Are probiotics safe to use in infants?
I'm so glad you're asking this question.
Before recommending any supplement, we should always be asking whether it's likely to be safe and effective.
This is even more important when using supplements with infants, where the stakes are higher than in many other life stages.
The short answer is that the safety profile of probiotics in infants is quite strong in many cases.
I don't recommend probiotics for all infants, but in some cases I believe that the benefits are likely to outweigh the risks.
These cases include preterm babies at risk of necrotizing enterocolitis, infants with colic, infants who are experiencing infrequent stools, and when antibiotics have been administered. There is some evidence suggesting that probiotic administration may be helpful in preventing atopic conditions (eczema/atopic dermatitis, asthma, etc).
Please remember that probiotic activity is species- and strain-specific. Review the studies relevant to your particular case, and be sure to select a high-quality brand from a trusted source.
Listen to the full episode above for more thoughts on this topic.
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