What are Probiotics & Prebiotics?
Probiotics are living microorganisms that colonize your gut (intestines). These bacteria provide many benefits such as an improved immune system, weight loss, healthier skin, better digestion, and a decreased risk of a number of diseases including type 2 diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. They can be found in foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi.
Prebiotics are non-digestible carbohydrate fibers that feed the healthy bacteria in your gut and come from foods like oats, peas, and bananas. The combination of probiotics and prebiotics in the intestines creates a healthy balance that has a huge impact on a person’s overall health.
Benefits of Probiotics for Babies
So what does a probiotic do for a baby? Maintaining a good balance in the gut helps babies fight off any exposure to respiratory illnesses and gastrointestinal infections as well as maintain overall good health. Breast milk contains both probiotics and prebiotics so breastfed babies naturally get a healthy dose of each.
For awhile, it was unclear whether baby formula with probiotics and prebiotics was safe. However, studies in the last couple of decades have shown that probiotics and prebiotics in formula provide babies with the benefits that probiotics and prebiotics in breast milk offer such as a reduced rate of infections. They have been found to have no negative effects.
When babies are born, they receive a dose of probiotics as they pass through their mother’s birth canal. However, babies who are born via cesarean section or prematurely don’t receive this dose so it may be even more important for those babies to receive probiotics and prebiotics from a young age.
When Can Babies Have Probiotics & Prebiotics?
Babies can receive probiotics and prebiotics from birth onward. Recent research has shown that babies who are born prematurely can benefit enormously from probiotics, which decrease their chances of contracting a serious intestinal inflammation called Necrotizing enterocolitis.
As babies grow, they’ll start to receive probiotics and prebiotics from the real food they eat, but you may still want to use formula that contains them both until your little one is getting most of their calories from food.
This brings us to the next question: which formula has probiotics? One of the (if not the) best probiotic formulas on the market today is the HiPP organic baby formula, specifically the HiPP combiotic formula line. The HiPP formula ingredients in this combiotic line include probiotics, prebiotics and fish oil to ensure your baby gets exactly what they need to thrive. HiPP offers two combiotic options: its organic combiotic collection
and its hypoallergenic combiotic collection
. Both are made using the highest quality ingredients so your baby gets all the nourishment they need.
Do you already give probiotics and prebiotics to your little one? We’d love to hear about your experience with it or any questions you may have in the comments below!
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Probiotics and prebiotics. These buzzwords come up all the time in food- and health-related discussions. They’re connected to having a healthy gut — but what exactly do probiotics and prebiotics do? And should you be giving them to your little ones? Keep reading for all you need to know about probiotics, prebiotics, and the babies who need them.