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Breastfeeding May Protect Your Baby From COVID

Breastfeeding May Protect Your Baby From COVID

Breastfeeding is one of the best things a Mom can do for her newborn baby’s health for a lot of reasons.

Not only does breastfeeding provide the ideal nutritional mix of fat, vitamins and proteins in a form more easily digestible than formula, breast milk contains beneficial bacteria and prebiotics that seed infant gut microbiomes, giving your newborn baby a natural boost to their developing immune systems.

For at least the first six months of life, breastfeeding can go a long way toward protecting your baby from future health problems, including allergies, asthma, diarrhea and respiratory illnesses.

You can add protection from COVID to that list of benefits for your newborn baby, according to a recent study appearing in the Journal of Perinatology.

 

COVID Protection

Researchers from the University of Florida and University of South Carolina had previously worked on a 2021 study that showed how breast milk from vaccinated women contained antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID.

Although scientists detected the presence of antibodies in the earlier study, they couldn’t demonstrate that this protection made it to the microbiomes of babies.

The research team found the evidence they needed in a second study through a comparative analysis of stool samples, breast milk and blood samples collected from babies from vaccinated moms.

After isolating antibodies from infant stool samples, they were added to cells with the same kind of microscopic receptors as COVID, then introduced to a pseudovirus that mimicked COVID but was safe to use in a laboratory setting.

Compared to a control group, the antibodies that fought COVID were far more prevalent among those samples taken from breastfed babies

Beneficial antibodies were also detected in breast milk and blood samples from new moms and were better able to neutralize COVID in the lab too. (However, those antibodies began to diminish after six months, results that mirror other vaccine studies.)

 

Gut-Friendly Options If You Can’t Breastfeed Your Baby

In a perfect world, new moms would have the opportunity to breastfeed their newborn baby for as long they want, but some cannot due to factors beyond their control.

Fortunately, new moms have gut-friendly options at hand to protect their own health and their babies in the form of multi-strain probiotics.

For example, a recent study of moms-to-be found that taking a probiotic formulated with multiple strains of bacteria from the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium families, like those found in EndoMune Advanced Probiotic, were critical in relieving common health problems during their pregnancies.

In cases when new moms can’t breastfeed, they should consult with their pediatricians about giving their babies a probiotic like EndoMune Jr. Powder that contains four strains of beneficial bacteria along with a natural prebiotic (FOS) that feeds their developing immune systems in their gut.

 

Resources

Journal of Perinatology

University of Florida/IFAS

CDC

Grow by WebMD

Breastfeeding Medicine

Oregon Health and Science University

Breastfeeding May Protect Your Baby From COVID Read More »

Close up of a woman's hand holding sand on a beach. Text reads "Does Your Child Need A Probiotic Sandbox?"

Does Your Child Need A “Probiotic” Sandbox?

Does Your Child Need A “Probiotic” Sandbox?

There is clean, and there is too clean, especially when it comes to protecting the gut health of your kids.

Soaps and cleaning products formulated with antibacterial and antimicrobial chemicals often do more harm than good, triggering gut health imbalances that can leave your child vulnerable to very basic health challenges like obesity.

Thanks to the hygiene hypothesis, we recognize exposing young children to a wider array of microbes strengthens their developing immune systems.

When kids are concerned, it can be tough to maintain a balance between healthy and unhealthy exposure to microbes which led European researchers to test the benefits of a probiotic sandbox that recently appeared in Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety.

 

A Gut-Healthy Sandbox?

Scientists conducted a small, double-blind study with the help of six daycare centers in southern Finland. Two sets of sandboxes were enhanced with a microbial-rich powder containing soil, leaf litter and moss, while the remaining sandboxes featured a typical mix of sand and peat material.

For the study, 26 children (ages 3-5) participated in supervised play for 20 minutes twice a day for two weeks while researchers tracked microbial changes in skin, stool and blood samples before and after the 14 days.

Not surprisingly, children exposed to the microbial-rich sandboxes had more diverse skin and gut microbiomes and changes in their blood that revealed greater concentrations of immune cells.

 

Stick With A Probiotic

These results sound encouraging, but are they really practical for children not supervised by scientists?

