"Probiotics are live organisms (Good Bacteria) which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host" as per Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)- 2001. Probiotics are known as friendly microorganisms that can be good bacteria or yeast, which can colonize the gut and have a beneficial effect on digestion and bowel health.
Probiotics help to fight infections of the digestive tract, keeping the bad bacteria under check and improving the immune system in the body of children.
Where do Beneficial Probiotics (Microbes) Live in the Body?
Though the most common place linked to beneficial microbes in your gut (mostly large intestines), you have several locations in and on your body that host good microbes. These locations are in contact with the “outside world" and include your:
- Urinary tract
Saccharomyces boulardii (S. boulardii) is a yeast, which has been found to be used as a probiotic in children to prevent or cure gastrointestinal infections such as acute diarrhoea, prevention of antibiotic-induced diarrhoea and promote a healthy immune system. Saccharomyces boulardii the yeast, is widely used as an important adjunct in a child's digestive health, as children frequently suffer from digestive disorders and bowel problems.
- Saccharomyces boulardii is a tropical species of yeast (type of fungus) used as a medicine or probiotic that can fight off infection-causing organisms such as bacteria and fungus in the gut.
- It is a non-pathogenic, non-systemic eukaryotic microorganism that can grow in both aerobic and anaerobic conditions and at a high temperature of 37 degrees centigrade.
- Saccharomyces boulardii is a probiotic which can take the place of pathogenic or bad bacteria in the gut and provide health benefits in children, who are vulnerable and susceptible to general digestive problems like indigestion and constipation, and gastrointestinal infections like diarrhoea, making it the best adjunct for digestive health in children.
- Saccharomyces boulardii is also found to help children with lactose intolerance.
- It is a useful adjunct to treat antibiotic-induced diarrhoea, as it is resistant to antibiotics and can be taken along with antibiotics.
- As it can be stored at room temperature than other probiotics it can be available freely.
- Saccharomyces boulardii is found to be safe and effective in children, provided it is used in the recommended dose.
Saccharomyces Boulardii Benefits
Following are some of the amazing benefits of Saccharomyces Boulardii that make it a wonderful probiotic for digestive health.
1. Saccharomyces Boulardii Fights Pathogenic Organisms:
- Inhibits the growth of pathogenic microbes and prevents invasion of pathogens.
- Inactivates the bacterial toxins produced by bad bacteria.
- Protects the intestinal lining from harmful pathogens (bacteria or fungi).
- Fixation and elimination of pathogenic microbes from the gut.
2. Saccharomyces Boulardii Helps to Maintain Water and Electrolyte Balance:
- Normalises the water and electrolyte loss during diarrhoea (loose stools)
- Promotes bowel fluid balance and decreases diarrhoea.
- Reduces sodium and water loss and prevents dehydration.
3. Saccharomyces Boulardii Improves Healthy Immune System:
- Improves the body's immune system to fight infections.
- Increases gut-mediated immunity by stimulation of secretory immunoglobulins A synthesis in the gut-associated lymphoid tissue which helps to strengthen the digestive tract defenses against infections.
4. Saccharomyces Boulardii Aides Digestive Enzymes:
- For good digestion of food
- For absorption of nutrients
5. Saccharomyces Boulardii Improves Bowel Health:
- Regulates intestinal motility and reduces constipation.
- Reduces inflammation of the bowel in inflammatory bowel disease.
6. Saccharomyces Boulardii Stimulates Production of Short Chain Fatty Acids:
- Stimulates the enterocyte's growth and differentiation which helps in antibiotic-induced diarrhoea to restore gut health.
Diarrheal Diseases in Children
The most common bowel problem seen in children is due to various reasons.
1) Acute Diarrhoea -
- Acute diarrhoea is often caused by bacteria or viruses which increase the frequency of bowel movements and causes loose stools or diarrhoea. WHO definition - Diarrhoea is the passage of 3 or more loose or liquid stools per day or more frequently than normal. Rotavirus diarrhoea is more common in children.
- Diarrhoea may lead to fluid and electrolyte imbalance that can cause dehydration and fatigue. Clostridium difficile can also cause diarrhoea though not common in children.
2) Antibiotic Induced Diarrhoea -
Diarrhoea can occur in those who are on antibiotic therapy. Some antibiotics can destroy/damage the intestinal flora and mucosa by the antibiotics.
3) Persistent Diarrhoea -
WHO defines persistent diarrhoea as an episode that starts acutely, but persists for 14 days or longer. The complications caused by persistent diarrhoea are malnutrition and severe extraintestinal infection.
How Does Saccharomyces Boulardii Help Treat Diarrhoea & Gut Issues in Children
A) Saccharomyces boulardii, through its different mechanisms of action mentioned below, helps to control diarrhoea in children.
- Shortens the duration of diarrhoea in infants and kids.
- Reduces the frequency of stools in acute diarrhoea.
- Decreases the length of stay in hospital for acute diarrhoea or acute gastroenteritis.
- Decreases abdominal discomfort or pain.
- Reduces the risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhoea.
- Improves the immune response in children to fight gastrointestinal infections like acute gastroenteritis.
B) Saccharomyces boulardii helps to eradicate Helicobacter pylori infection which affects digestion and can cause ulcers.
C) Saccharomyces boulardii improves bowel health by controlling intestinal motility and reducing the inflammation in the bowel. It improves intestinal health in bowel disorders such as Irritable bowel syndrome, and inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's, Ulcerative colitis).
D) Long-term probiotics administration can help prevent relapse in chronic infections.
How is Diarrhoea Managed in Children?
- Diarrhoea in children is managed depending on the symptoms and signs of dehydration.
- A child with mild symptoms of diarrhoea may be treated at home with oral fluids and a child with severe symptoms and dehydration should be hospitalised.
- Fluid and electrolyte replacement is usually the choice of treatment for diarrhoea, Probiotics, and Saccharomyces boulardii has been shown to be effective in the management of diarrhoea.
- Antibiotics are added to the treatment if the cause of diarrhoea is infection. Saccharomyces boulardii is a good adjunct to be taken with antibiotics for diarrhoea.
- Saccharomyces boulardii is a proven probiotic in the management of diarrhoea and an alternative to antibiotics which has more side effects.
Which Foods Contain Saccharomyces Boulardii Probiotic?
It is important to add probiotic foods like yogurt to the child's diet to keep the intestinal microbes healthy.
Foods that contain Saccharomyces boulardii are -
How to Take Saccharomyces Boulardii?
- The probiotic Saccharomyces boulardii is available in capsule or powder form and can be taken orally either as a single medicine or in combination with other probiotics. The powder form can be mixed in water and drank.
- Saccharomyces boulardii can be taken as an adjunct with antibiotics.
- It is safe and effective when taken by mouth at an appropriate dose.
Probiotics are known as good bacteria and help to maintain healthy gut flora for a healthy intestinal ecosystem, which will lead to healthy digestion and bowel health necessary for a happy and healthy life. Saccharomyces boulardii the yeast organism is widely used for digestive disorders and bowel problems in children.
Saccharomyces boulardii is a probiotic with proven efficacy in the treatment of many digestive disorders and especially when used for antibiotic-induced diarrhoea. To keep the intestinal microbiome healthy in children you can add probiotic foods like yogurt to their diet.
The Bottom Line
Before you start any supplements for yourself or your kids, make sure you talk to your healthcare provider. Your provider may be able to point you in the right direction, helping you figure out the best probiotic to take, how much to take, and when to take it. A conversation is always worth the time when it concerns your health.Related Articles: