Probiotics are drugs which contain a bacteria strain, namely lactobacillus, and have the role of protecting the stomach from a lot of diseases (tummy bugs, protects against colds, prevents eczema which would lead to asthma).
The lactobacillus can be naturally found in yogurt, kefir and fermented food and the World Health Organization describes them as beneficial to our health if they are administered in moderate amounts. Probiotics help the gut and line it with cells which help it defend itself from viruses or pathogenic bacteria.
Are Probiotics Overstated?
A study was published in the Pediatrics journal, where probiotics benefits are debated. It may take up to four weeks to feel the benefits of probiotics. The author of the study, Michael Cabana, who is also the director of general pediatrics from the University California reached to a different conclusion.
He and his colleagues made some tests to see if probiotics will make a difference in infants who might develop asthma. They chose patients who had one or both parents suffering from asthma.
The researchers studied a total of 184 newborns and gave half of them probiotics for their first 6 months of life and half of the newborns received similar capsules which didn’t have probiotics in them. The results had shown that after one year and a half, 30.9 % of the children who received placebo capsules had been diagnosed with eczema, and 28.7 % of those who received probiotics had the same diagnosis.
Natural Probiotics are Contained in Breast Milk
Infants who lack this key bacteria risk allergic disease or asthma, thus the need of supplementing it in order to lower the risks.
But Michael Cabanaand Daniel Merenstein from Georgetown University Medical Centre, Washington published an editorial in which both said that there’s another natural probiotic which helps the infant’s gastrointestinal tract: the breast milk. Breast milk contains some natural compounds which will act the same as probiotics.