Constipation is a common childhood condition, unfortunately. Even worse is the mainstream definition of constipation—less than three bowel movements per week. Say what! If you or little Johnny are only pooping three times a week, we’ve got a problem. Regular elimination helps remove toxins from the system. And the longer feces sit in the colon the more toxic it gets!
A recent study evaluated the effect of the probiotic Bifidobacterium breve in children with constipation. Twenty children between the ages of 3 and 16 took the probiotic daily for a 4-week period. Bowel movement frequency and stool consistency improved significantly in these children. That means their constipation improved. The results of this pilot trial are promising, and will lead to a larger randomized controlled trial.
Bifidobacteria are the most prevalent probiotic bacteria in the large intestine, or colon, of children. Normal bifidobacteria colonization occurs when babies are born vaginally, and is improved during breastfeeding. Antibiotic treatment can interfere with colonization, especially during the first months and years of life. Maintaining a healthy balance of bifidobacteria is associated with intestinal health, which is the foundation of total body health.