Sandboxes require lots of oversight by parents to ensure they stay clean, especially if their children are still wearing diapers. And, there’s the potential for contamination from bugs and other creepy crawlies too.

A sandbox mixed with beneficial microbes sounds like a good idea, but it will never replace the reliable gut health benefits your child receives from taking a probiotic formulated for his/her developing microbiome like EndoMune Junior Advanced.

 

Resources

Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety

International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP)

WikiHow

Does Your Child Need A “Probiotic” Sandbox? Read More »

Headshot of young women with acne smiling and looking at camera. Text reads "Acne, Antibiotics and Your Bones"

Acne, Antibiotics and Your Bones

Acne, Antibiotics and Your Bones

The human body develops as much as 40 percent of its peak bone mass during our teenage years, and at the same time our microbiome matures.

For many teens, those puberty years are often plagued with raging hormones leading to problems with acne.

When over-the-counter skin care products don’t do the job, often, dermatologists recommend prescription-strength creams in combination with an antibiotic.

Fortunately, most health experts recognize the damage antibiotics can do to deplete the beneficial bacteria in the human gut, especially when antibiotics are taken for extended periods of time.

What happens to a teenager’s health when dermatologists prescribe antibiotics for as long as two years?

The damage goes way beyond the human gut and may affect the development of a teenager’s bones as they mature, according to research appearing in The Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Here’s how…

Getting To The Gut

Scientists at the Medical University of South Carolina had previously conducted a study that showed how high doses of antibiotics triggered an inflammatory response that impaired the maturation of bones and increased the activity of osteoclasts that break down bone tissue.

These previous results led this team to study the effect one dose of a common antibiotic — minocycline, a member of the tetracycline class of drugs — would have on the bone growth of mice at a similar age as humans during puberty (6-12 weeks old).

Three concerning takeaways that affect gut health:

  1. Mice didn’t experience an inflammatory response as before, but the presence of an antibiotic changed the healthy mix of gut bacteria that triggered a decrease in bone mass and affected how their skeletons matured.
  2. The long-term use of antibiotics prevented the tiny microbiomes and skeletons of mice from recovering to a stable state even after the antibiotics were stopped.
  3. Not only did the presence of an antibiotic disrupt the composition of gut bacteria, it also affected the way the liver communicates to the small intestine via bile acids, triggering significant decreases in the formation of bones.

Probiotic Protection

While antibiotics still remain one of the go-to treatments for acne, health organizations like the American Academy of Dermatology recommend taking them for the shortest effective duration to prevent future problems with antibiotic resistance.

However, if you really need to take an antibiotic, a recent report we shared with you points to evidence that taking a probiotic can be effective for treating acne as well as protecting the health of your gut.

To get the protection you need, be sure that any probiotic you take is formulated with multiple and proven strains of beneficial bacteria from the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium families like the healthy mix contained in EndoMune Advanced Probiotic.

Resources

The Journal of Clinical Investigation

Medical University of South Carolina

American Academy of Dermatology

Mayo Clinic

Acne, Antibiotics and Your Bones Read More »

Baby lying on its back with an graphic of a digestive system over its body. Text reads "Gut-Brain Axis in Babies

Gut-Brain Axis In Babies

Your Baby’s Developing Gut-Brain Axis

As adults, we know our gut-brain axis — the connection that links our brain, intestines and emotions — is working and when it isn’t.

When those signals between the brain and gut get scrambled, something as simple as eating a highly processed, fast-food diet creates disruptions in the delicate balance of bacteria in our guts that can soon lead to obesity and lots more stress in our lives.

You may be surprised to learn that the gut-brain axis is at work even at the beginning of our lives as infants, and it’s noticeable when it isn’t.

If you’re a new mom who wonders why her newborn may be more fearful and fussier than you expected, it may be linked to the diversity of your baby’s gut and how it may shape their developing gut-brain axis.

 

The Fear Factor

Looking for new ways to support healthy neurological development, researchers at Michigan State University and the University of North Carolina teamed up for a study to compare fearful reactions experienced by infants to the balance of bacteria in their developing microbiomes.

