Women’s Health

Women’s Health issues can generally be helped by including probiotics in their diets to restore and maintain better gut health leading to overall better health.

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.

Shop EndoMune Probiotics

Soda can pouring out sugar

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.

woman laying on couch holding stomach in pain from fibromyalgia and IBS

The Gut Health Link to Fibromyalgia

The medical condition known as fibromyalgia — punctuated by widespread and intense musculoskeletal pain, debilitating fatigue and cognitive problems — has been one of the most challenging medical conditions for a very long time.

It’s been a real struggle until recently to convince medical professionals and laypeople that fibromyalgia is a very real thing (it is!), largely because the root causes of this condition remain very much unknown. Plus, diagnosing fibromyalgia can take a long time.

What we do know: Fibromyalgia goes hand-in-hand with gut problems, like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). As many as 70 percent of the fibromyalgia patients experience IBS symptoms, according to a paper written by UCLA’s Dr. Lin Chang for the University of North Carolina Center For Functional GI and Motility Disorders.

Like fibromyalgia, the exact causes of IBS are a mystery too. However, among the factors related to an IBS diagnosis is an imbalance of gut bacteria.

It just makes sense that a gut health link must exist and a group of Canadian researchers from the McGill University and the University of Montreal recently discovered it, in a hot-off-the-presses study appearing in the journal Pain.

Big differences

Scientists discovered very distinct differences in the mix of gut bacteria between healthy people and those who suffer from fibromyalgia.

Using computational techniques including artificial intelligence, they compared the urine, blood, saliva and stool samples taken from 156 patients, including 77 female fibromyalgia patients, between ages 30-60.

Researchers identified 19 variances in species of gut bacteria — in abnormally higher and lower amounts — in fibromyalgia patients.

Moreover, these techniques allowed scientists to diagnose fibromyalgia in patients using only a patient’s microbiome with an amazing accuracy of 87 percent.

“The changes we saw in the microbiomes of fibromyalgia patients were not caused by factors such as diet, medication, physical activity, age, and so on, which are known to affect the microbiome,” says Dr. Amir Minerbi, lead author of the study.

Some imbalances in gut bacteria species have been linked to several intestinal diseases in lower amounts or inflammatory arthritis in higher numbers.

This news has some pain management experts intrigued about addressing fibromyalgia in a much broader way as part of the gut-brain axis.

“Having a microbiome signature could allow clinicians to understand to what extent the gut is promoting the condition as well as how planned interventions that may alter the microbiome — such as diet, prebiotics and probiotics — could be promising tools,” as pointed out by noted pain management expert Dr. Robert Bonakdar to Medscape.

Probiotics do a great deal of good, and not only as an IBS treatment. According to a recent review of studies, probiotics may be an effective tool in treating, not only fibromyalgia but chronic fatigue syndrome too.

To achieve the best outcome for your gut health, whether you suffer from fibromyalgia or IBS, your best bet is to take a probiotic created with multiple strains of beneficial bacteria.

EndoMune Advanced Probiotic contains 10 strains of beneficial bacteria amounting to 20 billion CFU, not to mention a prebiotic (FOS) that provides food for the good guys in your gut.

Woman in white shirt and jeans holding her upset stomach

How Gut Diversity Affects PCOS

For women experiencing hormonal issues or having trouble conceiving a child, a possible culprit could be polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

This condition, affecting as many as 10 percent of all women from ages 15-44, is defined by a number of tell-tale signs:

  • Increased levels of male hormones that create more body or facial hair.
  • Excess weight or having a harder time losing it.
  • Menstrual cycles that last longer and are more infrequent or irregular.
  • Enlarged ovaries.
  • Skin changes including darkening around creases and the appearance of more skin tags.
  • Problems with rest due to sleep apnea.

The presence of PCOS may also mean a greater risk of metabolic health problems, including elevated levels of insulin which could lead to type 2 diabetes. In fact, many women who are diagnosed with PCOS eventually become diabetic.

There’s a growing amount of evidence a woman’s gut health — specifically its diversity — could play a larger role in PCOS.

