Whenever kids have a stomach bug, we naturally turn to foods rich in probiotics or probiotic supplements, right? But according to a recent study, it was found that probiotics have only a placebo effect and don't really do anything to cure a tummy bug.
The New England Journal of Medicine published the outcomes of two separate clinical trials; both had similar results.
Professor of Pediatrics from Washington University, Philip Tarr said that probiotics had no effect on kids’ tummies. He was of the opinion that instead of wasting money on probiotics, parents must give their child more fresh fruits and vegetables.
For the purpose of the study, 971 children between the ages of 3 months to 4 years were selected. All these children had visited the emergency room once for gastroenteritis. Some kids were advised to take Culturelle, a probiotic supplement for 5 days and others, a sugar pill.
It was found that having Culturelle did not reduce the recovery time of the kids. They had the same duration of fever, loose motions and vomiting compared to those who had the sugar pill.
This study raises a question mark on our belief of many years that probiotics are essential for treating a tummy infection. So does that mean we should stop giving our kids probiotics?
There's no doubt that we feel relief after we have curd rice or buttermilk on an upset tummy. So instead of spending money on supplements, we can give our kids naturally fermented foods such as curds, idlis etc. The key is to balance what we are comfortable with, with fresh fruit and veggies, so that the gut flora refreshes itself again.
Disclaimer: Information has been sourced from sciencedaily#childhealth