Probiotics are biologically active drugs that contain live bacteria of normal intestinal microflora. Probiotics for children prevent the development of dysbacteriosis and have a therapeutic effect in the manifestations of the disease. The timely appointment of probiotic agents in children of the first year of life contributes to the formation of protective reactions of the body against the aggressive factors of pathogenic microflora.
History of creation
Lactobacillus bolgaricus is considered to be the first probiotic that humanity began to use for the preparation of therapeutic food. The only microorganism in whose name the territory is mentioned, where it was isolated from cells of plant origin.
The discovery of the Bulgarian lactobacillus became the basis for the production of lactic acid products, endowed with healing and excellent taste. And although for the first time they were engaged in their preparation more than 8 thousand years ago, the production technology of cheese and yoghurt in certain territories of Central Asia, Russia and Ukraine is still used.
In the 80s of the 20th century, microorganisms capable of normalizing the intestinal flora were given the name “probiotics”. It fully reflects the purpose of drugs – “for life”. Restoring the balance between beneficial and harmful bacteria, probiotics show the best qualities in protecting the body against infections and cancer, normalize digestion, relieve skin manifestations of allergic dermatitis and synthesize vitamins.
The very first probiotics are represented exclusively by dry cultures of microorganisms. For drying the lyophilization method is used. Initially, the biomaterial is strongly frozen, and then in the vacuum chamber is dried with the evaporation of all the liquid. Bacteria do not die, but go into a state of suspended animation – suspension of life, which will resume under more favorable conditions.
The advantage of dry probiotics lies in the long shelf life (in ampoules, tablets, capsules or bottles), which reaches 2 years. However, there are disadvantages. Lyophilization weakens the beneficial qualities of bacteria, reduces their ability to adhere to the intestinal epithelium. To get out of anabiosis and begin active bacteria, it will take about 8 hours – the time during which some of them will leave the body.
The production of liquid forms of probiotic preparations maintains their viability in the environment where the products of microbial metabolism are located. Bacteria begin to show their activity within a couple of hours after ingestion. Liquid forms of probiotics are easily dosed in drops and are widely used in pediatric practice for the treatment of children under one year.
These drugs are another advantage. Various ingredients can be added to their composition. For example, prebiotics. They represent food for beneficial microorganisms, increase their reproduction, colonization and effective properties for the normalization of the biological environment of the intestine.
Assortment by groups
Russian epidemiologists, pediatricians and biologists have approved more than one hundred types of medicinal preparations containing useful bacteria for the body of a child of any age group. They can be:
- monocomponent, that is, contain only one type of microorganisms: “Bifidumbakterin”, “Lactobacterin”, “Kolibakterin”, “Backspin”;
- multicomponent, which include several types of beneficial microorganisms: “Bifiform” (enterococci and bifidobacteria), “Bifikol” (escherichia coli and bifidobacteria), “Linex” (lacto-and bifidobacteria, enterococci), “Bifiform Malysh” (lacto-bacterium) bifidobacteria);
- combined drugs, including microorganisms and additives that enhance the action of beneficial bacteria, that is, probiotics and prebiotics: “Acipol” (polysaccharide of kefir fungi and lactobacilli), “Bifiliz” (lysozyme and bifidumbacteria);
- sorbed, represented by bacterial colonies fixed on the sorbent: “Florin Forte” (lacto- and bifidumbacteria adsorbed on activated carbon), “Bifidumbacterin forte” (bifidumbacteria on activated carbon).
Monocomponent preparations are indicated if an insufficient number of bacteria of a particular species has been accurately identified. More effective in terms of activity against harmful microorganisms: multicomponent and combined probiotics.
Mechanism of action
After ingestion, probiotic preparations, having passed through the entire digestive tract, are retained in the optimal environment of the large intestine.
Beneficial bacteria adhere (attach) to mucous membranes, forming colonies of cells of the same species. As a result of their vital activity, active substances with antibiotic properties, amino acids and enzymes are formed. By suppressing the growth of harmful microflora, they normalize intestinal motility, microflora balance, synthesize vitamins and substances necessary for improving immunity.
The neonatal period is 28 days, during which the baby’s body adapts to new living conditions. The rupture of the fetal bladder, from which labor begins, permanently deprives it of its sterile habitat and opens the way to a new world. The first to meet the newborn will be microorganisms.
Invisibles will begin to actively settle on the skin, mucous membranes and in the intestines even while the child is passing through the birth canal. They will continue to form their own families — colonies with breast milk entering the intestine; they will take advantage of this during contact with the mother, the medical staff and the items of care.
