by Dr. Émilie Desfossés-Foucault, Scientific Advisor
Dr. Émilie Desfossés-Foucault is a microbiologist with a PhD in Food Science. She has postdoctoral training in the probiotic field and has extensive knowledge in food microbiology, probiotics, molecular biology, fermentation, and is also trained as a cheesemaker.
Probiotic Gummies vs. Chewables
– Which is Best For Your Child?
Lucky are the parents with a kid who eats healthy 24/7. Young palettes don't always crave nutritious foods. Easy mac and cheese, processed nuggets and sugary drinks tend to be first pick. Tack on the busy lifestyle of today's families and it's nearly impossible to design a daily diet of balanced sustenance.
Processed foods and sugary drinks add unnecessary sodium, saturated fats, and sugar, increasing the risk of chronic health concerns.¹ Healthy eating in childhood and adolescence enables proper growth and development and helps avoid various health conditions,² including obesity and constipation. About 40% of children and adolescents are overweight or have obesity.³ Additionally, functional constipation is a prevalent condition in childhood, about 29.6% worldwide.⁴
Bottom line: Our kids' guts need a boost. Fortunately, probiotics can help.⁵ Probiotics provide a daily dose of beneficial bacteria that can help their digestive systems work better. This aids with occasional digestive upset, including diarrhea, gas and bloating (helping parents comfort their little one's tummies).
There are many options to blend probiotics into your child's daily routine, but some are healthier than others.
Sugar in Children's Probiotics
Sugar sneaks its way into many children's foods, even probiotic supplements. A simple look at a gummies' Supplement Facts reveals sugar, corn syrup, corn starch and sucrose in the top gummy brands. Even worse, many of these additives are listed as their top ingredients. Compared to gummies, chewables contain less sugar—a big win for parents and their kiddos.
What probiotic strains are best for children?
Childrens' probiotics on the market today include a variety of strains in several different combinations. The most common strains parents will find in kids' probiotics are Lactobacillus rhamnossus GG, Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus coagulans, Saccharomyces boulardii, Bifidobacterium lactis and Lactobacillus acidophilus. Each strain touts its benefit, but Lactobacillus rhamnossus GG is the one that has been most extenstively studied in kids. In addition, more pharmacists recommend this strain than any other.⁶
What does Lactobacillus rhamnossus GG do?
The probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnossus GG helps ease intestinal discomfort and infections in children. The properties of these friendly bacteria assist the digestive system in running more efficiently. Studies indicate that Lactobacillus rhamnossus GG helps ease digestive upset including diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gas, constipation and bloating.⁷
Today's best-selling gummy probiotics offer Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus coagulans and tout their benefits. However, these two strains are far less studied—and less recommended by pharmacists—than Lactobacillus rhamnossus GG.⁸
Bio360 Kids' chewable probiotic
Chewable probiotics containing pharmacist recommended Lactobacillus rhamnossus GG—like Bio360's Kids' Formula—are a clear winner. Bio360's Kids' Formula, in particular, contains no added sugars, no GMOs, no gluten, no dairy, no soy, no animal products, no artificial colors and no artificial flavors.
They taste good, too, making these chewable probiotics the ultimate kid-friendly nutrient.
Don't forget about yourself while shopping for your kiddo. Check out our blog post How to Choose the Right Probiotic and find a probiotic for you.
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Poor Nutrition. National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 2021.
2. US Department of Health and Human Services Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Report. Advisory Report to the Secretary Health and Human Services and the Secretary of Agriculture. 2015.
3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025.
4. Diaz S, Bittar K, Mendez MD. Constipation. StatPearls. 2021.
5. Dan W. Thomas, Frank R. Greer and Committee on Nutrition. Probiotics and Prebiotics in Pediatrics. Section on Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition Pediatrics. December 2010, 126 (6) 1217-1231; DOI: doi.org/10.1542/peds.2010-2548.
6. Nielsen POS Data. Survey of Pharmacists Recommendation. Pharmacy Times. 2021.
7. Bausserman M, Michail S. The use of Lactobacillus GG in irritable bowel syndrome in children: a double-blind randomized control trial. The Journal of Pediatrics. 2005. 147(2): 197-201.
8. The number of studies on Lactobacillus rhamnossus GG is greater than Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus coagulans strains typical used in gummies.