Syn­bi­otics for im­mune de­fence

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - BRIGHT KIDS -

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.

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