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Although it may sound innovative and groundbreaking, this is actually a proven fact. Probiotics begin to make their appearance from the first moment we are born. As the baby goes through the birth canal, he collects the bacteria from the mother and then it is a race against time.
The body assimilates a lot of bacterial mass in the first years of life and this is a key aspect in developing and improving the immune system.
Probiotics and the biological defensive system
Right from the get-go we have to mention that we would not have a fully developed immune system if we would not maintain a positive balance between the good and the bad bacteria. This is where we need to talk about an important aspect, which is the category of overprotective parents.
Although being protective with your offspring may sound like the definition of a perfect parent, exaggerating will attract some rather serious consequences. It has been determined that it is counterproductive to keep your children in a germ free and sterilized environment. You see this a lot in our today’s societies.
It is some sort of a trend among the parents, but they do not realize that, instead of benefiting the baby, they are causing him a lot more harm. Unwillingly, we will give them that, but the results are the same nonetheless. But how does that work?
Probiotics only form in a contaminated environment
There is nothing surprising in this statement. You already knew this. After all, what are probiotics? They are by definition bacteria. The only thing that sets them apart from the rest of the microorganisms, is that the immune system tolerates them. This is because of the many benefits that come along with them. Among these we need to mention the support they provide the digestive system with, because without this bacterial mass, we would not be able to extract the nutrients we need.
So, coming back to the title, keep in mind what we said. Probiotics only form in a contaminated environment. Now what should we expect when the said environment we are raising our children in is sterile? Sure, there are no potentially harmful agents that the children have to deal with, which can be beneficial, but it punches a lot more problems than you might think.
Due to the fact that there are no microorganisms around, the child’s immune system has nothing to exercise on. Since the immune system does not have any agents to kill, it is not stimulated into growing and improving itself. Also, the child’s body will lack those beneficial bacteria he needs in order to function properly.
This is why, probably paradoxically for most parents, their children will get sick a lot more often than those who are not as protected. For the normal children, the immune system develops naturally by fighting the intruders and eliminating them one by one, each strain in particular. It grows by exercising, which is exactly how vaccines work, for instance. They provide the body with dead bacteria and the immune system will devour them, thus learning how to do it in the case the same agents will invade the body while alive.
Gut probiotics influence brain development
This is part of a newly developed scientific theory, according to which there is a distinct connection between our gut bacteria and the mental functioning. It has been determined that the way our intestinal bacteria behave is strongly related to brain processes like moodiness, aggression, shyness, happiness, pleasure and so on.
Recent study articles have identified links between the gut bacteria and the central nervous system and they suggest that the probiotics use the same neurochemicals in communicating with the brain that the brain itself is using in transmitting information throughout the body.
Aside from this, it has already been determined that probiotics present in the gut create dopamine and serotonin. These play no role in digestive processes, but they are essential in countering major mental problems like anxiety and depression. Dopamine is also called the pleasure chemical, because it is being released whenever we exercise pleasurable activities, like sex, eating good food, having fun and so on.
The fact that gut probiotics can create these chemicals is rather astounding and it is definitely evidence pointing towards the obvious conclusion: probiotics are indeed beneficial for both gut and brain.
How can probiotics benefit your child?
First of all, there are many levels probiotics function on and their benefits are quite numerous to start with. However, since we are talking about child related benefits, we have to only consider those that have been already proven.
This is because the scientific community already suspects that there are many more to be discovered in the near future. But those that we already know are definitely what we need to keep in mind.
So far we have talked about the immune system, and the way it is being influenced by different strains of bacteria, and the link between the probiotics and the brain. Now we are going to talk about the link between probiotics and obesity.
Simply by bringing obesity into the discussion is something designed to install fear into the heart of every parent. At least every parent concerned with his child’s wellbeing. A 2012 study showed that around 35% of the American children and teenagers were suffering from obesity.
Of course, the numbers are a lot greater than this, because we do not only take obesity into account, but also being overweight. Excessive body fat punches the same health risks, with a plus for obesity, of course.
So what is the solution here? It is obvious that all the classical methods have failed us, because the number of obese people around the world is increasing by the year. And among them children are the most affected and this is where we need to work, because today’s obese children are tomorrow’s obese adults.
Probiotics can counter and prevent obesity in children
It is a true fact. Probiotics are actually an effective anti-obesity measure, which is why there are so many people purchasing them as supplements. Even more, unlike other weight loss supplements, probiotics are completely natural, because they do not contain any artificial additive or component.
They are being naturally produced by your body so there is no need to worry about any potential side effects or allergies, for that matter. So where do these benefits come from? As it turns out, the process by which it provides the so much needed support is the metabolism.
Due to the fact that probiotics are actively engaged in breaking down proteins and carbs, the result is a far more effective digestive system. This means that the body will assimilate a lot more nutrients and the metabolism will be greatly increased. you probably guess where this is going, right? A higher metabolic rate equals more energy to spend and more energy means more physical support.
The body will use fat to create energy, hence the weight loss we were talking about. Probiotics may assist you in losing more weight when engaging in activities aiming to do just that.
This is a particularly important aspect, because the children are where your attention should be. Probiotics need to be regulated inside the body during the early stages of life, because after the kid reaches maturity it is already too late. The immune system would have been already developed incomplete and extremely poorly.
In this regard, this is definitely something you should take into account. Probiotics are highly effective in providing the body with a lot of benefits. Some are already proven, some are yet to be demonstrated, but what we already know should further guide our steps.