Probiotics are live strands of bacteria that are GOOD for you. Bacteria is usually associated with disease or sickness, but there is good bacteria that colonizes the gut. This gut bacteria is called microflora, or just flora for short. Flora plays an important role in the growth and development of children. To prevent a growth delay in your children, make sure to keep their gut bacteria healthy!
Recent studies have shown (the intestinal microbiota: A new ally for optimum growth) that microflora controls an important growth factor (IGF-1). Without active growth factors, tissues become resistant to growth. This can lead to chronic infantile undernutrition in infants and growth retardation in young children. These conditions lead to lighter weights and a smaller build in growing children.
The best way to maintain a healthy microflora in kids is with probiotics. Probiotics come in both food and supplements. Yogurt, kefir, miso soup, sauerkraut, and sourdough bread all contain probiotics. Just make sure the product has multiple live cultures when you purchase at the store. Looking at this list, you may discover that your child does not actually like any of these foods. If this is the case, you may want to try a supplement. Metagenics, a great company that conducts research on their all of their supplements before putting them out for purchase, offers UltraFlora Baby and UltraFlora Children’s. You can order these products off of our website, just make sure you create an account first!