Synbiotics for immune defence
AS children are more susceptible to viral and bacterial infections due to their immature immune system, it is not uncommon for them to fall sick frequently.
On average, a child can get a respiratory tract infection two to nine times a year. Acute respiratory tract infection is a major global cause of childhood mortality – an estimated 1.9 million children die from it each year, 70% of which occurs in Africa and South- East Asia.
In children, respiratory tract infections are mainly due to viruses, with the most common ones being syncytial virus, parainfluenza viruses, influenza viruses and adenovirus.
Common symptoms such as blocked nose, runny nose, sore throat, coughing, headache and fever may last up to two weeks.
Recently, another outbreak among children, called hand, foot and mouth disease ( HFMD), reached an alarming level in Malaysia.
HFMD is a highly contagious disease caused by enteroviruses. Infected children have symptoms such as fever, sore throat, rashes on the hands and feet, and mouth ulcers. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that parents strengthen their child’s immune system.
The main way to do this is through probiotic supplementation as 70% of immune cells are located in the gut. Probiotics are live microorganisms that promote gut and immune health when taken in adequate amounts.
Choosing the right strain of probiotics for your kids is important. As probiotics are strain- specific, each strain of probiotics delivers different health benefits.
A probiotic strain is usually indicated by numbers, letters or a combination of the two, such as Bifidobacterium lactis BB- 12.
Bifidobacterium lactis BB- 12 and Lactobacillus acidophilus LA- 5 are probiotics that help improve children’s gastrointestinal health, thus preventing bloating, diarrhoea and constipation.
Probiotics have been clinically proven to boost children’s immune system by increasing the production of antibody ( immunoglobulin A).
Lactobacillus acidophilus LA- 5 has good adherence in the gastrointestinal tract and can increase the phagocytic activity of blood leukocytes.
Leukocytes, also known as white blood cells, play a vital role in identifying and destroying harmful bacteria and other infectious organisms in our body. White blood cells serve as phagocytes that protect the body against infections and illness by ingesting harmful bacteria.
Besides probiotics, prebiotic supplementation is also crucial. Unlike probiotics, prebiotics are not live bacteria; a prebiotic is an indigestible food ingredient that cannot be digested by the body but serves as food for probiotics.
Prebiotics such as inulin can be used by Bifidobacterium lactis BB- 12 to stimulate the growth of bifidobacteria in the gut. Inulin also helps increase calcium absorption, which is important for bone development.
Probiotics and prebiotics work together to deliver synergistic health benefits as prebiotics can prolong the survival rate of probiotics, therefore enabling better protection against illnesses.
Synbiotics are a combination of prebiotics and probiotics that not only relieve gastrointestinal problems but also boost the immune system.
Therefore, supplementing your child with synbiotics can strengthen their immune system, preventing them from catching illnesses and infections easily.
This article is contributed by BiO- LiFE Marketing Sdn Bhd.
It is important to strengthen your child’s immune system to help her fight illnesses.