiome.

Picky Eater Child Refusing To Eat

Your Picky Eating Kid May Be Experiencing Constipation

Does your child experience constipation?

Like gas, constipation is a pretty common health issue, but another gut-related problem most people, especially kids, don’t like talking about.

More than 18 percent of toddlers and about 14 percent of kids ages 4-18 face problems with constipation, based on recent research.

Some signs your child has issues with chronic constipation — bowel movements occurring no more than twice a week or soiling (unintentional leakage of stool or liquid on the underwear) due to a buildup of stool — are pretty apparent.

Some less noticeable problems kids experience include:

  • Pain in their stomach or while having a bowel movement.
  • Hard-to-pass bowel movements.
  • Holding in stools that can cause complications.

You may be surprised to learn your child’s picky eating habits could explain his/her constipation problems too.

Sensory issues

Underlying sensory issues experienced by preschool-age kids who are developing normally may be playing a key role in chronic constipation, according to a recent study appearing in The Journal of Pediatrics.

“In many cases, chronic constipation might be the first hint that the child also has some sensory issues and could benefit from occupational therapy,” says senior author Dr. Mark Fishbein, a pediatric gastroenterologist and associate professor at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Dr. Fishbein and his team of scientists in Chicago and Miami compared the health of 66 children (ages 3-5) dealing with chronic constipation with an equal number of control subjects with no health issues.

Part of their attention focused on how picky eating showed up in how kids responded to sensory stimuli.

Researchers soon learned that a heightened sensitivity to tastes, odors and textures in foods was the most important factor in predicting a child’s tendency to avoid the bathroom or becoming constipated.

The link between sensory sensitivity and constipation may not be apparent to the naked eye, says Dr. Fishbein. “However, increased sensory sensitivity can create discomfort and lead to avoidance, and we see that response in both food refusal and in the toileting behaviors of children with chronic constipation.”

Because these sensory problems are really common among children, Dr. Fishbein warns that it’s best to address this issue when kids are young, ideally before age 5, before these behaviors become harder to solve.

What parents can do

Treating your child’s constipation will take some time, persistence and patience on your part, but there’s light at the end of the tunnel — literally — if you follow these tips:

  1. Monitor your child’s daily intake of water (give them more) and milk (give them less).
  2. Work with your daughter or son to make regular visits to the toilet (make it fun).
  3. Feed your child foods containing dietary fiber, especially fruits and veggies (more is better).
  4. Don’t overdo the dosage of any laxative suggested by your child’s pediatrician (too much can be dangerous).

Have you considered giving your child a probiotic for constipation too? A recent report featured in Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology found probiotics increased the number of times kids pooped each day, which goes a long way toward solving the constipation problem.

EndoMune Jr. Advanced Probiotic Powder (for children up to age 3) and EndoMune Jr. Advanced Chewable Probiotic (for children from ages 3-8) are multi-strain probiotics that contain four key strains of beneficial bacteria and a prebiotic that can work wonders in treating constipation.

Child prepared for food allergy reaction with epipen in lunchbox

Children’s Food Allergies and Gut Bacteria Imbalances

Children’s food allergies can be some of the most frustrating and common problems parents face.

Although some 170 foods can cause reactions, most of the problems kids have — ranging from mild to severe and fatal — can be boiled down to eight.

  • Wheat
  • Shellfish
  • Soy
  • Tree nuts (pecans, pistachios)
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Peanuts
  • Milk

What’s more, 40 percent of kids with food allergies are allergic to more than one food, according to Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE).

And, if you’re wondering when or if a child “outgrows” a food allergy, often it depends on the food. Some food allergies begin to fade away by age 5 (wheat, milk, egg, soy) while others are much more persistent (tree nuts, seafood, peanuts).

In one very tragic case reported earlier this year, an 11-year-old boy allergic to fish died by exposure to fumes from cod cooking on a stove.

Food allergies aren’t the only health problems young children face, however. Many of today’s children are born via C-section, have fewer opportunities to breastfeed and are exposed to antibiotics.

