Friday, September 4, 2009

The Common Cold, the Flu, and Probiotics for Children

Calling all parents! Especially those who are concerned about their children getting colds and (swine) flu this season!

Can you imagine a drug that could decrease your child's sick time this season by half...possibly more? Well, it's not a drug. It's a supplement of the beneficial bacteria in your intestines that actually can help to increase your child's immunity this season.

A colleague of mine recently shared something he read in the journal Pediatrics. The most recent issue (August 2009) showed the results of a study that examined 326 children between the ages of 3 and 5. These children were divided up into three groups. They received one the following supplements twice a day for six months:
  • A placebo.
  • A probiotic supplement consisting only of Lactobacillus acidophilus (commonly found in yogurt).
  • A combination probiotic supplement with L. acidophilus and another strain, Bifidobacterium animalis lactis.
It appears that probiotics are not just for intestinal problems. The findings of this study were astounding. Children given the probiotics suffered significantly fewer fevers, less coughing, and less runny/stuffy noses throughout the cold season. And the children given the combination probiotic supplement saw the fewest fevers and coughing/runny nose incidents. How much less?
  • Fever incidents: 53% fewer with single probiotic; 72% fewer with combo probiotic.
  • Coughing incidents: 41% fewer with single probiotic; 62% fewer with combo probiotic.
  • Runny nose incidents: 28% fewer with single probiotic; 59% fewer with combo probiotic.
Needless to say, children on probiotics did not need to go on antibiotics as often when they got sick, and they needed to stay home from day care or school less often.
To get these probiotics, your best choice is to consult a naturopathic doctor who carries these probiotics. Often, probiotics found over the counter do not contain what they say they do. Naturopathic doctors usually have access to the highest quality supplements, often only available to health care professionals. Where can you find a naturopathic doctor? Well, for one, there's the one who wrote this article! I do carry a combination probiotic product in an online store like the one in this study. If you are interested, feel free to contact me for more information. If you would prefer to see a naturopathic doctor in person that may be near you, you may check out the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians online directory.
May you and your children be healthy and happy this season!
Do you have health issues that aren't being adequately addressed by conventional medicine? Naturopathic care may be the answer you're looking for. Visit my website for more information about naturopathic medicine, and begin your journey toward optimal health!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Scott,for this timely reminder! Judi Spendelow