baby - birth / health & wellness / natural cultures. natural protection.

Natural Cultures. Natural Protection.

Your baby’s developing immune system helps shield her from sickness and infection to help her grow up strong and healthy. One of the many ways the immune system works is by maintaining natural protective barriers. The first and most important natural protective barrier is the skin. However, another equally important protective barrier is the digestive tract, where 80% of the body's immune cells are found.1 The digestive tract is home to the gut flora, a delicately balanced community of about 500 different kinds of bacteria. In a healthy digestive system, good bacteria (or natural cultures) help keep baby’s immune system and body safe from illness. As well, good bacteria can help to balance potentially harmful bacteria. One way to help support this protective barrier is to increase the levels of natural cultures in your baby's digestive tract.

Bifidobacteria account for up to 90% of the natural cultures found in healthy, breastfed babies.2

Breast milk is an ideal source of natural cultures for your baby. Recent research has shown that breast milk naturally contains bacteria, or natural cultures, including Bifidobacteria.3,4 In fact, Bifidobacteria are the main type of bacteria found in the gut flora of breastfed babies. Bifidobacteria help to build a healthy digestive tract flora, and help with the healthy development of the immune system5.

What are probiotics?

The word "probiotic" literally means "for life". Probiotics are live, safe microorganisms, found in food which when taken in adequate amounts can provide certain health benefits including aiding in digestion and supporting the immune system.6 Probiotics are also sometimes referred to as "natural cultures" or "good bacteria". Bifidobacterium lactis or B. lactis is a common type of Bifidobacteria scientists have studied for use in infant nutrition as a probiotic. Research suggests that, when ingested, probiotics only temporarily reside in the digestive system5,7 and continued, daily consumption of B. lactis is necessary for health benefits.7 The probiotic B. lactis has been shown to help increase levels of antibodies, the immune protectors of your body, and an important part of a healthy baby's immune system and natural defenses.7,8

References: 1. Brandtzaeg P et al. Gastroenterol 1989; 97:1562-84. 2. Yoshioka H et al. Pediatrics 1983;72:317-21. 3. Gueimonde M et al. Neonatology 2007;92:64-6. 4. Martin R et al. Appl Environ Microbiol 2009; 75(4): 965-9. 5. Saavedra, JM. Nutr Clin Pract 2007;22(3): 351-65. 6. Joint FAO/WHO Expert Consultation on Evaluation of Health and Nutritional Properties of Probiotics in Food including Powder Milk with Live Lactic Acid Bacteria, October 2001. 7. Fukushima Y et al. Int J Food Microbiol 1998; 42:39-44. 8. Mohan R et al. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2006;45:E36-7.(abstr).

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