Probiotics: Preparing Your Child’s Immune System For School


It’s back to school time, and you know what that means: school supplies, packing lunches, maybe a new pair of shoes, and… <sigh>  germs.

Honestly, it feels like a never-ending battle. You do everything you can for your child’s immune system. You make sure they get enough vitamin C (either from OJ or other foods); maybe you even encourage them to take a children’s multivitamin. But they still come back from school with sniffles, coughs, and upset tummies.

Well, did you know that probiotics may help boost your child’s immune system?

Helpful Bacteria and Immunity

Probiotics are essentially good, helpful bacteria (like the lactobacillus and bifidobacteria strains) that are found in our gut and digestive system. They are also available in certain foods like yogurt and as nutritional supplements.

Now, the reason why probiotics may be so beneficial for your child’s immune system is because a fair amount of evidence seems to suggest that some of the bacteria present in our gut may play a significant role in regulating our immunity. However, if your child has an inconsistent diet or a stressful lifestyle, then it’s possible that he or she may have an imbalance of helpful bacteria in their gut. This means that their immune system could potentially be hindered in such a way that no amount of vitamin C or multivitamins will help.

Aside from poor diet, antibiotics can also affect the amount of helpful bacteria in your child’s system. Your pediatrician may put your child on antibiotics in order to help them fight off an infection caused by harmful bacteria. Now, antibiotics can’t tell the difference between good and bad bacteria in your child’s immune system. So how do they differentiate? Well, they don’t. Antibiotics target all the bacteria in your child’s gut and digestive tract, good and bad. This means that after antibiotic treatment, your child’s system may experience a drop in helpful probiotics, which puts them at potential risk for a weakened immune system.

Benefits of Probiotic Supplements

Now your first instinct may be to buy all the probiotic-friendly yogurt your arms can carry. But some studies and experts suggest that certain probiotic foods may not feature enough helpful bacteria to make any real difference. Plus, what do you do if your little one doesn’t like yogurt?

This is why many parents are adding a probiotic supplement to their child’s diet.

They are convenient, easy to take, and should contain the proper amount of CFUs (Colony-forming units) to have the potential desired impact on your child’s health and wellness.

So if you’re looking to offer your child’s immune system some possible extra protection this upcoming school year, you should seriously consider looking into a probiotic supplement.