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We’re all aware that probiotics, the supplements and enhanced foods that contain living microorganisms, have positive effects on the human body, including better digestion, fewer infections and stronger immune systems. But what about for the little ones?

From birth, we each develop a unique bacterial ecosystem – also known as the microbiome – according to various factors, such as genetics, diet, hygiene, environment, gender, illness and stress.

The most significant changes to our microbiome occur during childhood, a period which may affect the state of our health for the rest of our lives.

By adding a probiotic-rich diet, a good-quality supplement and regular exercise, you can ensure that your child’s microbiome stays healthy.

The benefits of which preliminary research backs up. A study conducted at the American Academy of Pediatrics indicates that adding probiotics or prebiotics to a child’s diet may have some potential in managing viral diarrhoea and preventing antibiotic-associated diarrhoea.

Overall, the authors of the report suggest that probiotics or prebiotics may offer some benefits to healthy children and infants, but should not be given to children who are seriously ill or suffering from compromised immune systems.

The clinical report, published in Pediatrics, found that infants and children who ate probiotic foods – mainly yoghurt – early on while having diarrhoea from acute viral gastroenteritis, experienced a shorter duration of diarrhoea by about one day.

Other studies have shown that probiotics may assist in preventing antibiotic-associated diarrhoea in healthy children when compared with a placebo.

There is also some preliminary evidence that suggests probiotics may help prevent necrotising enterocolitis or death of intestinal tissue in newborns who weigh over 1,000 grams.

If you’re looking for a little supplement* for a little body, look out for Releaf Probiotic kids chews, which contain a combination of 3 probiotic strains that may help promote an improved microbial balance in the human intestines and thus the functioning of the digestive tract.

*Please consult a healthcare provider before giving your child a supplement.

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