Could a probiotic advantage make a healthy difference? Let’s take a look…

Gut diversity issues

Some of the more recent studies from research teams in Poland, San Diego State University and the University of San Diego have discovered a gut health connection in their work with human and animal subjects.

For example, one study appearing in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism compared fecal samples from 73 PCOS patients with 43 women who had polycystic ovaries but no other signs of PCOS and 48 healthy women without this condition.

The comparisons fell the way you’d probably expect. Out of the three groups, PCOS patients had the least diverse gut health, while those with polycystic ovaries but no PCOS had better gut diversity, but less compared to healthy test subjects.

One of the previous studies involving mice from 2016 published in PLOS ONE suggested the possibility of probiotics being a treatment, and it’s certainly a more direct and less problematic one compared with insulin sensitizers and estrogens.

You don’t have look very hard to find evidence that a good probiotic can make a difference in treating PCOS, based on evidence in a double-blind clinical trial on 60 patients reported in the Journal of Ovarian Research.

During a 12-week trial, patients took a placebo or probiotics containing multiple strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium bacteria and a 200-mg selenium supplement.

The use of probiotics and selenium by PCOS patients lowered testosterone levels, and made significant improvements in mental health problems including depression and reduced extra body hair.

Among the bacteria used in this study — Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum — are two of the 10 beneficial strains contained in EndoMune Advanced Probiotic.

Taking a multi-species probiotic like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic may be a safer, better approach for women wanting to ease the symptoms of PCOS.

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.

someone sitting down showing a jagged spine

Probiotics may help prevent Osteoporosis

Many people assume bone health is a condition only older adults need to worry about. That’s not a surprise, considering how harmful falls can be to seniors.

However, you may be shocked to learn that people reach their peak bone mass by age 30, and your body begins to lose more bone than it rebuilds after that.

Many variables affect bone health, from hormone levels and gender to specific medications and how much you smoke or consume alcohol.

Fortunately, there’s some really simple things you can do to protect the health of your bones, like staying physically active and making sure your body gets the right amounts of calcium and vitamin D.

Considering adding a daily probiotic to the list of preventative measures to protect your bone health, based on a recent study featured in the Journal of Internal Medicine.

Researchers at Sahlgrenska University Hospital (Sweden) came to that conclusion after monitoring the bone health of 90 older women (average age 76) who took a probiotic containing a proprietary strain of Lactobacillus or a placebo for 12 months.

Women who received the active probiotic lost only half as much bone compared to patients taking the placebo, based on comparisons of CT scans taken before supplementation began and after it ended.

There’s one important advantage probiotics offer that bisphosphonates (a class of drugs typically prescribed by doctors for bone density loss) don’t: Probiotics would reduce the rare but very serious risks of side effects linked to the long-term use of these drugs, like fractures to the jaw bone and possibly more common ones like heartburn.

“Today, there are effective medications administered to treat osteoporosis, but because bone fragility is rarely detected before the first fracture, there is a pressing need for preventive treatments,” says Dr. Mattias Lorentzon, a chief physician and professor of geriatrics at the Sahlgrenska Academy.

“The fact that we have been able to show that treatment with probiotics can affect bone loss represents a paradigm shift. Treatment with probiotics can be an effective and safe way to prevent the onset of osteoporosis in many older people in the future.”

The results of this study are less surprising than you might assume, given research we’ve discussed previously about poor dietary habits harming one’s gut health and triggering auto-inflammatory bone disease.

Imagine what taking a more robust probiotic with multiple strains of beneficial bacteria like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic could do to make a healthy difference in your gut and your bones.

group of woman smiling together after a hike

Estrogen Therapy Affects Women’s Gut Health

There are many reasons why women take estrogen therapy as they approach menopause, from relieving related symptoms leading up to and following menopause to improving vaginal health and guarding against bone loss.

Just like other drugs, taking synthetic estrogen has an effect on the microbial makeup, balance and activity in a woman’s gut too.

Moreover, this activity may affect how a specific enzyme in the gut — B-glucuronidase (GUS) — metabolizes synthetic estrogens in the gut, according to recent findings from a University of Illinois study featured in Scientific Reports.

