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Probiotic yogurt might help reduce common infections among children


My three-year-old daughter is borderline-obsessed with yogurt: She asks for it several times a day, and she would eat the dairy treat every meal if we let her. I was interested, then, to hear about a Georgetown University study on whether bacteria-containing probiotic yogurt could produce positive health benefits in children. From an ABC News article:

Parents [of the 600 children] in the study agreed to feed a drinkable yogurt regularly to their children. Half of the families received traditional yogurt and half received the probiotic yogurt, or yogurt that has beneficial bacteria. The parents did not know which type of yogurt they had.

By the end of the three-month study, the children who received the probiotic yogurt had 24 percent fewer gastrointestinal infections [such as diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting], and 18 percent fewer upper respiratory infections [such as ear infections, sinusitis and strep] than children who were getting regular yogurt.

As explained in a Georgetown release, the lower infection rates didn't lead to fewer missed schools or activities for the kids in the probiotic group. And it's important to note that the work was funded by Dannon, which has an obvious interest in getting kids to eat yogurt.

With that said, the work follows other, mostly non-U.S., studies that show probiotics can be beneficial for children. And the findings are enough to make me at least consider a switch to the probiotic stuff for my (obsessed) daughter.

Photo by love♡janine

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