Good Bacteria for Kids: Best Friends and Allies

Good Bacteria for Kids: Best Friends and Allies

  • Kids' Health

  • By Desiree Nielsen, Registered Dietitian

    Bacteria usually have a bad reputation amongst parents. But while some bacteria are pathogenic, others actually provide many benefits for kids’ health—such as the bacteria in the intestinal flora! How well do you know the difference between good and bad bacteria?

    A Microscopic Army of Good Bacteria

    It has been said that the intestinal flora of a two-year-old resembles the intestinal flora of an adult--comprising of 100,000 billion bacteria, but originating from 1,000 to 1,150 species. In fact, the body contains more bacteria than human cells! Thankfully, not only are most of them harmless, they’re also essential.

    Vital for little ones’ intestinal microbiota, good bacteria mainly work in three ways: they lend a hand to the developing immune system, create a barrier against foreign substances (pathogens, toxins, allergens) and help with food digestion.

    A Trio of Probiotics for Children

    Within the probiotics family, we find lactobacilli (Lactobacillus). These lactic bacteria are present in various natural environments, from the ground and decomposing plants, to animals. Because the lactic acid they produce protects food against the proliferation of pathogenic germs, they have been used in the preparation of fermented foods for a long time. But not all lactic bacteria are probiotic. To qualify as such, they must have a positive impact on their host’s health.

    An increasing amount of research shows the benefits of several lactic bacteria of various origins, in attempt to understand their mechanism of action in the digestive system. Studies conducted on the patented Bio-K+® formula have demonstrated that amongst all types of lactobacilli, three of them—L. acidophilus, L. casei and L. rhamnosus—are more effective when they work together.

    From the Stomach to the Intestine - Quite the Journey!

    Before playing their role as good bacteria for kids’ bodies, bacteria must first overcome several obstacles on their gastrointestinal journey, namely gastric acid and bile salts. To arrive safely at their destination, bacteria must both be viable and have been ingested in large quantities. The 50 billion bacteria contained in every fresh, drinkable Bio-K+ product never undergo any transformation. Instead, they are alive, active, and more resistant during the intestinal journey. As for the substrate (milk, soy, or rice), it facilitates the transportation of good bacteria and accommodates food sensitivities… while also tasting delicious!

    Bio-K+ probiotics are also available in capsules, thanks to lyophilisation, a freeze-drying process that keeps bacteria alive, but in a latent state. However, this method tends to weaken the bacteria, making them more vulnerable to gastric acid and bile salts. To counter this disadvantage, all Bio-K+ capsules are sealed with an enteric coating that allows for the targeted release of its contents to ensure the bacteria remains viable during their perilous journey.

    When the naturally occurring bacteria in our little ones’ digestive system are weakened by an infection or the use of antibiotics, probiotics can come to the rescue. Probiotics become their best friends and most precious allies for strengthening the immune system and helping prevent illness.


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    Desiree Nielsen Registered Dietitian
    About the author
    Desiree Nielsen is a registered dietitian, author and host of the vvegetarian ccooking sshow, The Urban Vegetarian. Desiree takes an evidence-based, integrative approach to her dietetics work, with a focus on anti-inflammatory, plant-centredcentered nutrition and digestive health.
    View all articles by Desiree Nielsen
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