All of these things deplete your child’s gut health, leading to a host of other problems, not to mention slowing down the development of his/her immune system.

You can add food allergies to that list of problems, based on recent studies. (But there may be some hope on the way!)

Butyrate strikes again!

The common link between both studies: Healthy kids have gut microbiomes that are very different from those with allergies, according to two recent studies appearing in Nature Medicine.

This research followed somewhat similar models in that both collected fecal samples from healthy children and those with allergies, then transplanted them in mice to observe how their bodies reacted.

In the study conducted by scientists at the University of Chicago and Italy, the bodies of germ-free mice receiving gut bacteria as fecal transplants from eight healthy babies or ones with a food allergy to cow’s milk (the most common food allergy) reacted as you’d expect.

Germ-free mice receiving food-allergic bacteria experienced anaphylaxis, a severe and possibly life-threatening reaction, after drinking cow’s milk for the first time, while those with healthy bacteria didn’t.

After digging deeper into the composition of gut bacteria among test animals, researchers identified the species Anaerostipes caccae that may protect the body from allergic reactions when present in the gut. This species is part of bigger class of bacteria (Clostridia) that has been found to protect the body from nut allergies.

This class of bacteria also produces butyrate, a substance already known for protecting the gut from inflammation and more harmful bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli.

Missing gut bacteria

A similar and more recent study conducted at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital also took fecal matter from babies with and without food allergies, then transplanted it into mice that were sensitive to eggs.

Again, the mice receiving healthy gut bacteria were more protected from allergies than the those that were given bacteria sensitive to eggs. But that’s not all…

With the help of detailed analyses, researchers developed a two probiotic mixes of multiple strains of beneficial human gut bacteria that successfully suppressed allergic reactions in mice already experiencing problems.

Could a response to a food allergy be reversed with probiotics? This is very possible, given a report I shared with you recently that found Moms who took a probiotic and fish oil delivered babies who were more protected from eczema and egg allergies.

There’s a lot you can do to protect your baby’s gut after she/he is born, even if natural childbirth isn’t in the cards, starting with breastfeeding, full of nutrition and the healthy microbes your young child needs.

However, if breastfeeding is an issue or your baby needs an antibiotic to fight a common infection, you can turn to EndoMune Jr. Advanced Probiotic Powder, an infant probiotic containing a blend of four building block strains of beneficial bacteria plus a prebiotic.

Endomune-child-obesity-prevention

The Gut Facts About Childhood Obesity

A Harvard study came to the sobering conclusion nearly two years ago that a majority of today’s children (57 percent) are projected to become obese by the time they reach age 35. Would you feel a little better about your child’s future knowing you could take steps to protect her/him from becoming an obesity statistic? Medical science may be able to predict if a child is at risk for becoming overweight or obese by checking his/her microbiome at age 2.

Body mass index (BMI) was the key takeaway from an analysis of gut health data collected from the Norwegian Microbiota (NoMIC) study of children born between 2002-08 in a southern Norway hospital who are close to or already in their teen years (the findings were published in the journal, mBio). Researchers from Norway and the U.S. examined gut health information collected on 165 children six times during their first two years of life — day 4, day 10, 1 month, 4 months, 1 year and 2 years — then compared it to their body mass index (BMI) at age 12. Based on gene sequencing, scientists found noticeable differences in a child’s gut bacteria at two distinct times — day 10 and age 2 — that were associated with an accurate BMI prediction at age 12.

“At the early time points, there was somewhat of a relationship between the gut microbiota taxa and later BMI, but the relationship was much stronger as the kids got older,” says Dr. Maggie Stanislawski, the first author for the study who works at the LEAD Center, affiliated with the Colorado School of Public Health. “At 2 years, it was the strongest.” Moreover, this gut health profile existed before any outward signs of extra weight or obesity, leading scientists to speculate poor dietary choices could be the culprit.

These findings also mirror ones from a recent report about the overuse of antibacterial cleaners depleting a baby’s gut of just enough health-promoting bacteria that it elevated her/his obesity risks by age 3.

