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Children’s Health

Children’s Health Issues

Image of infant with text: The Solution For Your Baby’s Colic: Probiotics

The Solution For Your Baby’s Colic: Probiotics

If we took a poll of parents and asked them about common health problems they dread the most with their healthy newborn child, there’s no doubt that the frequent and prolonged distress that comes with colic would top the list. Fussiness and crying are expected with babies during their first year, particularly when they’re uncomfortable, tired or hungry.

But, when the crying becomes intense, sudden and continuous — lasting at least three hours a day several times a week, then continuing for more than three weeks — it’s a safe bet colic is the problem.

Many factors play a role in triggering colic. A number of them are connected to a baby’s developing gut health, including acid reflux, too much gas (due to swallowing air while crying) and gut bacteria imbalances.

During a lengthy crying fit, parents may do just about anything to console their colicky babies, including treating them with drops of simethicone, an over-the-counter drug intended to break up gas bubbles in the gut.

Simethicone may be a more convenient treatment, but is it really more effective than giving colicky babies a probiotic?

Probiotic Advantages

Generally, the consensus on using simethicone is very mixed with some resources and health professionals finding very little evidence that it has any value in treating colic. On the other hand, probiotics are emerging as a far more effective and direct way to relieve colic.

A recent report appearing in the medical journal Beneficial Microbes underscores this difference, comparing the benefits of simethicone to a multi-strain probiotic among 87 babies (fed by formula or breast milk) for four weeks.

Although there were no major disparities in the number of times babies cried in either group, infants responded well to the multi-strain probiotic, reducing the number of crying days overall and how long they cried at night.

These results are further evidence that unhealthy imbalances in gut bacteria among babies who lack some key strains of beneficial bacteria from the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium families may be at the root of colic and may be better addressed with a probiotic.

In fact, four of the beneficial strains and the prebiotic (FOS) used in this study are the same ones in EndoMune Junior Advanced Probiotic Powder, formulated for newborns through age 3.

An important doctor’s note: Please check with your pediatrician before giving your baby with a probiotic!

References

 

 

parent holding sick child with text: How Antibiotics May Harm Your Baby's Health

How Antibiotics May Harm Your Baby’s Health

When the topic of antibiotics comes up here, the concerns usually focus on adults who lean on them too often to treat common health problems. This over-reliance on antibiotics, in addition to daily exposures from antimicrobial soaps and cleaners plus drug residues hiding in the flesh foods we eat, is creating a world full of superbugs in which these powerful drugs are slowly losing their ability to work as they should.

Now, we’re learning how the health of children exposed to antibiotics is affected for the long term, and the results aren’t good.

Harmful early exposure to antibiotics

You probably wouldn’t expect infants to be exposed to enough antibiotics to create any health risks.

Yet, researchers from the Mayo Clinic and Rutgers University found evidence that even one dose of antibiotics given to children under age 2 was connected to greater risks of serious health problems as they grew up, according to a study appearing in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Among the laundry list of health problems associated with one dose of antibiotics faced by babies living in the Midwest:

  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Asthma
  • Eczema
  • Celiac disease
  • Obesity
  • Food allergies

Roughly, 70 percent of babies in Minnesota and Wisconsin had been prescribed at least one course of antibiotics but most had received multiple rounds, based on data collected by the Rochester Epidemiology Project.

What’s more, the long-term harm varied among a number of factors, including gender, the variety of antibiotics taken and how many times these drugs were prescribed. For example, penicillin was linked to higher incidences of celiac disease and ADHD in girls, obesity among boys and asthma in both sexes.

Reducing health risks with probiotics

When antibiotics were developed then prescribed for children, the emphasis was merely on controlling pathogens, not the greater effect these drugs could have on the microbiome, especially for a baby’s developing gut health, according to the study.

Now, we recognize the problems with antibiotics — an estimated 47 million are prescribed needlessly every year according to the CDC — the need to minimize their use and the collateral harm they can cause for a child’s developing microbiome.

If you’re looking to limit your child’s exposure, a recent report we shared with you showed how taking a probiotic may lessen the need for antibiotics.

What’s more, the probiotics these children were taking contained some of the same beneficial strains of bacteria in EndoMune Jr. Advanced Powder and EndoMune Advanced Probiotic.

