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What are Probiotic Drops?

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  • Written By: Angela Crout-Mitchell
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 27 October 2016
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Probiotic drops are designed for infants and children who experience difficulties with either colic or painful gas, and contains Lactobacillus reuteri (L. reuteri), healthy bacteria found in human saliva and milk. Using probiotic drops appears to reduce the presence of harmful bacteria in the stomachs of infants and young children while improving both the proper bacterial balance of the gastric system and the function of the immune system. Liquid probiotics are ideal for infants and children, and can be easily added to food or drink, or simply given from a dropper or a spoon. The drops do not affect the flavor of food, formula, or breast milk, and most children tolerate taking it well. Many pediatricians suggest five drops of the solution given in the morning before the child's first feeding for best results.

It is not unusual for a few different strains of L. reuteri to be used in the probiotic supplement formula. Each strain is responsible for unique functions in the digestive system. For example, L. reuteri Protectis is crucial in eliminating pathogens in the stomach that cause painful gas and excessive crying in infants. This strain is also responsible for improving the function of the immune system. L. reuteri Prodentis stops unhealthy bacteria and other pathogens present in the mouth of the children, and improves dental hygiene by limiting plaque on the teeth and reducing the likelihood of bleeding gums.

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One of the features that distinguishes L. reuteri and probiotic drops is it naturally occurs and colonizes in the human body from birth. This bacterium is even found in breastfeeding mothers' milk and continues to be a part of a healthy, functioning digestive system throughout life. Most bacteria, both healthy and unhealthy varieties, are typically introduced to the body through food or air. Medical experts feel using probiotic drops is an excellent way of ensuring young children are adequately supplied with L. reuteri.

Most pediatricians and researchers recommend probiotic drops only in cases of infants with colic, and for children who experience painful stomach gas and other symptoms of gastric distress. The use of probiotic drops is believed to be a safe, effective, and beneficial way to supply infants with the necessary amount of probiotics for healthy digestion and to boost the child's immune system. It is suggested that only 5 drops be administered each day. The supplement can be used as long as needed and no adverse effects have been documented during clinical trials.

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