Store shelves are lined with various probiotic products that claim they can help ease any stomach related ailments. The question is are these products worth the money spent on them when it comes to stomach flu in kids? Do they really help with treating it?
Probiotics have been shown to be helpful with several aspects of health ranging from strong immunity, and better digestive health to mental concerns like anxiety and depression. However, a new study shows that probiotics do not help with stomach flu in kids.
What Did The Study’s Outcome Show?
A new study that has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine proves that probiotics do not play any role in alleviating stomach flu in children. According to the study, the effects that probiotics and placebo had on kids with gastroenteritis were the same.
This study was carried out on a batch of 1000 kids. Results showed that the duration and severity of stomach flu was same across both groups of kids – those who were given placebo and those who were given probiotics.
Stomach Flu And Probiotics
Stomach flu or gastroenteritis is caused by various pathogens from viruses to bacteria. Typically, acute gastroenteritis lasts a few days, after which it goes away on its own. Previously, it was believed that probiotics help reduce the severity or the duration of the condition.
Probiotics are live bacteria that balance the ecosystem of the gut which is linked to several bodily functions. Since the gut shares a bidirectional link with the brain, it is believed that probiotics can help lower the symptoms of mood-related disorders as well.
They can help improve digestive problems too by improving gut health. They can also bolster immunity and in turn, protect one against the attacks of infections. A stronger immune system is able to reduce the severity and duration of infections.
However, it is crucial to know whether probiotics are actually worth the bucks spent on them when it comes to gastroenteritis in children. Characterized by diarrhea and vomiting, gastroenteritis is a common cause of even death in children aged below 5.
The dehydration that it can cause is the root problem here. Another Canadian study published in the same publication also stresses on the same thing; that probiotics do not have any effects on stomach flu in kids.
The Right Treatment For Acute Gastroenteritis In Kids?
This brings forward an important concern – how to treat gastroenteritis? Unfortunately, there is no cure for this ailment. However, acute gastroenteritis often subsides on its own. Children must be kept hydrated, though. In this regard, small doses of fluid must be consumed frequently. Furthermore, hygiene and diet must also be taken proper care of.
Adding probiotics to the diets of kids with stomach flu in the hopes of bettering their condition is fruitless. While there are no solutions to cure gastroenteritis in kids, the ailment typically only lasts a few days. Kids with stomach flu must be kept hydrated.