Reacting to fearful things is a normal part of infant development. But, when those responses continue even in safe situations, that could signal an elevated risk of your baby developing anxiety and depression later on in life, says Dr. Rebecca Knickmeyer of Michigan State, leader of the study published in Nature Communications.

To learn how infant gut microbiomes were connected to the fear response, investigators conducted a year-long study with 30 infants who were breastfeeding and hadn’t been prescribed antibiotics.

Scientists evaluated the mix of gut bacteria based on stool samples taken from infants at 1 month and 12 months and assessed their fear responses with a simple test: Watching how each baby reacted when a stranger entered a room wearing a Halloween mask.

Parents were with their babies the whole time and they could jump in whenever they wanted, Knickmeyer says. “These are really the kinds of experiences infants would have in their everyday lives.”

No surprise, newborns who were more fearful at age 1 had very noticeable imbalances in gut bacteria at 1 month compared to those whose microbiomes remained stable. But that’s not all.

Using MRI imaging of those children’s brains, researchers discovered the diversity or lack of it in their developing guts was linked to the size of their amygdala, the sector of the brain responsible for making quick decisions about potential threats.

 

The Future Of Your Baby’s Gut

The results of this report highlight how important it is to protect the balance of bacteria in your baby’s gut, even when they breastfeed, and avoid antibiotics, for the sake of their developing gut-brain axis.

This may be a good time to talk to your pediatrician about giving your baby’s gut some extra help in the form of a probiotic

If you’re looking for an easy-to-use probiotic with the right mix of beneficial bacteria from the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium families plus a prebiotic that feeds the good guys in their gut, we hope you’ll consider EndoMune Jr. Powder.

Just a half-teaspoon of EndoMune Jr. sprinkled in your baby’s formula or added to soft foods (when your baby is ready) once a day can make a healthy difference.

 

Resources

Nature Communications

Michigan State University

Gut-Brain Axis In Babies Read More »

Father holding an infant in a brightly lit room. Text says "Antibiotics For Babies: Proceed with Caution"

Antibiotics For Babies: Proceed With Caution

Early Antibiotics May Harm Your Baby’s Gut

When we discuss the overuse of antibiotics, it’s usually focused on adults who rely on them too often to treat health problems that would be resolved in time on their own.

This over-reliance can often mean these one-time “miracle drugs” may not work when they’re truly necessary, and create openings for more health problems down the road.

Few of us expect babies to be exposed to antibiotics so early, but we recently learned how often they’re prescribed — even once — for little ones under age 2 may increase the possibility of food allergies, obesity and many more health challenges.

What’s more, little good happens when infants are treated with antibiotics during their first week of life, according to a recent report in Nature Communications.

 

Too Much Exposure To Antibiotics

Experts estimate as many as 10 percent of all newborns are prescribed an antibiotic and that doctors justify them based on “suspected” infections.

This overprescribing is justified by some doctors to prevent a problem they suspect could happen and get serious in a hurry, although a small number of babies ultimately experience an infection.

With those facts in mind, a team of researchers from the UK and The Netherlands conducted a clinical trial involving 227 babies to observe how antibiotics would affect their tiny microbiomes.

Nearly 150 babies with “suspected” sepsis were treated by one of three antibiotics, with the remainder were part of a control group who received no antibiotics. All babies had fecal or rectal samples taken before and after treatments at 1, 4 and 12 months of age.

Among the infants who were prescribed an antibiotic, the harmful effects were obvious.

  • Babies experienced significant decreases in various species of Bifidobacterium, microbes that help them better digest breast milk and support their good gut health.
  • Scientists observed a change in more than 250 strains of bacteria in the guts of babies, flipping the balance in favor of more unhealthy harmful microbes.
  • Those microbial changes lasted at least 12 months and did not improve with breastfeeding.
  • Among the antibiotics prescribed, the combination of penicillin and gentamicin was the least detrimental on a newborn’s microbiome.

The start of antibiotic treatment, not its duration, appears to be trigger for gut health problems, says researcher Dr. Marlies van Houten, a pediatrician at the Spaarne Hospital in The Netherlands.

 

A Probiotic In Your Baby’s Future?

