Probiotics in Paediatric Practice

Biljana Vuletic, Aleksandar Kocovic, Marija Mladenovic, Vladimir Radlovic, Jasmina Djindjic, Jelena Radlovic

Abstract

This review summarizes the clinical indications for the use of probiotics in paediatric clinical practice, based on the available scientific evidence. The recent panel of the International Scientific Association of Probiotics and Prebiotics recommended in 2014 that the term “probiotic” should only be used for products that deliver live microorganisms with a suitable viable count of well-defined strains with a reasonable expectation of delivering benefits for the wellbeing of the host. In this review we searched the relevant guidelines on the use of probiotics in children, recommendations and position papers covering the paediatric clinical indications and summarize the high – quality evidence. Some specific Probiotic strains are effective in preventing antibiotic-associated diarrhoea, nosocomial diarrhoea and upper respiratory tract infections, in the treatment of acute gastroenteritis, infantile colic in breastfed infants, and mild ulcerative colitis, but have disappointing results in remission of Crohn’s disease and prevention of food allergies.

Conclusion – The capacity of probiotics to prevent, improve illnesses and relieve symptoms varies, as well as their mechanisms, effects and safety, are strain specific. Therefore, every strain is disease specific and not all probiotics should be considered equal. Special caution is advised in immunocompromised and severely ill patients in the Intensive Care Unit.

Keywords

Probiotics; Children; Gut Health

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