Effects of Probiotics on Kids

As I previously blogged, a recent study in Shanghai found that schoolchildren given milk with added bacteria had fewer colds than children given milk without added bacteria. The study was funded by Danisco, a Wisconsin company that makes bacteria-containing (“probiotic”) capsules. Obviously they want to sell more of their product. But ordinary yogurt probably produces the same result. Aaron Blaisdell told me this:

Since introducing yogurt into my daughter Maggie’s diet on a daily basis about 5 months ago, she’s gotten far fewer colds, and those she did get were milder.

I asked him for details.

Maggie is 4 years old. She eats a bowl of Traderspoint Creamery whole milk yogurt (from grassfed cows) each day. She started day care since 4-months old and now goes to a pre-school. She used to get a cold about every other month (6-8 per year), but since we introduced yogurt daily to her diet about 6 months ago, she’s only had one cold as far as I can remember and it was very mild. Even the cough which used to last a month or two after she recovered lasted only about a week or two.

How much yogurt was she eating before that?

I think she had yogurt once or twice a week for the six months prior to introducing it daily. Before that it was even rarer. We introduced it a few times between the ages of 2 and 3 years old, and after initially liking it for a day or two she would then reject it thereafter. The reason she eats it every day now is because I put Ovaltine in it (about a teaspoon).

Did he make other changes at the same time?

I also try to sneak fermented high-vitamin cod liver oil into the yogurt, but I can only do this if I make it while she isn’t looking. I also put 2-4k vitamin D3 (Carlson’s drops) into it if she isn’t looking when I make it. Also starting at the beginning of this year I switched from organic pasteurized milk to raw milk. I can’t think of any other significant changes in diet, except that I continue to try to cut down on the amount of cereal and crackers she eats and increase the amount of eggs and cheese instead.

Let’s hope she doesn’t read this!

5 Replies to “Effects of Probiotics on Kids”

  1. Doh, I forgot to mention that she started drinking Yakult probiotic drink (she calls it her “yogurt drin”k) almost daily starting about the same time that we introduced the yogurt+Ovaltine mix (this all started around February 2009).

  2. She may just be getting stronger as she grows. The best way to test this would be to discontinue feeding her the yogurt for a few months and see if she starts gets sick again.

  3. Uwe, yesterday a student of yours quoted you to me. You said: “Our health care system was designed by the Devil.” When you lose your job is when you need to buy your own insurance — just when you don’t have much money. I said: Right on.

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