Among the huge army of bacteria to form the intestinal microflora will be both useful and conditionally harmful of its representatives. The first ones are lacto-and bifidobacteria, as well as the type of E. coli with normal enzymatic properties. From the first days of their life, the crumbs will take an active part in the digestion processes, they will defend against harmful microbes and factors from the outside, they will begin to synthesize vitamins and substances for the formation of immunity.
Representatives of the second group do not show their harmful properties as long as there are no suitable conditions for aggression. And the most important of them is the reduction in the number of beneficial microorganisms. A conditionally harmful flora (staphylococcus, Klebsiella, Proteus, citrobacter, fungi, E. coli with altered properties) will intensively occupy their niche in the intestines, causing dysbiosis.
Artificial feeding deprives the child of important microorganisms in the development of the balance of the intestinal flora. These are children from the risk group, prone to frequent diseases, and in the first place – to dysbacteriosis. That is why all formula for artificial feeding are enriched with lacto-and bifidobacteria, and the diet of a newborn baby, according to the recommendation of a doctor, can be supplemented with lactic acid mixtures.
If necessary, from the first days of life, probiotic preparations without the content of lactose and cow’s milk protein are shown:
- “Bifiform Baby”;
- “Normoflorin-L” (lactobacillus);
- “Normoflorin-B” (bifidobacteria and prebiotic lactitol);
- “Liveo Kid” (bifidobacteria, prebiotic fructooligosaccharide and an auxiliary component of vegetable oil triglycerides): to normalize stools for constipation.
Against antibiotic treatment
The need for antibiotics is always associated with the threat of dysbacteriosis. Antibiotics are not selective for microorganisms. Destroying pathogenic bacteria, they cause irreparable harm to the beneficial intestinal microflora. As a result, after treatment, there are signs of dysbiosis – loose stools or a tendency to constipation, bloating, flatulence, intestinal colic.
In order to maintain the balance of microflora while taking antibiotics, it is advisable to carry out the prevention of dysbacteriosis by microorganisms resistant to antibacterial drugs. Probiotics and prebiotics for children give a good result.
Hilak Forte proved to be better than others in pediatric practice without contraindications to children from the first days of life. This prebiotic contains metabolic products that the normal intestinal microflora produces, causes the death of pathogenic microbes and makes room for the development of beneficial microorganisms.
Of the probiotics, Linex is most effective. Its composition of lacto-, bifidobacteria and enterococcal strains has an antagonistic action against pathogenic microbes and normalizes the qualitative and quantitative composition of beneficial bacteria.
After taking antibiotics, a course of drugs with a beneficial effect on the intestinal flora is prescribed. The duration of taking prebiotics, probiotics and synbiotics (a complex of prebiotics and probiotics in one preparation), vitamins with prebiotic components ranges from 3 to 4 weeks.
Good effect for kids gives the appointment “Liveo” with 4 beneficial strains of bacteria in the composition, “Linex”. The list of prebiotics includes “Hilak Forte” and “Pikovit Prebiotic”.
Normalization of the intestinal flora after the appointment of antibiotics will help the organization of the diet and its composition. After the transferred diseases you should not give your baby fatty and high-calorie carbohydrate food. Juices, fruits and vegetables in the diet will bring more benefits to the restoring power of the body. Rich in plant fiber, they will provide the “food” for beneficial bacteria, accelerate their growth and help to quickly balance the normal composition of the microflora.
Comments and feedback from parents about the effectiveness of treatment of dysbacteriosis in children under one year and at the age of several years is ambiguous. The same drugs can have a miraculous effect after a three-time intake in one child and have no effect with long-term treatment in another.
The answer to this question is given by the School of Doctor Komarovsky. Yevgeny Komarovsky, popular with his well-grounded conclusions, anchorman, pediatrician and candidate of medical sciences, explains the problem in an accessible manner.
In his opinion, the diagnosis of “intestinal dysbiosis” as such does not exist. This condition is due to a specific cause affecting the digestive system. The most common factors provoking an imbalance of intestinal microflora:
- infectious diseases;
- violation of the diet in qualitative and quantitative terms;
- a change in living conditions;
Until the cause is eliminated, no probiotics, prebiotics or vitamins can normalize the intestinal microflora. In order to prevent dysbacteriosis, Komarovsky recommends, first of all, adjusting the diet, eliminating feeding the child between time-set meals, and introducing foods to the diet, the list of which is regulated by the age of the baby.