Probiotics are believed to strengthen the digestive tract and even the immune system and are safe enough for children. It is believed that certain bacteria may be included in probiotics to strengthen the immune system enough to prevent allergic reactions. Can probiotics prevent allergies in kids?
Probiotics can keep good bacteria flourishing in the digestive tract. This can be especially helpful after or even during antibiotics use, as antibiotics kill both good and bad bacteria. After antibiotic use, probiotics can return good bacteria to healthy levels.
Some allergies may be passed down to kids if their parents have allergies. But if the immune system is weak or overloaded, allergies can develop. A child’s immune system isn’t as developed as an adult’s and is more prone to imbalance caused by bacteria, viruses, toxins and conditions in the environment. Even stress can weaken a child’s immune system and lead to an increased risk for allergies.
According to an article in The Washington Times, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted an 18% increase in food allergies in children since 2007. Although this noted increase may be because parents are more likely to have their kids’ symptoms checked by a doctor, peanut allergies have nearly doubled and milk and egg allergies are taking longer for children to outgrow than before.
With an increase in childhood allergies, there is more than a little significance in finding preventative measures. If the use of probiotics boosts the immune system as it is believed, it stand to reason that probiotics may help prevent allergies from developing, even in children. However, current probiotic supplements available have not been proven to prevent allergies in kids.
But what if other bacteria could have probiotic effects? In a research study published in Science, mice given oral doses of certain good bacteria already found in the digestive track were able to increase the level of immune boosting bacteria, even after being given antibiotics. After being given this good bacteria, the mice were less likely to develop allergies over time.
This newly researched bacteria has been proven in this one study to actually prevent the development of allergies. Researchers believe that the bacteria from this new study can be added to current probiotic products in the future.
The study mentioned shows promise that there may be some type of prevention for the development of childhood allergies in the form of different bacteria added to probiotics currently available. If more research proves successful, it will be possible that probiotics prevent allergies in kids.