Best Probiotics for Infant/Kid’s Cold

We learn from some study that for healthy adults, some combinations of Lactobacillus plantarum and Lactobacillus pracasei may reduce the risk of cold rate 55%, compared to 67% of those received placebo group. Not just the occurrence rate, the cold symptoms duration was also lower, it lasted 6.2 days compared 8.6 days for those received placebo group. How to find the best probiotics for infant/kid’s cold?

Either for short term use of probiotics or long period (over 6 months) intake of some certain strain probiotics will be helpful for the kid in the incidence of all kinds of cold symptoms, like fever, coughing, runny nose even acute respiratory infection.

best probiotics for infant
best probiotics for infant

The researcher showed some statistical significant difference in one study in Ukraine. Even a short-term intake of probiotics will help the children aged from 3 to 12 who took Lactobacillus acidophilus (in 1 billion cells) and Bifidobacterium lactis (in 4 billion cells) mixed as powder. They started to take probiotics with 50 mg prebiotic at the first day that a family member appeared to have sick symptom. As a result, after two weeks intake or lasted to the end of any symptom the children may developed, totally 57% of children in the probiotic group vs. 65% in placebo group who developed acute respiratory infections. There was one significant difference for the duration of the infection, 5 days in probiotics group vs. 7 days in placebo group. Meanwhile the severity of the infection was reduced significantly in probiotics group than those in placebo group.

That’s why we always try to find the best probiotic for kid.

In long period study happened in China, for the kids from 3 to 5, taking a combination of Lactobacillus acidophilus (5 billion cells daily) and Bifidobacterium animalis subsp lactis (5 billion cells daily) from November to May totally 6 months, was shown that the incidence of fever reduce by 73%, 59% for runny nose, 62% for coughing. At the same time, the duration of these symptoms were reduced by 48%.

So we encourage people treat their kids with probiotics when any family member have cold symptoms. To choose the best probiotics for infant/kid, you will click here to find what you need.

The Best Calcium is from Food

We know how to choose the best calcium supplement for the people in different ages. But we suggest for those are deficient from calcium is looking for this essential on food base.

So you may come out a question:

Is it safer to intake calcium from nature foods than from calcium supplement?

Why shall we restrict the amount from calcium supplement?

In general, it is associated with a higher risk of kidney stones if you’re taking too much calcium from supplement. A study reviewed for postmenopausal women who have a history of kidney stones, with CT scans for that taking calcium supplement daily 439 mg averagely, found that the stones grew at a rate of 7.8 mm every month in average, comparing with those not taking calcium supplement are 4.49 mm. However, the study found that vitamin D supplements showed no added risk, on contrary, it has protective effect, as the stones grew at only 3.3 mm in one month.

Also it may increase the occurrence of heart attack both in women and men, prostate cancer rate in men. Compared to a daily intake dose 500 mg – 1,000 mg, a study found that those take 1,500 mg daily combined with the sources from food and supplement may increase prostate cancer risk, especially for advanced prostate cancer.

The researchers suggested that either too much or too little calcium from food will increase the occurrence risk of prostate cancer, but it would be protective if intake adequate dosage. For example, for 51- 70 aged men the AI (adequate intake) is 1,000 mg per day, it’s 1,200 mg per day for age 71 or older. Don’t worry, this dose amount is quite easy to obtain from your daily servings, e.g. dairy (a cup of milk provides calcium about 300 mg) and some vegetables: cooked soybeans and spinach provides about 250 mg per cup, 1/4 firm block tofu provides 160 mg calcium. Other nuts, meat, some certain range of fruit, you can also obtain smaller amount of calcium.

Here you can refer the article for the best calcium supplement.

Synthetic Form VS Natural Form

As I mentioned in the article of The Best Prenatal Vitamins, we’d like to choose the natural source for each of the ingredient in the formula.

