Generally not a fan of antibiotics, I recently found myself taking two courses over a 4 week period – the first time in 15 years. I was sick!
Of course, I helpfully passed it on to my son. After I stop by the pharmacy today to fill his prescription, I’ll pop into my local health market and pick up some probiotics for him as well.
Long used in the alternative health community, interest in probiotics by western medicine practitioners is growing. An American Academy of Pediatrics article states:
Probiotics are microbes that can protect and prevent disease. The best known is Lactobacillus acidophilus, which is found in yogurt and acidophilus milk. As well as, supplements.
Importantly, in this winter cold season, probiotics may help prevent children’s diarrhea associated with the use of antibiotics by replenishing the helpful bacteria normally found in the intestine.
Probiotics can be found in both children and adult formulation…and in a dizzying array of options. When purchasing probiotics, it helps to shop at a store with dedicated personnel in the nutritional supplements department. A few tips to bear in mind:
- Always check the nutritional analysis and try to buy a supplement that delivers at least 4 Billion viable organisms for adults and 1 billion for children.
- Purchase a brand that has as many different types of species of probiotics as possible
- Buy a brand that contains both Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium families.
- Once you bring them home, keep your probiotics refrigerated as heat renders them inactive
Probiotics have also been found to be helpful in preventing respiratory infections and are often used as part of a healthy supplement regimen. Popular children’s brands include
Culturelle and Florabear but, there are a wide variety available. You can read more about choosing probiotics here. As for me, I’m stocking up.