What are probiotics, and what benefits do they provide for my baby?
The word “probiotic” literally means “for life.” The World Health Organization describes probiotics as beneficial cultures that—when consumed in adequate amounts—provide specific health benefits. These benefits vary depending on the types and quantities of beneficial cultures or probiotics that are used, and range from aiding digestion to supporting a healthy immune system.
The specific health benefits of probiotics vary with the types of beneficial cultures. One important benefit is supporting a healthy immune system. Probiotics can provide this benefit by increasing your baby’s levels of key antibodies.
About 70% of the cells of the immune system are found in the digestive tract, which makes it a central part of the body’s immune system. Another way probiotics help support your little one’s healthy immune system is by helping to maintain a healthy balance of cultures in her digestive tract—which supports the natural protective environment found there.
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The START HEALTHY, STAY HEALTHY™ Resource Center panel of experts offers practical advice, answering many questions typically asked by parents and expecting parents.