It is not just more biological activity from natural form than a synthetic source for some nutrients, but also more safe and less side effectiveness if it’s all from a food base.

However you can see that the product price is much higher if we choose some ‘labeled as whole food’ brands, such as Garden of Life, New Chapter, Megafood than other brands.

Also there is some disadvantage when we choose the natural source product. The dose of the ingredient are much lower than normal brand. Maybe it is a little cost consideration for this product. For example:

Currently, as we know the vitamin E has different potency between the synthetic and natural source. There are different stereoisomer forms within vitamin E family. d-alpha-tocopheryl acetate, d-alpha tocopherol and d-alpha tocopheryl acid succinate, are three forms of natural vitamin E. Synthetic vitamin E refers to dl-alpha-tocopherol. One easy way to tell if vitamin E is from natural forms or synthetic form, is reading from the ingredient formula: if it contains mixed tocopherols and/or d-alpha-tocopherol then it is in natural form. If it is dl-alpha-tocopherol then it means they’re synthetic forms.

Synthetic forms vitamin E can be in equivalent active if in a much higher IUs as natural vitamin E. But at the same time it has a higher risk of potential bleeding issue if take fewer dose of synthetic vitamin E.

Label in synthetic form Vitamin E:

synthetic vitamin e




Label in Natural Vitamin E:

natural vitamin e




Synthetic folate, called folic acid is more stable and higher absorption in the body about twice as well as natural folate. But be careful, it will cause some safety concern when you take an overdose folic acid, but it is safe when you intake too much folate if it’s from your dietary.

A natural MK-7, also known as vitamin K2 has a longer half-life time than vitamin K1 (synthetic source), although vitamin K2 is at a higher cost but becomes more popular in supplement’s formula.

We can find there are natural form (triglyceride form) and synthetic form (ethyl esters)on the market when we try to buy fish oil supplement. You can easily tell the price in triglyceride is more expensive than in ethyl esters, which means a higher absorption in short term in the body (it is equally if taking fish oil supplement both in triglyceride or ethyl ester in a long term).

Recommended: Best fish oil for pregnancy

Of course, there are some exceptions for the nutrient absorption between natural form or synthetic form.

For vitamin C, actually our body cannot tell if any difference between synthetic or natural form. They’re equally recognized and utilized by the body, both of two forms are providing the L form of ascorbic acid.

Generally, we suggest you to take supplements in natural form than in synthetic form, if you’re taking the safe and effective at the first place other than the product price when you’re choose the supplement.

Some Tips You Should Know Before You Find a Best Probiotic

We already know how to find a best probiotic for infant, such as adequate dosage, formula contains prebiotics, choose a coated supplement, etc. Now we will explain the detail recommendation dose for each of symptom, depend on your specific requirement.

As FDA didn’t announce any RDAs for probiotics, so we list the recommendation dosage below are from some studies, and clinic researches. Here we go:

1. Most of the probiotic supplements are for the purpose of promotion for digestive tract.

After you take antibiotic medicine, you may also suffer from diarrhea related to antibiotic treatment. To save your small intestine, it has been suggested that you need to take probiotic supplements as soon as diarrhea appears. But some recent researches stated that you can take the probiotics supplement just at the beginning of the day you take oral antibiotic medicine, and take supplements 1 or 2 weeks more after antibiotic therapy ends. To avoid the antibiotic medicine kills probiotic organisms by mistake, researchers also suggest that you’d take probiotics after taking antibiotic at least 2 hours later.

It shows that with 50 – 100 billion organisms’ combinations of Lactobacillus acidophilus CL 1285 and Lactobacillus casei LBC80R, or 10 – 20 billion cells of Lactobacillus GG or 17 billion cells of a combination of L. acidophilus NCFM, L. paracasei Lpc-37, B. lactis Bi-07 and B. lactis BI-04 in equal parts daily, you’ll have less incidence of antibiotic-related diarrhea. Yes, probiotics supplement contains multiple species of organisms may be more effective than those in single species.

