Probiotics for Prevention and Treatment of Diarrhea in Children, Is it Important ?
Probiotics are live microorganisms or good bacteria that can provide health benefits to other organisms/hosts or in this discussion to humans. One way to prevent children from getting diarrhea easily is to consume probiotics. Various kinds of supplements, food and drinks around us that contain probiotics. Natural probiotics also appear in newborns who are breastfed.
Treatment of diarrhea usually uses antibiotics, but inappropriate use of antibiotics usually causes bacteria to be resistant to antibiotics. Antibiotics can also affect the diversity in the intestine so that it can interfere with the absorption of food in the digestive process in the human body.
Various probiotic strains have been studied such as Lactobacillus, Saccharomyces, and Bifidobacterium. Several studies have shown that these probiotics can reduce symptoms and help normalize the bacterial flora in the intestine.
Following are the benefits of probiotics:
- Boosts immunity (Probiotics are proven to increase the immune response in the body)
- Producing antimicrobial substances (Probiotics produce various substances that can inhibit the development of gram-positive and negative bacteria. Not only inhibit but can change the metabolism of bacteria and limit toxin production)
- Balancing the gut microbiome (An imbalance in the microbiome in the gut can occur due to long-term use of antibiotics, a body experiencing stress, and chronic disease. Probiotics help metabolize complex carbohydrates to produce lactic acid and short-chain fatty acids which can reduce bacterial translocation and stimulate the production of mucin enzymes )
- Increases water absorption (Probiotics have been shown to increase aquaporins, which are membrane proteins of the aqueducts thereby increasing water absorption in the large intestine)
- Reducing opportunistic pathogens (Probiotics reduce the number of pathogenic bacteria by producing inhibitory substances such as bacteriocins, blocking adhesion sites on the surface of the intestinal epithelium, and competing for nutrients. This mechanism is important for the prevention and treatment of infection)
According to WHO, diarrhea is the second deadly disease that affects children under the age of five. Diarrhea occurs due to infection of the intestinal tract caused by bacteria, viruses and parasites. The infection is spread through contaminated food or drinking water or from person to person due to poor hygiene.
Diarrhea is defecation with a soft or liquid consistency, or it can even be just water with a more frequent frequency than usual (three or more times) in one day (Depkes RI, 2011).
There are three types of clinical diarrhea:
- Acute watery diarrhea - lasting hours or days, including cholera
- Acute bloody diarrhea - called dysentery
- Persistent diarrhea - lasting 14 days or more
Friends of Hermina, as parents it is important for us to understand what nutrients enter the child's body and the right treatment if our child has diarrhea. Consult your child's health problems with a specialist to get the right treatment.