Scientists made this discovery while conducting tests on five groups of female mice treated with various estrogens either alone or with bazedoifene (an estrogen-receptor drug). These test animals also had their ovaries removed and were fed high-fat diets.

What does this discovery mean for women taking estrogen? Depending on a woman’s gut health, it could affect how efficiently her body metabolizes estrogen.

Although the overall diversity of these test animals didn’t change significantly, levels of some bacteria did decrease along with some associated with the GUS enzyme, including Akkermansia.

This finding was fascinating to researchers because this specific bacterial family is linked to anti-inflammatory properties in humans.

Results from some fecal samples in mice treated with estrogen and bazedoifene showed significantly lower levels of Akkermansia. On the other hand, animals with higher levels of Akkermansia had larger livers, more estrogen and gained more weight.

“Our findings indicate that clinicians might be able to manipulate the gut biome through probiotics to change the half-life and properties of estrogens so that long-term users obtain the therapeutic benefits of estrogen-replacement therapy without increasing their risks of reproductive cancers,” says Dr. Zeynep Madak-Erdogan, lead researcher and director of the University of Illinois’ Women’s Health, Hormones and Nutrition Lab.

Gut diversity + estrogen does matter

You may be skeptical that gut health has any bearing on a woman’s ability to metabolize estrogen and, after all, the University of Illinois study focuses on mice.

However, a 2014 study of postmenopausal women determined gut health — specifically gut diversity — does matter.

In fact, postmenopausal women whose gut health is diverse may be more able to break down estrogen, which could reduce their risks of breast cancer, according to the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

These findings were based on an analysis of urine and fecal samples taken from 60 postmenopausal women between ages 55-69 in Colorado with healthy mammograms.

“Our findings suggest a relationship between the diversity of the bacterial community in the gut, which theoretically can be altered with changes in diet or some medications, and future risk of developing breast cancer,” says Dr. James Goedert of the National Cancer Institute who worked on the study, according to a press release.

“But we are hopeful that because the microbiome can change the way the body processes estrogens, it may one day offer a target for breast cancer prevention.”

The takeaway from these studies, especially if you’re a woman taking estrogen, is that it’s important for women, young and not so young, who take estrogen to pay much closer attention to their gut health.

Fortunately, the best way to maintain a healthy mix of bacteria in your gut may be easier than you think. Taking a probiotic like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic with 10 strains of beneficial bacteria, plus a prebiotic (food for the bacteria in your gut), can do a world of good for your health, and how your body uses estrogen.

a mother holding her bareskin baby

Protect Your Baby’s Health From Allergies Early

One of the best things an expecting mom can do to protect the health of her baby from all kinds of health problems, even before he or she is born, is to take a probiotic.

An extensive meta-analysis of studies by researchers at Imperial College London published recently in PLOS Medicine supports those benefits, showing how probiotics and fish oil may reduce problems in a baby’s early days with eczema and allergies.

Out of more than 400 studies that were examined, 28 trials determined moms who took a probiotic from the 36th week of their pregnancies, then for up to six months while breastfeeding, lowered by 22 percent their baby’s risks of eczema, a skin condition that causes the skin to be irritated or inflamed.

Overall, up to 20 percent of infants are affected eczema, which shows up as patches of red, dry or itchy skin.

Many of the probiotics identified by researchers in their meta-analysis contained Lactobacillus rhamnosus, one of 10 strains of beneficial bacteria found in EndoMune Advanced Probiotic.

A similar pre-birth benefit was discovered by moms who took fish oil daily. Starting from the 20th week of their pregnancies up to four months of breastfeeding, babies avoided common allergies to eggs by a nifty 30 percent.

Interestingly, a mom’s avoidance of foods like nuts, dairy and eggs during her pregnancy made no difference in her baby’s risks of experiencing allergies or eczema.

Your breastfeeding wakeup call

At this juncture, It’s good to remind moms that breastfeeding (along with natural delivery) does a great deal of good for the health of their newborns, as it gives them an extra gut health boost that helps their tiny bodies fight off diseases naturally.