2. To cure chemotherapy-induced diarrhea, it suggests to take 10 – 12 billion cells of Lactobacillus GG daily may be effective.

3. As traveler’s diarrhea related, it suggest to take at least 2 billion cells of Lactobacillus GG two days before your trip and continue to take throughout the travel, will help reduce the incidence of traveler’s diarrhea.

4. IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and functional abdominal pain

A four strains combination supplement of Lactobacillus rhamnosus NCIMB 30174, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus acidophilus and Enterococcus faecium in a water-based suspension of barley extract with 10 billion live organisms per 50 ml daily shows the effective result in reduce pain and improved bowel habits.

Before we choose the best probiotics for above symptoms, you should aware that probiotics supplement with enteric coating have more survival rate of strains from the stomach acid than those capsules/tablets without coating. Only 10 – 20% of cells amount will sustain throughout acid in the stomach if taken orally for probiotic supplement with no coating according to one study. While strains have several times of survival chance if it’s in enteric coating.

Here is the best probiotic supplement with 50 billion CFU, with enteric coating and contains FOS:

Renew Life Ultimate Flora Critical Care

5. Women suffer from vaginal bacterial infections

With one billion viable cells of L. rhamnosus GR-1 and L. fermentum RC-14 supplement seperately, women can take it daily by oral and results to reduce colonization of the vagina by potential pathogenic bacteria and yeast.

The best probiotic supplement for vaginal bacterial infection:

Renew Life Ultimate Flora Vaginal Formula, with enteric coating and contains FOS:

Probiotic supplements also show promise not just for support immunity by reducing cold and flu symptoms (suggested to take a combination of Lactobacillus plantarum and Lactobacillus paracasei , one billion per day during cold season), but also help weight and fat loss (a million cells of Lactobacillus rhamnosus daily or a probiotic yogurt contains Lactobacillus acidophilus La5 and Bifidobacterium lactis ). It appeared to reduce weight by almost 4 lbs. during 8 weeks, as well as reduce LDL and total cholesterol slightly.

So just for general health purpose, some yogurts and fermented milk are good for your daily balance of gastrointestinal tract. You may only resort to above best probiotics supplements when the supporting from natural food are not enough for you.

Improve Digestion and Immunity – Find the Best Probiotics for Infants

Before pick out the best probiotic supplements, we’d like to understand what the probiotics is for firstly, and how we can call a probiotics product is the best probiotics.

best probiotic supplements

What is the probiotics?

A definition from the World Health Organization, 2001:
Probiotics is live micro-organisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.

You can found these ‘friendly’ strains of bacteria in our dietary everywhere, in yogurt, cheese, and some fermented foods.

We calculate the number of live organism cells with CFU (Colony Forming Units).

Why do we need probiotics, especially for pregnant women and infants?

  • Antibiotic-associated Diarrhea (AAD). Some evidence proved that probiotic shows benefits to support the treatment of AAD. This kind of AAD will happened among 20% of children after an antibiotic treatment.
  • Infections. A few strains of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) may decrease the dental caries in children, reported by one clinical trials; these LAB product might be helpful for the children who are affected by rotavirus infections.
  • Necrotizing enterocolitis. Some clinical researches proved that the probiotics possibly reduce the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis and the death rate in premature infants.
  •  Eczema. From 2007 to 2011, there were a lot of evidences found to prove the effectiveness from probiotics intake during pregnancy and infancy, reduced from 34% to 26% in the rate of atopic dermatitis in fourteen trial studies.