Do you need guidance on how maximize the probiotic benefits for your son or daughter when they’re taking a round of antibiotics? Check out our updated to-do list of probiotic basics you need to know.

References

 

 

 

Food donation delivery box

Our Campaign Against Hunger Continues

We are proud to announce a new 2021 campaign to support Feeding America. EndoMune will donate $1 for each bottle of product sold on the EndoMune.com website to Feeding America’s disaster response efforts for those impacted by the 2021 North America winter storms.

We are committed to helping people facing economic hardship and hunger, particularly in the aftermath of devastating winter storms that left so many Americans challenged to access food.

Through its network of 200 food banks across the U.S., Feeding America secures and distributes 4.3 billion meals per year as the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization to children and families in need.

Each dollar we donate to Feeding America can help provide at least ten meals to those in need.

To place orders that benefit Feeding America’s disaster response efforts, visit https://endomune.com/shop-probiotics/.

 

 

Parent Holding Preemie Baby's Foot

How Probiotics May Protect Your Preemie Baby

Premature babies have a lot of obstacles to overcome. One of the most serious health challenges they face is necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a condition that affects their intestines.

This problem occurs when bacteria attack the intestinal wall which causes inflammation, then cracks that can allow these invaders to leak into the abdomen. Without treatment, babies face serious infections and an increased risk of death very early in their lives.

Although scientists aren’t exactly sure what causes NEC, apart from being born prematurely, babies who are fed formula rather than human breast milk via breastfeeding (that’s easier to digest and full of the nutrients they need to boost their tiny immune systems) are at a greater risk for this serious disease.

Fortunately, doctors have had success treating preemie babies with probiotics to prevent risks of NEC, but how well do they really work?

The multi-strain probiotic difference

A group of European researchers compared the effect of treating three groups of preemie babies with two different mixes of probiotics from the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium families to infants who received no probiotics in a recent study appearing in Gut Microbes.

(Two strains of beneficial bacteria used in this study are the foundation of EndoMune Junior Advanced Probiotic Powder.)

Infants who were delivered mostly via C-section and up to 10 weeks early received a multi-strain probiotic or a placebo until 36 weeks. No surprise, the probiotic preemie groups experienced improved gut health (greater consistency, fewer variations) in their tiny microbiomes.

Even more promising, an analysis of fecal samples discovered reduced amounts of bacteria linked to NEC among infants given probiotics.

And, there’s even more good news!

Probiotic guidance for doctors

Many neonatal doctors struggle with making the best choices to help their preemie patients avoid NEC, but a very recent analysis of 45 trials and more than 12,000 infants published in Pediatrics gave the nod to the one-two power of probiotics and prebiotics.

Formulations of probiotics containing Bifidobacterium or Lactobacillus blends plus a prebiotic significantly reduced the odds that an infant faces NEC, compared to a placebo, by 68 and 94 percent, respectively.

What’s more, treating infants with beneficial strains of Lactobacillus and a prebiotic decreased an infant’s risks of sepsis, another potentially life-threatening problem triggered by the body due to an infection, by an amazing 82 percent.

The probiotic advantage for your baby

Are you a Mom who may need to deliver your newborn via C-section? Breastfeeding is a great way to give your baby that gut-friendly head start. Should problems arise, you may want to take that extra step — with guidance from your pediatricians — to give your baby a probiotic tailored to his/her needs.

Protecting your baby’s developing immune system can be as easy as sprinkling a multi-species probiotic powder like EndoMune Junior in a liquid or noncarbonated formula or on soft foods once a day.

EndoMune Junior Infant Probiotic Powder features four beneficial strains of beneficial bacteria from the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium families, plus a prebiotic (FOS), that’s formulated to help reduce your newborn’s risks of NEC.

 

Resources

 

 

photo of sleeping preemie baby

How Multi-Strain Probiotics May Help Preemie Babies

There’s plenty of steps that moms can take to protect the health of their newborn babies. Most experts agree breastfeeding and natural childbirth — both providing great gut health benefits too — sit at the top of that to-do list.

But, even the best-laid plans of moms and pediatricians can fall by the wayside when a newborn arrives prematurely (before the 37th week of gestation).