The evidence is clear that antibiotics are prescribed way too often, and breastfeeding may not restore the developing microbiomes of infants, so what are your options?

Should an antibiotic be necessary, we recommend talking to your pediatrician about giving your baby a probiotic with multiple species of beneficial bacteria that can boost the critical balance of bugs in their tiny microbiomes.

If you’re looking for a probiotic with the right made for your baby, consider EndoMune Jr. Powder formulated with 10 billion CFUs of beneficial bacteria from the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium families plus a prebiotic that feeds their developing microbiome.

Just a half-teaspoon of EndoMune Jr. sprinkled in your baby’s formula or added to soft foods (when your baby is ready for them) once a day can make a gut-healthy difference!

 

Resources

Nature Communications

University of Edinburgh

Medscape

Antibiotics For Babies: Proceed With Caution Read More »

Photograph of infant holding mother's thumb. Text reads "Protect Your Baby's Gut Health from Allergies

The Link Between Childhood Allergies And Gut Health

Protect Your Baby’s Gut Health From Allergies

Building great gut health starts with a solid foundation. For a new mom, that’s making gut-smart choices like breastfeeding her new baby for as long as she can and doing her best to avoid a c-section birth.

Doing those two things can go a long way toward developing a diverse, balanced microbiome that protects your child from persistent health issues like allergies as he/she grows up.

Unfortunately, c-section rates remain high for new moms (even for those first-time moms with low-risk births) and breastfeeding numbers drop sharply after 6 months, according to numbers collected by the CDC.

So, we shouldn’t be surprised that childhood allergies are also on the rise due to a lack of diversity in gut bacteria, according to a pair of reports.

 

Gut Bacteria Imbalances

The findings of the two studies, appearing recently in Nature Communications and Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, mirrored each other in one important way: The balance of bacteria determined a child’s susceptibility to food or respiratory allergies.

For example, Italian researchers in the Nature study identified specific microbial signatures that stood out due to their higher inflammatory potential (thanks to an uptick in the production of pro-inflammatory molecules) and depleted levels of beneficial bacteria in fecal samples taken from allergic kids compared to healthy ones.

Overall, less than a third of the children with food allergies developed a healthy immunity to problematic foods like cow’s milk, eggs, nuts, or fruit by the end of a three-year monitoring period.

These same challenges with the lack of microbial diversity were very evident in the Pediatric Allergy and Immunology study over an extended five-year time-frame too.

Based on stool samples taken from children ages 3-5, patients with allergies had far less diverse microbiomes than healthy kids, especially among young patients sensitive to peanuts and milk.

 

A Probiotic Solution

Although there were no mentions in either study about breastfeeding or natural childbirth, based on previous reports we’ve shared, we know both have a positive impact on reducing your child’s chances of food or respiratory allergies.

Not to mention, feeding your baby formula exclusively has been found to increase the incidence of respiratory problems and asthma significantly.

Unfortunately, more than a few new moms may not have the option of having natural childbirth or breastfeeding, so what do you do?

You may want to consider giving your baby a multi-species probiotic like EndoMune Junior Advanced Powder that contains four basic building blocks of beneficial bacteria from the Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus families, along with a prebiotic (FOS) that feeds the good guys in her/his developing gut.

But, before starting your baby on EndoMune Junior in its powdered form or its Chewable berry-flavored tablet, please check in with your pediatrician.

 

Resources

Pediatric Allergy Immunology

Medscape

Nature Communications

Microbiome Post.com

The Link Between Childhood Allergies And Gut Health Read More »

milk and potatoes in a box at feeding America charity

Our Fight Against Hunger Continues

EndoMune is proud to announce our continued 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 hunger-relief to communities across the United States.

We are committed to helping people experiencing economic hardship and hunger, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, unemployment and food insecurity challenges many people are facing in our communities today.

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 hunger-relief efforts, visit endomune.com/shop-probiotics/

 

 

Our Fight Against Hunger Continues Read More »

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

 

 

The Solution For Your Baby’s Colic: Probiotics Read More »

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

 

 

 

How Antibiotics May Harm Your Baby’s Health Read More »

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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/.

 

 

Our Campaign Against Hunger Continues Read More »

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