Probiotics are living microorganisms, that scientific research has shown to benefit our health. Most often they are good bacteria, but they may also be other organisms such as yeasts. Vegan Probiotics are similar, or the same, as the “good” bacteria already in your body, especially those in our tummy, but without allergens such as dairy products. These good bacteria are part of the trillions of microorganisms that already inhabit our bodies. This community of microorganisms is called the microbiota. Some microbiota organisms are known to cause disease and others are known to aide in digestion and good health.
Some Foods with Natural & Dairy-Free Probiotics:
Homemade Coconut Yogurt, Miso Soup, Kambucha, Sauerkraut, Pickles, Tempeh, Kimchi & other fermented food. As you can see in the list and the photos, foods that have natural probiotics are not foods babies or children can or would like to eat… This is why is important to learn about Probiotic supplementation for infants & kids. The two kinds of Bacteria used most often in Probiotics are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. These bacteria are also far more abundant in infant poop then in adult excrement. Each group of bacteria has different species and each species has different strains. Different strains have different benefits for different parts of your body. Most importantly, in order for Probiotic Bacteria to work, they must survive the acids in the Digestive Tract. This is why it is important to buy good quality probiotics, which can not be found at regular grocery stores!
Why Babies feel better with Vegan Probiotics!
- They Boost immune system by enhancing antibodies to vaccines.
- Prevent harmful bacteria from attaching to gut lining & growing there.
- Send signals to cells to strengthen mucus in intestines
- Helps mucous act as a barrier against infection.
- Inhibit/Destroy toxins released by “bad” bacteria.
- Produce B vitamins necessary for metabolizing food
- Reduces anemia caused by deficiencies in B6/B12.
- Maintains healthy skin and a healthy nervous system.
Other Possible Benefits of Vegan Probiotics for Babies:
- Prevention of necrotising enterocolitis (death of intestinal tissue).
- Prevention of fevers & diarrhea.
- Increased immunity in infants infected with Rotavirus & Diarrhea.
- Reduces chances baby will develop atopic Eczema & Asthma.
Signs your Baby/Child may need Vegan Probiotics!
- Bloody stools
- Mucous in stools
- H-pylori in the family
- Repeated respiratory infections
Other Important Questions!
- Was baby born premature? Was baby given antibiotics?
- Was mom given antibiotics during pregnancy/delivery/breast feeding?
- Was baby born through C-Section? Did mom drink dairy while pregnant?
- Did mom lack fresh fruits and vegetables during pregnancy?
- Did your baby get sick after he/she was vaccinated?
- Did biological mother have a vaginal infection during birth?
If your baby/child has any of these symptoms, it is critical to consult with someone who can do an assessment and who is truly aware of Probiotic benefits. (Functional Med Dr/Homeopath/Naturopath/Nutritionist).
Possible Consequences of a Damaged Digestive Tract:
If the mother had an undiagnosed vaginal infection during a vaginal birth, it is possible the baby’s gut could have been damaged by this infection. If your baby was adopted or was not breast-fed then your baby did not receive all of the natural and healing properties that are in breastmilk. According to Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, Neurologist & Neurosurgeon, if your baby has a damaged digestive tract, it will further damage the integrity of his or her gut wall. This damage allows Pathogenic microbes and all sorts of toxins and microbes to flood your child’s bloodstream, and then enter the brain and disrupt development. This can result in ADHD, GAPS, Schizophrenia, Autism and Mood Disorders.
Which Probiotics are best for Baby?
Vegan Lactobacillus Species
- Lactobacillus casei Shirota: Supports the immune system & move food.
- Lactobacillus bulgaricus: Relieve symptoms of lactose intolerance.
- L. rhamnosus increases colonic B. breve & matures immune system.
- L. paracasei produces L(+)-lactic acid & antagonizes Rotavirus, Staphylococcus Aureus.
- L. gasseri is native to the human gut & is in breast milk.
- L. salivarius in intestinal tract, helps calcium absorption & helps intestinal barrier.
