Like anything else, there are differing opinions as to whether a child can overdose on probiotics. Some experts state that, since the probiotic population contains over 100 billion bacteria, it is virtually impossible to overdose on them.
All agree however that probiotics are completely safe in proper dosages for very young children.
Can a child overdose on probiotics?
The short answer is no, there’s not enough data that shows any negative effects from taking too many probiotic supplements.
In fact, some doctors believe that it could be beneficial for children with colic or chronic constipation due to changes in gut flora. You may want to talk with your doctor before trying this at home though.
Below are some of the most common questions probiotics have for their users:
What should I take?
The correct amount of probiotics to administer is determined by your doctor. Usually, this number is anywhere from one to twenty grams per day.
This varies from individual to individual and can depend on many factors including your immune system and the health of the other parts of your gastrointestinal (colon) tract.
In order to determine the correct amount of probiotics, your doctor will need to run tests and culture the bacteria in order to determine the correct amount.
Which strains are best?
There are two main categories of probiotic strains. They are Lactobacillus acidophilus for short and Lactobacillus kampi. Your child can only absorb Lactobacillus kampi strain but not the other.
Are probiotics beneficial?
Studies have shown that they are beneficial in both preventing and treating several types of diseases and illnesses including allergies, irritable bowel syndrome, asthma, and other inflammatory conditions of the bowel and immune system.
They have also been proven to improve digestive health and help maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in the digestive system.
The long-term benefits of probiotics have yet to be studied but there is evidence that shows they are helpful in alleviating immune dysfunction.
It is very important to use probiotics when they are needed as this can help maintain a healthy balance in the digestive system. They also provide some additional help for those with leaky gut health problems.
Can a child overdose on probiotics?
Studies have not found any significant risk of toxicity or overdose when taking probiotic supplements?
However, you should follow the dosage directions. The recommended dosage is usually around 50 billion colony-forming units a day. A single gram of probiotic can provide many benefits for your child.
What are some of the side effects of probiotics – Although there have been no reported side effects of probiotics, you may want to avoid them if you suffer from any of the following: low-grade antibiotics, an increased risk of yeast infections, compromised immune system, and intestinal bypass or peristalsis.
For people who already have a difficult time digesting or absorbing lactose, especially when it comes to infants and young children, you may want to avoid probiotics altogether.
While they are a good way to introduce bacteria into the digestive system, they may actually stimulate the production of lactase, which is the enzyme that breaks down and absorbs lactose in the body.
How do you know what is the best supplement to give your child?
Most experts agree that it is a good idea to introduce both live and non-live organisms into the diet at different times. You should introduce them gradually to make sure your child does not become overwhelmed.
The supplement you choose should be made from live organisms (beneficial bacteria).
While non-living organisms are commonly available in powder, tablet, liquid, or freeze-dried forms, most are commercially prepared (for use in food products or supplements).
There is some debate among professionals as to whether introducing the non-living organisms is more beneficial than introducing them initially, since introducing the good bacteria into the ecosystem first can allow them to get established.
It is important to make sure you are buying probiotic supplements that contain live cultures.
The takeaway message is that while there has been some confusion surrounding the relationship between probiotics and children, the evidence so far indicates that they are generally safe.
Live organisms, whether they are in powder tablets, liquid, or freeze-dried forms, are the best way to introduce bacteria to the digestive tract.
Of course, introducing only one type of organism at a time can lead to over-supply or under-production. If you know your child is going to take antibiotics, you may wish to discuss probiotics with your doctor before introducing them, especially if you are not sure they will take them.
Also, if your child is going to take prescription drugs, be sure to let your child know about the difference between live and non-live probiotics.
A child can’t overdose on probiotics because they are live bacteria. The dosage is based on weight so, a child would need to take way more than the recommended dose of probiotics before it could be considered an overdose.
As long as you’re following the instructions and not giving your kid too many extra supplements or vitamins that contain probiotics, then there shouldn’t be any major health concerns when using them in moderation (with kids especially).
It’s possible for some people to experience diarrhea or gas from taking them but if these symptoms go away after stopping use, there may just have been an adjustment period needed where their body adjusted to this new type of food source.
If your child has gastrointestinal issues like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) then it is best to stop and seek professional advice from a doctor.
It is highly unlikely that a child will overdose on probiotics, but it’s always good to be cautious. If you have any concerns about your children taking too many doses of these supplements, please consult with their doctor before continuing the treatment plan.
Best probiotics for children
If you are considering buying probiotics for your children, then the below table gives you the best options for probiotics for children.
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