May 2019 - Wakunaga of America

Why Probiotics Matter for Kids

Here are some things to consider. Probiotics add another layer of good microorganisms to the already existing good ones, so they can be very beneficial to not only adults, but kids too. When the ratio of good bacteria is altered, for example, after your child uses antibiotics, probiotics can help get their gut back on track by replenishing the microbiome with good bacteria. If your child has an ear infection or diarrhea, taking a probiotic may actually help to lessen these symptoms. In addition, probiotics can also help your children stay healthy by decreasing the number of bacteria in the gut that can cause infections or inflammation. Gut health is key for supporting overall health at all ages, but the early years are most important for developing a healthy and balanced gut microbiome.

Most babies actually get their first large dose of microbes at birth, while traveling through the birth canal. They then pick up more while breastfeeding. These early microbes are crucial because they help shape your immune system, your digestive system, and even your brain. After a baby is born, the mother’s breast milk is what contains the exact nutrients the baby needs, including the right bacteria. The breast milk, in addition to feeding the baby, also feed’s the baby’s microbiome (American Museum of Natural History1 2018).

Safety First

The number one concern of most parents when deciding whether they should give their child a probiotic supplement, is to know if it is safe. Generally speaking, probiotics are safe for kids unless your child has a compromised immune system, or is a premature infant. If that is the case, taking probiotics may open them up to infection.

Signs your child might need a probiotic

They take antibiotics: Sometimes there is no getting around taking an antibiotic, whether it’s for an infection or a skin rash. While the antibiotic helps fight the infection though, it also diminishes the resilience and diversity of your child’s gut flora.

There is a history of allergies: Children who have a parent/brother/sister affected by allergies such as hay fever, eczema, and asthma are twice as likely to develop allergies themselves, than children without a family history of allergies are. Taking a probiotic may help reduce children’s likelihood of allergies by aiding the maturation of the immune system and reducing the risk of allergic reaction.

They keep catching colds: More than 70 percent of the body’s immune cells are found in the gut, where they strengthen resistance against disease and help fight off disease-causing organisms (Fusion Health2 2018). Giving your child a probiotic may help reduce their risk of experiencing upper respiratory tract infections like colds.

How to pick a probiotic for your child

Probiotics are available in capsules, tablets, liquids, and powders, each containing a specific type of probiotic blend. So, which is best?  Well, getting your kid to actually take the probiotic every day is the first challenge, so find a format that you think they will accept.

There are some strains that are more beneficial than others when deciding on a probiotic for your child. Lactobacillus acidophilus, for example, is a gut bacteria that can also be found in fermented foods like yogurt. This gut microbe produces an enzyme known as lactase, which breaks down lactose into lactic acid (Cleveland Clinic3 2018). Another great strain is Bifidobacterium lactis which is present in raw milk. Some benefits of this strain are improving digestion, enhancing the immune system, lowering cholesterol, and treating diarrhea.

If you are looking for a probiotic supplement with clinical studies (Simon4 2005). that show efficacy, you should consider Kyo-Dophilus probiotics. Kyo-Dophilus Kids Probiotic provides one billion live cells of L. gasseri, B. bifidum, and B. longum for digestion and immune health, and is also free of GMOs, dairy, sodium, yeast, gluten, preservatives, and artificial colors. It is a great “first probiotic” to introduce into your child’s routine.

References

  1. https://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/the-secret-world-inside-you/building-your-microbiome-from-birth
  2. https://www.fusionhealth.com.au/news/chinese-medicine/7-signs-your-child-may-need-probiotics
  3. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/drugs/14598-probiotics
  4. Simon AGL, Rogacion J. A randomized placebo-controlled trial on the use of probiotics in the prevention of nosocomial infection in pediatric patients with hematologic and oncologic diseases. PIDSP J. 2005;9(2):12-18.
  5. https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/A-RANDOMIZED-PLACEBO-CONTROLLED-TRIAL-ON-THE-USE-OF-Grace-Simon/70c1af520443003ad3c160d17a30c7cdca3a0ba7

This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.

Making Healthy Eating Choices for Blood Sugar Control

If you take anything away from this blog, just know that diets high in starchy or sugary foods, and drinks with added sugars (even fruit sugars), promote high fasting blood sugar and can lead to insulin resistance, weight gain, and increased risk of diabetes. The Mediterranean diet, or a modified low-carb diet, can help keep your blood sugar balanced.

Food (Groups) That Can Help

Carbohydrates

Every diet should include some form of carbs, which provides energy to help power your body. Many carbohydrates are very healthy, like fruits, vegetables, milk, yogurt and legumes…just try and avoid the refined and/or overly processed carbohydrates. Aim for whole grains like barley and brown rice, versus white rice and pasta. Also, it’s worth checking the label to make sure that it actually says 100% whole grain, you do not want to get duped! Lastly, eat fruits rather than drinking fruit juice, since fruit juices often contain added sugars and ingredients you do not need.

Dairy

The USDS reports that dairy products are the primary source of calcium in the American diet (MS1 2018). Cheese, milk, yogurt, and other dairy products provide protein, calcium, and other nutrients, but they can also have a lot of fat. Greek yogurt, for example, has more protein and fewer carbs than regular yogurt. If you must eat regular yogurt, try and go with plain yogurt, and add fresh fruit for extra flavor, since flavored yogurts often contain added sugar.