After a period of decline, preemie births have rebounded upward to nearly 10 percent of all births in the U.S. This creates opportunities for many more health problems among infants, according to the CDC.

Fortunately, moms and pediatricians may have a new weapon to help preemies, according to Cell Reports Medicine: Multi-strain probiotics.

The probiotics-breastfeeding combo

Few hospitals treat preemie babies with probiotics out of caution. Some health experts believe probiotics aren’t used because there’s been little evidence to demonstrate their benefits.

However, a sizeable number of preemies are delivered via C-section, creating many more health obstacles for infants and their developing immune systems in the gut.

That’s where multi-strain probiotics come in. A group of British researchers studied the benefits of probiotics via fecal samples collected from a group of 234 infants in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) over their first 100 days of life.

All infants in this trial were fed human breast milk. In addition, 101 babies received a probiotic containing Bifidobacterium bifidum and Lactobacillus acidophilus. (Both are among the four featured strains in EndoMune Junior Advanced Probiotic Powder recommended for children up to age 3.)

The probiotic difference

The combination of breast milk and multi-strain probiotics was a difference-maker for that group of infants due to the addition of Bifidobacterium bifidum to their tiny bodies, according to researchers.

This strain of Bifidobacterium allowed infants to better digest breast milk, giving their developing immune systems a gentle boost in two important ways:

  1. Bifidobacterium bifidum contains genes that enable babies to better digest specific sugars in breast milk for use as prebiotics. (Prebiotics function as food for the good bugs in their guts.)
  2. pH levels dropped in stool samples, a good sign that health-harming bacteria won’t thrive.

“We hope that our findings will help direct future clinical trials and practice and help clinicians and healthcare professionals make a rational choice when it comes to diet-microbe combinations and ultimately help these at-risk preterm babies,” says Dr. Lindsay Hall, study co-author and a researcher at the Quadram Institute.

Despite the best of plans, however, many moms don’t have a choice whether to deliver their babies prematurely or via C-section. However, EndoMune Junior Advanced Probiotic Powder makes it easy to support the healthy immune development of young infants.

Sprinkling a tiny scoop of EndoMune Junior in your baby’s food or formula once a day can make a big difference!

(Please consult with your pediatrician before starting your baby on EndoMune Junior or any probiotic.)

 

References

University of East Anglia

Cell Reports Medicine

Penn Medicine News

Nature

CDC

 

 

 

 

pregnant woman holding belly

Could Beneficial Bacteria Protect Babies from Autism?

The cluster of developmental disorders linked to autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is one of the greatest challenges many American families will face.

Autism presents itself uniquely in each child depending on the range and intensity of his/her symptoms, typically with communication and social skills.

One out of 54 children (18.5 out of every 1,000) experience ASD to some degree, according to recent statistics reported by the CDC just from 2016, and the numbers keep climbing.

Over the years, evidence has shown connections between gut health and ASD that are hard to ignore. Often, studies show ASD children possess a distinctly different mix of gut bacteria than those who aren’t living on the spectrum.

Although consistent treatments remain elusive, future moms may be able to reduce some ASD risk factors for their newborns with some gut-friendly help.

Moms: Don’t stress out!

Stress can be a real problem, not only for new moms but their babies (both before and after they’re born). Stress may lead to serious problems, including miscarriages, preemie births and developmental delays.

In previous research, University of Colorado scientists observed how female rats that were stressed and given the drug terbutaline (prescribed by doctors in some cases to delay premature birth) later gave birth to pups presenting autism-like symptoms.

For this new study appearing in Brain, Behavior and Immunity, Colorado scientists conducted essentially the same experiment with one major difference: another group of mice was inoculated with a species of beneficial bacteria known for its lasting anti-inflammatory effects on the brain (M. vaccae).

Female mice injected with beneficial bacteria had pups that didn’t experience autism symptoms compared to those that didn’t receive it.

No autism vaccine!

Researchers were quick to throw cold water on any assumptions they were creating a “vaccine” for autism, or that microbial interventions could relieve ASD symptoms in children (although there’s documented evidence that some have benefitted from it).

