The First 1000 Days
From Conception to the second birthday...
We’ve known for a long time now that the human gut contains bacteria and other microorganisms, called the gut microbiota. The useful bacteria are known as Probiotics and these enter the gut in a variety of ways. Prebiotics feed these good gut bacteria, so they may thrive.
It’s really only been in the last decade or so that scientists have come to appreciate how important these bacteria are to our health. For example, in babies they are known to support the digestive and natural immune systems, as well as growth and development.
Our team of experts at Australia’s Own has therefore developed a unique Prebiotics & Probiotics blend for inclusion in its Diamond pro+ Premium range of products.
Around 70% of a little one’s immune system resides in the gut. So, it’s super important that our children’s digestive and immune systems get the best of everything, to reach their full growth and developmental potential.
That’s where Prebiotics & Probiotics come in. They are both related to the good bacteria living in the gut, which we all need for good digestive wellbeing.
Prebiotics are food for the ‘good’ bacteria living in the gut and so encourage the growth of the useful gut bacteria. They are typically fibre type compounds that do not get digested in the small intestine and pass into the large intestine, where they provide food for the gut bacteria living there. In this way, prebiotics work from within a baby’s digestive system to help the good gut bacteria thrive.
The good gut bacteria are extremely important in the development of a baby’s natural immune and digestive systems. By helping ‘good’ gut bacteria to thrive, prebiotics can help improve the number of ‘useful’ bacteria compared with the number of ‘harmful’ bacteria in the gut. They can also help little ones to stay regular and have softer stools.
Breast milk contains many complex prebiotics, called human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs). Making up around one-third of the composition of breast milk, HMOs have been shown to support the Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus bacteria that make up the majority of an infant’s gut microbiota. They’ve also been shown to have important health benefits, particularly on the developing immune system. Research on HMOs underscores the importance of prebiotics in early life nutrition.
Probiotics, on the other hand, are the living, ‘good’ bacteria that reside in the gut and help to create a healthy gut bacteria environment. These help the digestive system function properly. Like prebiotics, breast milk also contains an array of probiotics. Studies suggest that mothers pass these bacteria onto their babies during breastfeeding.
Supplementing a baby’s diet with the probiotic called Bifidobacterium lactis Bb12 has been shown to significantly reduce the number of episodes of gastrointestinal infections compared with babies who did not have the probiotic. Furthermore, higher gut levels of Bifidobacteria in infants have been shown to be associated with good development and maturation of the immune system.