Protein

Your body needs protein to build and maintain muscles, your bones, your skin, and for a plethora of other bodily functions. The same can be said for protein as was said for carbs…look for healthy sources! The best protein options are lean meats like chicken, turkey, low-fat dairy, fish, and shellfish. All are healthier than protein that come from four-legged animals. If possible, avoid steaks and other meats that are eaten rare, they tend to be fattier. As for fish, salmon is the best source of protein.

Fat

Everybody needs fat in their diet. Fats are essential to give your body energy and support cell growth. They also help protect your organs and help keep your body warm. Fats help your body absorb nutrients and produce important hormones as well. Try and focus on plant-based fats, since animal fats contribute to heart disease, a particular danger to those with diabetes. Examples of healthy plant-based fats include avocados and nuts. Just don’t go overboard though, because even healthy fats have lots of calories, so eat in moderation.

In addition to maintaining a healthy diet, it’s worth considering adding a blood sugar balancing supplement to your routine. Kyolic Blood Sugar Balance contains Aged Garlic Extract, Niacin, Chromium, Salacia and Bitter Melon, and is designed to naturally support healthy blood sugar balance and weight control, as well as cardiovascular and immune health, for overall well-being. You may have never heard of some of these ingredients before, like bitter melon, chromium, or salacia, but they each play an important role in balancing blood sugar. Bitter melon, for example, is a fruit that contains several substances that encourages the body to use carbohydrates in the way nature intended. This helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Chromium is a trace mineral necessary for the efficient metabolism of carbohydrates and fats, and also for stable blood sugar levels. In addition, chromium helps cells respond as they should to insulin. Salacia is a traditional Ayurvedic treatment for obesity and diabetes thanks to compounds shown to stabilize blood sugar, even after a high-carb meal.

Fine tune your diet with the tips above, and you’ll keep that blood sugar in check! For more information, check out this article in the Kyolic Men’s Health Healthy Living Guide.

References

  1. https://www.endocrineweb.com/conditions/diabetes/diabetes-diet-best-way-eat-type-2-diabetes

This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.

Hormones As You Age

First of all, what are hormones? Hormones are chemical messengers in the body that are created in the endocrine glands. These messengers control most major bodily functions, from hunger to reproduction, even emotions and mood.

The Endocrine System

One of the easiest ways to answer the question “what are hormones,” is to take a look at some of the major hormonal systems in the body. Hormones are created by glands, which are part of the endocrine system. The main glands that produce hormones are:

  • Pituitary: Often thought of as the master control gland, the pituitary gland controls other glands and makes the hormones that trigger growth.
  • Thyroid: The thyroid produces hormones associated with calorie burning and heart rate.
  • Adrenal: Adrenal glands produce the hormones that control sex drive and cortisol, the stress hormone.
  • Hypothalamus: This gland is responsible for body temperature, hunger, moods and the release of hormones from other glands. It also controls thirst, sleep, and sex drive.
  • Pancreas: The pancreas produces the insulin that helps control blood sugar levels.

The body has many types of hormones, as you can see:

  • Insulin.
  • Estrogen.
  • Progesterone.
  • Prolactin.
  • Testosterone.
  • Serotonin.
  • Cortisol.

Certain types of hormones have a larger role to play in the body’s overall health and well-being. For women, estrogen is the main sex hormone. It causes puberty, prepares the body and uterus for pregnancy, and regulates the menstrual cycle. During menopause, estrogen levels change, causing many of the uncomfortable symptoms women experience (Hormone Health Network1 2019).

Menopause and hormone balance

The most common consequence of aging-related hormonal changes for women is menopause. Around age 50, women’s ovaries begin producing decreasing amounts of estrogen and progesterone. The pituitary gland tries to compensate by producing more follicle stimulating hormone (FSH – regulates the function of the ovaries). While menopause is normal and happens to all women, symptoms might include the following: hot flashes, decreased libido, insomnia, depression, and osteoporosis. Current health guidelines indicate that may be beneficial to take a supplement containing estrogen/progesterone to alleviate these symptoms (Carniero2 2018). For those looking for a more natural supplement though, there is Kyolic Estro-Logic.

This natural supplement contains:

  • Black cohosh root extract (a dietary supplement for hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms), Soybean isoflavones (which the body uses to maintain normal estrogen levels),
  • Wild yam extract (often used as a natural alternative to estrogen therapy, which increases energy and sexual drive),
  • Sage extract (aids in digestive problems like bloating, gas and reduces perspiration),
  • Chasetree berry extract (used to treat menstrual cycle problems and pain),
  • Vervain extract (used to treat many conditions like depression, headaches, anxiety and insomnia), Astragalus extract (used to fight the common cold, respiratory infections, and allergies) and
  • Motherwort extract (used to treat heart conditions including irregular heartbeat, fast heartbeat, and anxiety).

Estro-Logic supplement, created by Dr. Kathleen Fry, Gynecologist and medical herbalist Claudia Joy Wingo, is designed to support healthy hormone balance for women experiencing midlife changes like menopause. Ease into menopause naturally, with a plant-based supplement!

References

https://www.hormone.org/hormones-and-health/hormones/hormones-and-what-do-they-do

https://www.rush.edu/health-wellness/discover-health/hormones-you-age

This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.