Vegan Bifidobacterium Species:
- B. breve promotes growth of B cells in Peyer’s patches in the ileum
- Antagonizes rotavirus & reduces intestinal anaerobic Bacteroides & Clostridium.
- B. infantis reduces the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis in babies.
- B. lactis enhances normal immune function
- Modifies gut microflora against allergic inflammation.
- B. bifidum suppresses total & allergen-specific IgE secretion.
- B. longum regulates immunity to respiratory antigens & inhibits neutrophil elastase.
Vegan Lactobacillus and Vegan Bifidobacterium are the two species designed to safely meet the metabolic and intestinal support needs of infants up to the age of 2 years. It is important that Infant Probiotic Formulas produce predominantly L(+)-lactic acid that can be safely metabolized by infants. An infant’s gastrointestinal tract is not fully mature at birth and cannot metabolize the D(-) isomer of lactic acid produced by many lactobacilli. Secondly, studies show that using a multi-strain, allergen free Probiotic that has some or all of the strains listed above, work best to bring healing and digestive support.
Dairy-Free (Vegan) & Gluten Free Probiotics are Best!
Many babies are allergic to dairy and gluten so it is best to use a probiotic that is cultured on a Vegan growth media that is free of common allergens, including dairy, wheat, gluten, egg and soy. It is also important to make sure that the label states:
- No Dairy
- No Egg
- No Sugar
- No Artificial Sweeteners
- No Coloring
- No Flavors
- No Preservatives.
Where To Buy Good Vegan Probiotics! Klaire Labs, Prothera, Designs for Health are some of the good ones! Consult a Natural Care Provider. It is important to buy Probiotics that are alive and not dead and can sit on a shelf. Many tests have been conducted and the refrigerated kind are a lot more active, powerful and effective! Dosage of Probiotics: It is critical that you follow the instructions that are on the bottle of the Probiotics, however, it is also important that if your baby is having serious gut issues, you should be working with a person who is very aware of how to use dairy-free probiotics. According to an Australian study published in BMC Medicine on August 2, 2011 by the Department of Neonatal Pediatrics in Nepean Hospital along with several other Australian hospitals, the following guidelines are best for premature babies: The probiotic should be diluted with breast milk or water, to about 1.0 to 1.5ml per dose. • Neonates less than 32 weeks gestation: 3 x 109 cfu/day (“cfu” stands for colony forming units) • Extremely low birth weight neonates (ELBW): 1.5 x 109 cfu/day until they reach enteral feeds of 50-60 ml/kg/day.
When to Start and Stop Your Baby on Vegan Probiotics!
According to Dr. Mercola, Probiotics should be started as early as possible, before pathogens can colonize your baby’s intestinal tract and before antibiotics destroy his natural flora. Dr. Mercola reported that in most scientific trials, probiotics are typically started with the start of enteral feedings, but they have been started as early as in the first four hours of life. In addition, many mothers start probiotics during pregnancy if they themselves have stomach problems, allergies, reflux or other intestinal dysbiosis.
Recipe for a Vegan Probiotic filled Yummy Yummy Coconut Yogurt!
Prep time: 5 mins Cook time: 24 hours Makes: 1 quart Ingredients:
11 ounces of Homemade Coconut Milk or 2 cans full-fat Organic Coconut Milk 2 Probiotic Capsules Instructions: Blend coconut milk with contents of probiotic capsules. Transfer to a 1 quart glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Store somewhere warm, like an oven or a window sill. After 24-48 hours, it should smell like yogurt. It may be runny, more like kefir than yogurt. If you prefer, leave it out longer. After 48-72 hours, it should be thick and have a more tangy flavor. Store in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
*** Side notes:
- Use an oven light to help create more warmth.
- If you want a sweeter yogurt, mix in Coconut Nectar or Fruit.
- Some Probiotics work better than others. please experiment.
- The homemade coconut milk doesn’t work as well, but BPA free.
- If you are ok with BPA, canned milk works really well & is thicker.
Stay Healthy & Happy! ~ Dr. Dee