However, a day may come in the not-too-distant-future when stressed-out moms who are at a higher risk of having a child with challenges like ASD could be given a probiotic or be inoculated to support healthy brain development, says Dr. Christopher Lowry, co-author of the Colorado study.

Based on the positive results of studies like this one, researchers recommend that new moms consider gentle approaches to preventing potential problems with ASD with an emphasis on bacteria.

Some of these interventions for new moms include lowering their stress levels with a walk in nature surrounded by microbes (remember the hygiene hypothesis?), eating fermented foods and taking a probiotic.

For a new mom wanting to give her body a gut-friendly boost, EndoMune Advanced Probiotic provides a plethora of benefits from the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium families, plus a proven prebiotic (FOS) that feeds the beneficial bacteria in her gut.

Resources

mom holding up baby and kissing it on the cheek

Breastfeeding: Protecting Your Baby from Allergies

Allergies are among the most common and persistent health problems children face. Children’s allergies come with a myriad number of causes and symptoms ranging from “hay fever” (allergic rhinitis,) and skin rashes (hives and eczema) to more concerning conditions like asthma. In worst cases, kid’s allergies trigger serious health problems such as life-threatening allergic reactions to certain foods or medications. Allergies affect up to nearly 10 percent of all kids under age 18.

Mothers wants their children to be as healthy as possible, and wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to help prevent your child from developing allergies? Previously, we showed how easy it is to boost a baby’s immune system and gut health through a simple practice like breastfeeding.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends new mothers breastfeed their babies for at least the first six months of the baby’s life, and new studies suggest that breastfeeding helps to prevent your child from developing allergies.

However, many new mothers find it problematic to breastfeed for the entire six months, but infants breastfed every day for just his/her first three months may reduce their chances of developing respiratory allergies and asthma significantly by the time your child is old enough to go to school.

The benefits of breastfeeding

Many scientists have examined the benefits of breastfeeding, but most limited their research to an all-or-nothing choice, meaning the studies focused on infants who were breastfed against those who were not breastfed. Infants whose mothers breastfed intermittently were ignored. Now, a study from the University of Maryland at Baltimore evaluated health data on nearly 1,200 moms and babies obtained from the Infant Feeding Practices Study II, based on intermittent periods of exclusive breastfeeding over the first three months of their lives. To be clear, these mothers alternated between feeding their babies breastmilk and formula.

These mothers reported their breastfeeding schedules in addition to any incidents of viral infections or wheezing during the first three months of their baby’s life. The also reported when they introduced solid foods, complete family health histories, and other health related variables. Then, scientists examined the aggregated data looking for incidents of respiratory problems and asthma at age 6.

The data clearly indicated that nearly one third of these children, who were breastfed exclusively for their first three months, were 23 percent more likely to avoid respiratory allergies, and 34 percent of them were less likely to have asthma (but only if they didn’t have a family history of asthma).

On the other hand, intermittent breastfeeding had little significant effect on reducing the risk of developing respiratory ailments.

Significantly, infants fed exclusively with formula experienced the highest rates of asthma and respiratory problems.

A healthy option if you can’t breastfeed

Unfortunately, less than half of all working mothers in America are able to breastfeed their newborns exclusively through the first three months of their lives. That percentage drops to 25 percent through the first six months, according to the CDC. These unfortunate statistics mean a large population of American infants risk developing allergies that otherwise would be potentially preventable with natural breastfeeding.

Fortunately, concerned mothers unable to exclusively breastfeed their baby can help protect their baby’s immune system, safely, effectively, and help them avoid developing allergies or asthma with a probiotic formulated exclusively just for infants like EndoMune Junior Advanced Probiotic Powder. Sprinkling one tiny scoop of EndoMune Junior in their food or formula once a day feeds the good bugs in your baby’s gut and gives his/her growing immune system the gentle boost he/she needs!

(Please be sure to check with your pediatrician before starting your baby on EndoMune or any probiotic.)

Resources

Young boy holding sandwich in front of his face. Caption is "EndoMune Cares!"

EndoMune Gives Back: Feeding America

At this time, an estimated 17 million additional people in the U.S. are experiencing hunger due to the impacts of COVID-19. Schools are closed, and so are the programs that feed many children whose parents or caregivers may now be unemployed.

