My child has lots of food allergies, is it safe to give them probiotics?

Are probiotics safe for kids with food allergies? Absolutely! In fact, I especially recommend probiotics for children with allergies because some studies have shown that probiotics can lessen the immune reaction against proteins in foods.

While there’s no guarantee that probiotics will help (not all studies have demonstrated positive results), no serious adverse effects have been reported. Probiotics are very safe.

But, as you are probably learning from dealing with allergies to milk, eggs, nuts, and shellfish, it’s important to at least check the label of any product you use to look carefully for any of his allergic triggers — by their various names — that might be used in the processing or as non-active ingredients.

Should Breastfeeding Moms Take Probiotics? Can babies take them directly?

I’m a big fan of nursing moms taking probiotics because many studies have shown benefits to babies’ immune systems. Most of these studies have used a strain of probiotic called LGG (found in a product called Culturelle). It may prove that a product with more strains or higher culture counts would be even more effective.

Not only do probiotics pass through into breast milk, they can usually be given directly to babies as well for similar beneficial effects. We all used to get more beneficial bacteria in our diets before pasteurization and sterilization of food (something that can be especially important for safety when food comes from overcrowded farming operations, travels great distances, or needs to stay fresh a long time). We benefit from regular exposure to beneficial bacteria — and all the more so in certain situations, such as when a baby needs to be treated with antibiotics.

Do probiotics really make a difference in your health?

Promoting healthy, diverse gut bacteria appears able to make a big difference in keeping us healthy. That’s why I regularly recommend probiotics to my patients. Which ones do I recommend?

Here are several nice options:

  • Garden of Life’s Primal Defense for Kids- a total of 16 billion CFUs of 4 species of beneficial cultures in a teaspoon of powder.
  • iFlora for Kids Multi-Probiotic – a total of 8 billion CFUs of 7 species per teaspoon of powder.
  • Florastor Kids – each packet contains 5 billion CFUs of a single probiotic
  • Udo’s Choice Children’s Probiotic – each capsule contains a total of 4 billion CFUs of 8 strains
  • Nutraelle Digestive Care – a total of 10 billion CFUs of two species in a capsule
  • Good Belly – a tasty juice drink that contains 10 billion CFU’s of a single probiotic in a 2.7 ounce shot
  • In-Liven Probiotic Super Food by miessence – An organic option that contains 13 species of probiotics in a powder, along with Spirulina, Rolled Oats, Brown Rice, Wheat Grain, Pearl Barley, Linseed, Kidney Beans, Mung Beans, Adzuki Beans, Red Lentils, Chick Peas, Wheat Grass, Barley Grass, Alfalfa Grass, Beetroot, Sweet Potato, String Beans, Zucchini, Cabbage, Silverbeet, Spinach, Chinese Cabbage, Asparagus, Broccoli, Malt Liquid, and Molasses.

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Dr. Alan Greene

Dr. Greene is the founder of (cited by the AMA as “the pioneer physician Web site”), a practicing pediatrician, father of four, & author of Raising Baby Green & Feeding Baby Green. He appears frequently in the media including such venues as the The New York Times, the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, & the Dr. Oz Show.

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