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Probiotics Play Critical Role in Pediatric Health and Immunity
Date:11/2/2007

cs at David Geffen University of California Los Angeles School of Medicine in Los Angeles discussed how studying the role of the intestinal microflora in health and disease states is crucial due to a rise in allergic and autoimmune disorders in infants (or children). Dr. Martin discussed the evidence for introduction of safe bacteria to infant nutrition, and highlighted how certain probiotics have potential benefits on the gut and immune functions that are at a critical stage in development in infancy.

Not all probiotics are the same, however. Erika Isolauri, M.D., a professor in the department of Pediatrics at University of Turku in Turku, Finland, narrowed the concept of probiotics to its role in pediatrics and discussed how this requires a focus on several specific strains of bacterial species. For example, recent research confirms that breast milk contains bifidobacteria and specific Bifidobacterium species that may promote healthy microbiota development. Bifidobacterium species have been specifically studied in the pediatric population and have shown positive benefits in GI tract infections and antibiotic-associated diarrhea. Numerous studies have addressed the safety and efficacy of probiotics, including a clinical study that examined the role of probiotics in reducing acute diarrhea and atopic eczema with Lactobacilli strains.

The challenge, moving forward, is to explore the mechanism of how the specific strain has its benefit in order to identify the most appropriate host.

This symposium was sponsored by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center, and supported by an educational grant from Nestle Nutrition Institute.

Over the past seven years, the Nestle Nutrition Institute (NNI) has supported educational programs on the topic of allergy and infant nutrition in conjunction with entities such as Baylor College of Medicine, Stanford University and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, as well as satellite symposia
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SOURCE Nestle Nutrition
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