While most experts recommend that moms breastfeed their newborns for as long as they’re able — the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends at least 12 months — even the best choices can fall by the wayside due to unexpected health concerns, like a caesarean (C-section) delivery.

However, moms who can’t breastfeed as long as they planned or at all can do a lot to protect the health of their babies, just by giving them a probiotic made just for them, like EndoMune Jr. Powder recommended for children up to age 3.

Like its “big brother,” EndoMune Jr. Chewable, EndoMune Jr. Powder contains four strains of beneficial bacteria from the Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus families along with a prebiotic (FOS) that feeds the growing and diverse group of critters in your baby’s gut.

a woman holding a baby

Help Protect Your C-section Baby

Nearly a third of all babies born in America are delivered via C-section (Cesarean), surgery that brings an infant into the world through incisions in a woman’s uterus and abdomen.

There are many reasons why your obstetrician may recommend a C-section, especially if your baby isn’t getting enough oxygen or your baby isn’t positioned head first in the birth canal (breech or transverse).

Yet, a fair number of women request C-sections merely for the sake of avoiding labor or convenience, and even some hospitals tend to encourage them.

As common as C-sections are, they do come with long-term health risks for your baby via problems with their tiny gut microbiome, according to a recent Canadian study appearing in JAMA Pediatrics.

Gut health a factor

This study from the University of Alberta (Canada) tracked the health of 935 pairs of Moms and their babies to determine if C-section deliveries made babies more prone to obesity, paying close attention to babies born to overweight Moms.

Compared to being born naturally by a Mom of a healthy weight, babies born to overweight women were three times more likely to be overweight at ages 1 and 3.

Those risks of early weight problems for babies exploded to a factor of five among overweight women delivering their babies via C-section.

While examining infant gut microbiomes, scientists found a major gut health disparity – larger amounts of Lachnospiraceae — in babies born by overweight women and those delivered via C-section.

“Given that infant overweight and obesity are a major public health problem, our results reinforce increasing concerns over rising Cesarean deliveries and affirm the role of the gut microbiota as a ‘super organ’ with diverse roles in health and disease,” says lead study author Dr. Anita Kozyrskyj, according to a press release.

Probiotics and breast milk

If a Cesarean may be the best health choice for a new Mom, what can she do to protect her newborn from obesity? In a recent interview with the New York Times, Dr. Kozyrskyj mentions breastfeeding as an effective tool.

In fact, breastfeeding in tandem with a beneficial probiotic may do just the trick, according to research appearing in mSphere from the University of California, Davis.

Scientists tracked the health of 66 breastfed babies over several months. A little more than half of the infants were treated with a subspecies of Bifidobacterium longum (one of four strains of beneficial bacteria found in EndoMune Jr. Powder and EndoMune Jr. Chewable) for three weeks, while the remainder received no extra probiotic help.

Compared to the smaller group, larger amounts of the Bifidobacterium longum subspecies were found in fecal samples taken from babies treated with the probiotic. Plus, those beneficial concentrations remained intact for at least 30 days after the probiotic period ended (and were still thriving up to six months later).

The probiotic babies had lower amounts of potentially harmful pathogens and high levels of acetate and lactate, important, beneficial products produced by the fermentation of human breast milk sugars by the Bifidobacterium subspecies.

Even more revealing were the changes in the gut health of babies born via C-section versus vaginally. In the beginning, both groups of infants were colonized by different gut bacteria.

After both groups were given the same Bifidobacterium longum subspecies, the microbiomes of the C-section group began to resemble that of the naturally born infant group.

“The probiotic was able to eliminate the differences inherent to C-section delivery,” lead study author Dr. Mark Underwood told Popular Science.

So, what if Mom can’t breastfeed? Dr. Underwood suggests giving your baby a three-week course of this probiotic and a formula with added human milk oligosaccharides could help with colonization and may continue as long as he/she is on that formula.

Before you consider giving your newborn a probiotic, always consult with your pediatrician or doctor first just to be on the safe side.

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