You may find some useful strains of probiotics when you’re conceived or nursing. Here is the benefits of different probiotics from recent research:

Lactobacillus paracasei St11 (or NCC2461):
Reduce the diarrhea rate in children;

Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM combined with Bifidobacterium animalis subsp lactis Bi-007:
Decrease running nose by 59%, coughing by 62%, fever by 73% and shorten the duration of above symptoms by 48%;

Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC 55730 (Lactobacillus reuteri SD2112):
Mitigation diarrhea in children; reduce crying in colicky babies; fever and diarrhea in children;

S. salivarius K12 (Bactoblis®, BLIS K12®):
Fewer throat infection, streptococcal infections reduced by 96%, viral oropharyngeal infections reduced by 80%

Lactobacillus reuteri Protectis (DSM 17938, daughter strain of ATCC 55730):
Shorten the duration in diarrhea children, reduce crying in colicky babies; reduce diarrhea rate in children; affect children’s chronic constipation and functional abdominal pain; decrease in feeding intolerance and hospitalization duration if given to premature babies;

Lactobacillus GG (a strain if Lactobacillus casei):
Reduce the severity and frequency of abdominal pain in the children aged from 5 to 14.

Lactobacillus fermentum CECT5716 or Lactobacillus salivarius CECT5713:
Helpful in the mastitis in breastfeeding mothers and a lower rate of recurrence of this inflection than those took an antibiotic;

Base on the current literature we had researched, taking probiotics when in pregnancy or lactating doesn’t have any evidence for adverse effect for women and fetuses or infants

What is the best probiotics for infants?

You may refer to following tips before pick out the best probiotic supplements.
1. It’s better if the probiotic has FOS (fructooligosaccharides, a kind of Prebiotics) essential in the supplement formula. FOS is an assistant fuel for bacteria bioactivity when absorbs in the gastrointestinal tract. It is termed synbiotics when combine probiotics and prebiotics in one capsule.
2. Take the proper strains of probiotics suits your specific purpose. As you know from the introduction of probiotics benefits listed above, for your daily health support you can choose a combined probiotics supplement. But you’d better find the right strain which shown to work for your condition.
3. Make sure if the dosage intake provides an adequate number of organisms for your symptom. From some clinical trials, you cannot see any benefit until you take enough dose probiotics.
4. The enteric coated or microencapsulation of the probiotics supplement can ensure the viability of organisms survive from stomach acid and break apart to release ingredients in small and large intestines.
5. Keep probiotic supplement out of heat, light and moisture. Some may need store in fridge after open.
6. Compare the price. We will compare the vary product and find the best probiotics supplement with best price-value ratio.

There are few probiotic supplements designed for infant or kids. Some of them were found contains less amount than their label from a testing report by ConsumerLab. Here we have some recommendations for different demands:

Best Probiotic Supplement for children over 3 months:
Garden of Life Raw Probiotics Kids, 96 Grams
Multiple strains of Lactobacillus gasseri, Lactobacillus plantarum, Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus acidophilus;
Supports digestive and immune system;
Inulin (a kind of prebiotic) supports the growth of probiotics;
23 RAW and organic fruits and vegetables;
5 billion CFU per serve for children over 3 months;
With USDA organic certification;
Store in a dry place at 71°F (22°C) or below. Best if refrigerated;

Best Probiotics for infants:
Gerber Soothe Colic Drops
Lactobacillus reuteri Protectis® (DSM 17938);
Shorten crying time 50%, relief from infancy colic;
100 million CFU, 5 drops per serving, safe for infants;
Store in a cool, dry place. Maximum 77°F/22°C

What is the probiotic side effects?

It is safe for most of the healthy people if take probiotics in an appropriate dose. Occasionally some people may feel a more digestive gas after a probiotic serving.

In some rare reports in 2012, two cases with eosinophilic syndrome (a kind of autoimmune disease) were in onset after taking probiotics. Another woman developed eosinophilic esophagitis several weeks after serving Pearl IC in 2012.

These reactions are uncommon, but we still need to watch out if any allergic reaction by your immune system after probiotics intake.

Maybe you’re interested in:

How to choose the best prenatal vitamins?

Recommendation for best fish oil for pregnancy

Find out the best multivitamin for women