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For Moms and Babies: Probiotics Aid Premature Infants and Reduce Gestational Diabetes

For Moms and Babies: Probiotics Aid Premature Infants and Reduce Gestational Diabetes

Article by Arnie Gitomer

Probiotics and Preterm Babies.

Babies born prematurely may lack enough beneficial bacteria to protect the intestinal tract from damage, a condition called necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). In this review of 44 scientific papers, doctors determined that the probiotics L. acidophilus and B. infantis appeared most effective in preventing NEC and preserving life.

Among the major findings for premature infants, compared to placebo, probiotics overall reduced chances of NEC by 50 percent, and premature death by 25 percent. In extremely low birth weight infants, meaning two pounds-three ounces or less, those that received probiotics tended to be less likely to develop NEC and had better chances of survival.

Doctors continue to discuss the most effective strains and appropriate doses of probiotics in preventing NEC in preterm infants.

(Reference: Neonatology; 2017, Vol. 112, No. 1, 644-7)

Probiotics and Gestational Diabetes.

Women who develop high blood sugar during pregnancy have gestational diabetes. Doctors aren't sure, but think hormones from the placenta block the action of the mother's insulin, raising blood sugar levels. The excess sugar can flow to the baby, stimulating insulin and creating stores of fat and other complications.

In this study, 373 women between 14 and 16 weeks pregnant, took the probiotic L. rhamnosus or a placebo. Through birth, 6.5 percent of the women taking the placebo developed gestational diabetes compared to 2.1 percent for those taking the probiotic.

Discussing the findings, doctors said the probiotic benefits were greatest in older women and among those who previously had gestational diabetes.

(Reference: British Journal of Nutrition; April, 2017, Published Online)

Product Recommendations from Don Goldberg

The probiotic L. Rhamnosus is available at Willner Chemists from Allergy Research Group:

Culturelle Kids (30 Pack)

Product Code: 61505

Culturelle Kids (Chewable Berry Flavor - 30 Chewables)

Product Code: 63137

Culturelle Lactobacillus (30 Caps)

Product Code: 32822

Willner Chemists carries the entire line of Allergy Research Products. The Pharmacists and nutritionists at Willner Chemists will be happy to assist you in choosing the appropriate supplements to suit your specific needs.

A good source of probiotics designed specifically for infants and babies is the Jarrow Formulas product, “Baby’s Jarro-Dophilus” (Product Code: 34898).

Baby’s Jarro-Dophilus® contains superior, scientifically documented strains. Clinical studies have documented the  benefits of B. breve M-16V and B. longum BB536 in infants and young children. GOS (GalactoOligoSaccharides) is similar  to the oligosaccharides found in humanProbiotic milk. Both GOS and FOS (FructoOligoSaccharides) enhance the colonization of beneficial intestinal flora, such as Bifidobacteria.* Each gram(approximately 1/4 teaspoon) contains a minimum of 3 billion viable cells when kept refrigerated and within Best Used Before Date.

Infant Probiotic Powder Contains Clinically-Documented Strains:

  • 3 Billion Probiotic Organisms Per ¼ tsp
  • 4 bifido + 2 lactobacilli strains
  • Includes Prebiotic FOS
  • Natural fiber that help probiotics thrive
  • No Sweeteners, Colorants or Preservatives

Suggested Usage: 

Up to age 4, mix 1/4 teaspoon per day in water, juice, lukewarm infant formula or food, or as directed by your qualified healthcare professional. For newborns, mix into formula only 1/16 teaspoon per day for the first week. DO NOT feed powder directly to infants or children.