We at EndoMune are committed to supporting the health of our communities nationwide during this time of vulnerability and are grateful for our ability to do so when food banks are experiencing their greatest need. As a physician, I appreciate Feeding America’s efforts to supply fresh, healthy and nutritious foods necessary for maintaining a balanced diet.

For each bottle purchased on our website, we will donate $2 to Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund. Donations will continue for as long as the Fund is active.

Feeding America, through its network of 200 food banks across the U.S., secures and distributes 4.3 billion meals per year as the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization to children and families in need.

We kindly ask that you join us in our effort to help feed America during this time.

Sincerely,
Dr. Hoberman

Pregnant woman looking out a window while holding her belly.

Coronavirus and Pregnancy

Coronavirus Adds New Anxieties for Pregnant Women 

Recently, the World Health Organization labeled coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) a pandemic. Many pregnant women have expressed concerns about the impact of COVID-19 on their health and the health of their unborn babies. Not much is known about pregnancy and the new Coronavirus as more research is being done.

As you might already know, the virus spreads through respiratory droplets sent into the air when a person who is infected coughs or sneezes. It might also spread when someone touches a surface infected by a person who has the virus.

Health officials are urging pregnant women, along with the elderly and others with weakened immune systems, to do their best to avoid exposure to the Coronavirus. Doctors suggest staying home as much as possible, avoiding crowds — including long lines at the supermarkets and other stores — and staying away from emergency rooms if possible.

New information is being discovered daily, but today we answered some of the most common questions surrounding pregnancy and COVID-19.

What can pregnant women do to protect themselves against the novel Coronavirus? 

While there is further research underway across the world, it is currently not known if pregnant women have a greater chance of getting sick from COVID-19 than the general public or if they are more likely to have a serious illness as a result of it.

Women experience physiological changes during pregnancy that can weaken their immune systems and place them at higher risk for severe complications if exposed to viruses, especially if they have underlying health conditions. With viruses from the same family as COVID-19, and other viral respiratory infections, such as influenza, women have had a higher risk of developing severe illness in the past.

With little knowledge of how COVID-19 affects pregnant women and their unborn children, it is pertinent they protect themselves from illnesses and use all the precautions to reduce the chances of contracting COVID-19.

Pregnant women should do the same things as the general public to void infection. You can help stop the spread of COVID-19 by taking these actions:

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes – using a tissue is best, but your elbow is a good alternative
  • Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose
  • Wash your hands often using soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Thoroughly wash your fruits and vegetables from the store
  • Avoid public spaces (social distancing is important to limit the spread of the virus)
  • Avoid people who are sick – even in your own home
  • Hydrate and rest often
  • Take a high-quality probiotic to promote healthy digestion and immune health
  • Maintain a healthy diet, high in antioxidant-rich foods

Can COVID-19 be passed from a pregnant woman to the fetus or newborn? 

It is not currently known if a pregnant woman with COVID-19 can pass the virus to her fetus or baby during pregnancy or delivery. No infants born to mothers with COVID-19 have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

In a recent study published in ​The Lancet​, researchers followed nine pregnant women who had tested positive for the Coronavirus in Wuhan, China— the epicenter of the outbreak— during their third trimester. “Researchers found that none of the infants, all delivered cesarean, had the virus at birth. The virus was not found in samples of the mothers’ breast milk, cord blood, babies throats or amniotic fluid.”

“The risk of passing the infection to the fetus appears to be low, and there is no evidence of any fetal malformations or effects due to maternal infection with COVID-19,” according to the study.

Can you breastfeed if you tested positive for COVID-19? 

While there is no ​evidence​ of the virus in breastmilk, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it’s still not clear whether the virus can be transmitted to infants during feedings.

“Given that the virus is spread through respiratory droplets, mothers should wash their hands before feeding their babies, consider wearing a face mask to minimize the infant’s exposure and properly clean their breast pumps.”

Stay Positive and Take Your Probiotics

It’s important to keep it all in perspective! Create a new daily routine at home to help maintain a sense of normalcy until the baby arrives and take your daily probiotics to help build the best defense.

Resources

US National Library of Medicine

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Lancet

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist

 

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.

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