Probiotics for kids abound in our grocery store shelves and foods today. We are finally waking up to the importance of our gut health, and the food industry and supplement manufacturers are happy to respond with childs probiotic products.
Are all probiotic products for kids the same? Certainly not, or there would not be so many of them.
If they’re not all the same, are they all effective? Unfortunately, no. This is where you need to do your research.
How do you evaluate a probiotic that you might want to use with your kids? Here are some quick things to look for when evaluating a child’s probiotic.
(For the sake of example, I will be looking at Shiff’s Digestive Advantage Probiotic Gummies.)
Check the Probiotic Strain: Is It Natural or Manufactured?There are so many different probiotic strains out there, and they all serve different functions and have different benefits. You need to be aware of what these are.
The probiotic strain in Schiff’s product is a patented, manufactured probiotic called Ganeden BC30. This strain is not a naturally-occurring probiotic found in our guts when we are born. It has been developed by a bio-tech company.
While Ganeden BC30 may have some benefits, it is quite unlike the naturally occurring probiotics found in our gut environment like Bifidobacterium and lactobacilli.
For long-term health and optimal benefit to your kids, be sure to find a child’s probiotic with these natural strains.
Check The Claims On The Label: Can They Guarantee Live Delivery to The Colon?
If the probiotic strain is natural, then what does the label say about their survivability? Many probiotics will say something like “active cultures” or “viable at time of packaging.”The wording on these claims is important and can often be misleading. Just because there are active cultures in the bottle at the time of purchase, does not mean that this same amount is getting to your child’s colon, where they are most effective. Most probiotic manufacturers cannot guarantee “live delivery to the colon.”
Like Schiff’s product, they may compare their delivery amount to that of leading brands. While this may sound appealing, it still does not communicate the full picture. Digestive Advantage still says nothing about the exact amount of live cultures that are guaranteed to reach the intestine.
If you’re unsure of what the label is saying, call the manufacturer yourself and ask follow-up questions. You can usually find contact information on the product itself or by easily doing an internet search.
Here are some great questions to ask when you call:
- How many active cultures does your product deliver to the colon? (Remember, them just saying that it’s live in the bottle is not enough. You may have to press them on this and reword your question a few times.)
- Is this information documented in published research somewhere? Can you send me the information?
What Companies Have You Checked? What Did They Say?
Please comment below and share your research!