The microbiota of the human gastrointestinal tract plays a key role in nutrition and health. A delicate balance exists between the human intestinal microflora and its host. Upset of this community structure may lead toward undesirable immune reactions or bowel conditions. Many different environmental factors may affect the gut microbial ecology in children; these include food, formula feeding, medication, and childbirth C-sections. It is therefore important that infant’s and children’s gut microflora be supported with probiotics and prebiotics. Probiotics are supplemental live, beneficial intestinal micro-organisms for gastrointestinal health and immune support. Probiotics have been shown to exert a beneficial support through modification of the immune system host via the gut environment. Clinical trials also suggest that the exposure to healthy microbes through the gastrointestinal tract powerfully shapes immune function.
Multiple studies have indicated that multi-strain probiotic blends with lactobacilli and bifidobacterium can provide optimal support for a diverse range of health needs.ƒ Bifidobacterium longum BB536 has been clinically researched in infants and children for immune support by neutralizing the pH of the intestinal tract allowing beneficial microflora to flourish and supporting an environment in which less desirable microflora have a more difficult time surviving. According to studies, healthy infants compared with babies who developed allergies were less often colonized with bifidobacteria during the first year of life. Research shows healthy toddlers consuming synbiotics (probiotic and prebiotic) may contribute to normal growth and promote favorable gut colonization. scFOS, also called short chain fructooligosaccharides, are prebiotics that have short molecular chains. They function as non-digestible fiber that can positively affect selected groups of beneficial intestinal microflora, such as lactobacillus. While probiotics merely add beneficial microflora, prebiotics influence the intestinal environment so that beneficial colonies of microflora can flourish. By aiding the beneficial microflora’s survival, less desirable microflora can have a decreased chance of survival.