Panacea or Just 'A Big Fad'?
Wingert, Pat, Newsweek
Byline: Pat Wingert
Could something as simple as a probiotic drink stop a colicky baby from crying so much? What about reports that probiotics started during pregnancy can prevent babies from developing asthma?
In response to the increasing number of kid-oriented supplements and foods (including baby formulas, yogurts, granola bars, and juices) that contain probiotics and prebiotics, the American Academy of Pediatrics has just released a clinical report that attempts to separate the hype from the hard facts. Its conclusion: probiotics (the live, active "good" bacteria indigenous to a healthy digestive system) and prebiotics (nondigestible foods, like dietary fiber, that stimulate probiotic growth and activity) don't yet qualify as wonder cures. While they are generally considered safe--they're naturally found in abundance in breast milk--there has been little high-quality research done on the effects of supplementing and the results have been inconsistent.
That said, coauthor Dr. Dan Thomas of Children's Hospital Los Angeles says parents exhausted by a colicky baby have little to lose by talking to their doctor about probiotic drops as a possible fix. While studies are …
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Publication information: Article title: Panacea or Just 'A Big Fad'?. Contributors: Wingert, Pat - Author. Magazine title: Newsweek. Volume: 157. Issue: 03 Publication date: January 17, 2011. Page number: 12. © 2009 Newsweek, Inc. All rights reserved. Any reuse, distribution or alteration without express written permission of Newsweek is prohibited. For permission: www.newsweek.com. COPYRIGHT 2011 Gale Group.
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