What you can do about it

Giving your child a gut-healthy start is critical to their health, even into their active teen years. Breastfeeding coupled with natural childbirth can make a HUGE difference in your baby’s gut health, along with feeding them good foods rich in dietary fiber.

Also, you want to be aware limit your child’s exposure to antibiotics as much as you safely can. The more you expose your young child to antibiotics, the greater his/her risk of obesity. One more safe and healthy way to boost the gut health of your son or daughter and protect him/her from the many health risks associated with childhood obesity is also an easy one.

If you’ve been looking for probiotics for children, EndoMune Junior Advanced Probiotic contains four key building blocks of beneficial bacteria plus a prebiotic that feeds the good bugs in your child’s gut. Moreover, EndoMune Junior Advanced Probiotic comes in a powder you can sprinkle on soft foods (for children up to age 3) and a chewable berry-flavored tablet (for children ages 3-8).

baby on back laying on white sheet

Protect Your C-Section Baby’s Gut

For the longest time, new Moms delivering their babies via C-section was an atypical thing. It was mostly warranted in cases when the health of an infant, parent or both was at risk.

Over the past 20 years, however, C-section delivery rates have soared, nearly doubling to almost 30 million annually, amounting to 21 percent of all births worldwide.

After peaking a decade ago, C-section births in America are on the rise again at 32 percent. This procedure remains very high among older women (age 40 and over), according to the CDC.

Nevertheless, the decision to deliver your baby via C-section — even as common as they are — comes with risks as we’ve seen time and again, especially if obesity plays a factor.

C-section babies may also have altered gut microbiomes that could leave them more vulnerable to respiratory infections in their first year, according to the results of research presented at the recent European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.

No antibiotics!

Scientists monitored the health of 46 babies delivered via C-Section and 74 babies delivered vaginally over their first year of life by collecting and analyzing fecal samples.

Interestingly, antibiotics weren’t given to new Moms after their deliveries until the umbilical cords were clamped, meaning these gut-altering drugs weren’t a factor in the health of their babies. (Researchers also collected and tested fecal samples from these new Moms two weeks after their deliveries too.)

No surprise, the differences in the composition of gut bacteria between babies delivered naturally versus C-section were very obvious, particularly shortly after birth.

  • The gut microbiota of C-section babies was less stable during their first year.
  • The development of the health-promoting Bifidobacterium species among C-section babies was delayed.
  • C-section babies had higher levels of potentially bad gut bacteria and more problems with respiratory infections.
  • Babies delivered vaginally had the extra advantage of measurable seeding from their Moms.

What to do if…

If you’re a soon-to-be Mom and a C-section is definitely in your future, what you can do to give your baby a gut-friendly start in his/her life?

For starters, you can do the right thing by breastfeeding your baby which gives your baby a good mix of natural proteins, vitamins and fats, plus antibodies that help their developing immune systems.

(Helping your baby’s gut develop naturally is one of the 18 benefits of breastfeeding!)

Unfortunately, what happens if you’re unable to breastfeed for as long as you wanted or health problems make it impossible?

New Moms may want to take the healthy step — with expert guidance from their doctor or pediatrician — to give their babies an infant probiotic.

EndoMune Jr. Advanced Probiotic Powder contains 10 billion CFUs and four key strains of beneficial bacteria plus FOS (a prebiotic that feeds the bugs in a baby’s developing gut) that be sprinkled on foods or added to their formulas.

As you travel on this new adventure to become a Mom — for the first time or the next time — being equipped with all of the information you need to make this excursion a safe and healthy one for you and your baby is critical.

Protecting your baby’s gut health is an important part of getting there.

illustration of C Diff bacteria

Protecting Your Child From C. Diff Diarrhea

When health experts talk about Clostridium difficile (C. diff) infections in the news — the most common superbug that causes life-threatening diarrhea — it’s largely associated with overprescribing antibiotics to older people in hospitals and long-term care facilities.

Those concerns are warranted, considering about 500,000 Americans are sickened by C. diff infections and nearly 30,000 die from them annually.

