Updated: Jun 10
Things here in Alberta are still up in the air for the fall, and if kids will be back in school, and if they are, how will that look? What will classes look like? Is there more that you can do to prepare your child to handle the new kid in class?
I've been doing some learning sessions from Genestra (my number one go to for supplements) on the Microbiota, and learning about some of the studies that have recently come out.
Fun Microbiome/Microbiota Facts:
80% of the immune system is in the gut
an adult microbiome weights about 1.5kg (that's the size of your liver!)
the microbiota produces between 2-4 litres of 'gas' per day
approximately half of your poop is bacterial biomass.
It's proven that the use of human strain probiotics do have an impact on the developed immune system (your immune system is generally developed by 2 years of age).
Coughs and colds - or upper respiratory tract infections (UTRI) - are the most common infections that we experience. Adults generally get 2-3 a year, and children a whopping 3-8. If you've followed the news at all lately, you probably would have learned that COVID 19 is a coronovirus, and this group of viruses actually cause roughly 30% of coughs and colds.
You know the symptoms - sore throat, runny or blocked nose, cough, sneezing. These upper respiratory tract infections are the most common cause of:
days off work
absenteeism from school
visits to doctors
antibiotic use (even though they aren't effective against coronoviruses).
Resistance to Antibiotics is the biggest threat to human health care
There isn't a really effective treatment for UTRI's, and no consistent evidence of prevention. Vitamin C (above 200mg a day) reduces the duration of coughs and colds in an adults by an average of 8%, and in children by 14%.
Zinc actually showed no effect in the prevention of coughs and colds, and some effect in the reduction of the duration when 30mg/day was taken within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms.
But guess what.
Probiotics not only reduce the duration of infection by an average of 30%, they can also prevent the colds as well, more effectively than Vitamin C, and definitely better than zinc.
The Cochrane Review of 3720 participants; children, adults (average 40 years) and older senior populations saw:
47% reduction in the number of participants experiencing episodes of a an acute Upper Respiratory Tract Infection (URTI).
A reduction in the duration of an episode of a URTI by about 1.89 days.
A reduction in the antibiotic prescription rate for acute URTI's in children.
The company that I recommend for probiotics (Genestra) did a randomized double blind placebo controlled study (ISRCTN 28722693 if you care), where 57 children aged 3 to 6 took one chewable HMF Fit For School a day from October to March.
- A 33% reduction in the Incidence of Symptoms.
- A 49% reduction in the duration of URTI symptoms.
- A 30% significant reduction in the incidence of absenteeism from preschool
- The number of visits to the GP due to URTI reduced by 45%
- 24.1% of the children in the placebo group received oral antibiotics compared to only 14.3% of children who were taking the HMF Probiotic Intervention
- A significant reduction in the use of cough medicine.
They did another study with probiotic use in prevention of upper respiratory tract infection in children 3 to 10 years old, and were able to duplicate the results (something that is almost unheard of when it comes to nutraceuticals (a food containing health-giving additives and having medicinal benefit).
The probiotics also improved the kids gastro health (less stomachaches, vomiting). It also helped the kids poop better. It wouldn't be a post about probiotics if I didn't say poop at least a few times.
We have been using HMF Fit for School with the girls for a few years now, and we concentrate on the back to school period, and when they start to feel a little down. These probiotics also have some vitamin C and the daily recommended dose of Vitamin D as well in them.
If you want some more information on these products, check these out:
And if you want to put an order in, the company is offering free shipping until the end of June! The HMF Fit For School Chewable is $39.80 plus tax for a month supply, and the HMF Fit For School Powder is $36.28 plus tax per month (good for younger children who can't yet chew a tablet safely, or to put into a drink or applesauce for them to take....but the chewables are tasty!)
Probiotics are more than just about preventing and reducing the duration of coughs and colds. We're talking benefits in managing allergies, athletic performance, diarrhea, IBS, bowel health, bowl function, infantile colic, lactose maldigestion, vaginal health, liver health, mental and neurological health, metabolic and heart health.
If you're currently pregnant, probiotics in the third trimester and for you and babe after birth can set your child's immune system up for success as well!
Probiotics aren't a silver bullet. Low sugar, lots of whole foods, stress management, good sleep: all are important to keep you and your childs immune systems in top shape. But they can be the boost your child needs to make it through the new school year!
Send me an email if you want to place an order and if you order more than 3 months, I'll give you a discount - so let's talk. I have recommendations for Adult probiotics too (did you know that taking probiotics may help you loose weight too? Subscribe to my blog to keep up today on this gem!
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