However, C. diff infections are equal-opportunity offenders that can be a serious problem for young children too, according to findings published recently in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology.

Based on a meta-analysis of 14 studies and 10.5 million children, prior exposure to antibiotics was the main culprit, nearly doubling the risk of C. diff infections in young children, compared to kids who hadn’t taken antibiotics.

But that’s not all…

Researchers also cited exposure to heartburn drugs — better known as proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) — as another C. diff risk factor for children. That’s not surprising given many adults rely on them too often and for too long at the expense of disrupting the healthy balance of their gut bacteria.

A study published last fall in the Journal of Microbiology, Immunology and Infection backs up this link between severe cases of C. diff related to children taking PPIs.

The concerns about PPI use are so critical and obvious that the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (connected with the National Institutes of Health) felt it was important enough to devote a detailed section to treating acid reflux in children and teens.

The good news: There’s growing consensus among health experts that taking a daily probiotic can be a very safe and effective solution for preventing C. diff infections altogether.

Additionally, recent scientific evidence has shown the benefits of treating patients with probiotics made with multiple strains of beneficial bacteria were very effective in preventing C. diff infections.

One safe and natural way to protect your young child from C. diff infections, especially if they are taking an antibiotic: Talk to your doctor about giving him/her a probiotic, like EndoMune Jr. Powder (recommended for children to age 3) or EndoMune Jr. Chewable Probiotic (ages 3-8).

Both varieties of EndoMune Jr. contain four strains of beneficial bacteria, along with a prebiotic (FOS).

baby looking up at a baloon

Give Your Baby a Gut-Healthy Start

As you know, infants receive many health benefits when their Moms are able to make some simple gut-smart health choices via breastfeeding and vaginal delivery.

But how does natural childbirth and breastfeeding really benefit an infant and why?

It’s very possible those beneficial bacteria introduced first into the gut have a head start and make a lasting and healthy impression, according to new research from a group of American and Canadian scientists featured in the journal eLife.

Scientists came to this conclusion by transplanting four different species of gut bacteria from older mice into the gastrointestinal tracts of young, genetically identical mice raised in a germ-free environment.

The primary takeaway: The gut bacterial diversity of younger mice over several months eventually resembled or was often dominated by the species that was transplanted in them first in repeated experiments.

That’s an intriguing outcome, considering genetics, environment, diet, physiology and lifestyle — all important factors to human health on their own — only account for less than 30 percent of any variations of the gut microbiome, says Dr. Jens Walter of the University of Alberta.

“Each of us harbors a microbiome that is vastly distinct, even for identical twins. Microbiomes are important for our health, but they appear to be shaped by many unknown factors, so it’s hugely important to understand why we are all different.”

Not only does this research show how the introduction and timing of bacteria in newborns could grow and dominate, it may also provide a bridge to better understand how the microbiome may be disrupted and harmed due to the use of antibiotics or C-section deliveries.

Dr. Walter believes science will figure out ways that infants can be colonized with specific bacteria that will steer their health in beneficial ways, but even he speculates that’s a 30-40-year journey.

Until that time comes (if ever), there are steps new Moms can take to protect the gut health of their babies right now, even if natural childbirth isn’t possible.

Breastfeeding is a great first step, as it provides the right mix of fats, protein and vitamins for newborns along with antibodies that boost their growing immune systems.

Unfortunately, some new Moms may not be able to breastfeed for as long as they planned or can’t due to health problems. Plus, their babies may be missing out human milk oligosaccharides (HMO), the largest solid component of breast milk apart from fat and carbohydrates and a natural prebiotic component of breast milk.

In these cases, new Moms may want to consider giving their babies a multi-species probiotic like EndoMune Jr. Powder (recommended for young children up to age 3) that contains four strains of beneficial bacteria along with a natural prebiotic (FOS) that feeds their growing gut microbiomes.

Before you consider giving your newborn a probiotic, always talk to your pediatrician or doctor first.

A gut health boost is just one benefit among 18 that breastfeeding provides for you and your baby as you’ll learn in this extensive article.

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