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Do you recommend using BioGaia probiotics?

Question:

Krista asked: "Wondering the difference between the probiotic you recommend (Genestra Baby B and Baby F) and BioGaia?"

Answer:

Baby B and Baby F Overview

The Baby B and Baby F products that we recommend contain both lactobacilli and bifidobacteria. The lactobacilli are more prevalent in the upper digestive system and the bifidobacteria are more prevalent in the lower digestive system.

There are 4 strains of bacteria in these Baby B and Baby F products (Bifidobacterium bifidum (CUL-20), Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis (CUL-34), Lactobacillus salivarius (CUL-61), and Lactobacillus paracasei (CUL-08)). These specific strains were studied in the Swansea Baby Trial. This study concluded that these 4 strains could reduce the risk of allergic sensitization and atopic eczema. To learn more about the results of this study you can watch Dr. Nigel Plummer, well respected probiotic researcher, discussing the results in the below video.

BioGaia Overview

BioGaia contains only 1 strain (L. reuteri), which is a lactobacilli strain. This will be most useful in the upper digestive system.

BioGaia doesn't contain bifidobacteria so it doesn't provide proper support to the lower gastrointestinal (GI) tract (which is very important - especially in the first 2 years of a child's life when they are establishing their permanent colonizers).

Why are bifidobacteria so important?

The large intestine contains 100-1000 billion cfu/g, where as the jejunum (first part of the small intestine) contains 100,000 to 10 million cfu/g (this is for an adult but used as an example to show how many more bacteria reside in the large intestine/lower GI tract).

Forgetting to support the lower GI tract would be a mistake. Also, because there are so many bacteria in the lower GI tract, a higher dose is needed to have an effect. BioGaia contains 100 million live bacteria per dose where as Baby B/F contains 10 billion per dose. Quite a difference. 

What about the research on BioGaia supporting colic and reflux?

From speaking with BioGaia on the phone, it is understood that they patented the strain in their product and then performed numerous studies showing that it has benefit for colic and reflux.

Does this mean only this strain of probiotic helps with colic and reflux? No. It just means this particular strain has studies showing that it helps. This isn't a bad thing. We need more studies on probiotics and knowing that L. reuteri can help with colic and reflux is beneficial information.

The same can be said for the strains used in the Baby B and Baby F product. The Swansea Baby Trial did not prove that these are the ONLY strains that help with allergic sensitization and atopic eczema. It simply proved that these 4 strains at this dose do.

How we chose the best probiotic for you

When choosing the best probiotic to offer our clients we looked to both the research and our clinical experience. We wanted:

  • A probiotic that contains strains that are well studied in babies to show benefit.
  • A probiotic that contains both lactobacilli and bifidobacteria to ensure support for the entire digestive system.
  • A probiotic that provides a high enough dose that even the lower digestive system, which contains many more bacteria, will benefit.
  • A probiotic that doesn't have a lot of added non-medicinal ingredients (like sweeteners and flavours).
  • A probiotic that contains prebiotic (food for the bacteria) [Note: BioGaia does not contain prebiotic, Baby B and Baby F do]
  • A probiotic that delivers results for our clients.

Based on the criteria above, we feel that the Baby B and Baby F products are a great choice for our clients.

So what about colic and reflux?

In our clinical experience we have actually had more success supporting colic and reflux using the Baby B and Baby F products. If we were working with an infant who was using Baby B or Baby F, but was still experiencing colic/reflux, we may suggest also adding the BioGaia to see if the additional L. reuteri strain provided support. However, we would NOT stop giving the Baby B/F because the BioGaia doesn't provide the full digestive support the child needs (as discussed above). The BioGaia would only be used as an additional supplement on top of the Baby B/F in specific cases where a child with colic/reflux was still experiencing discomfort. 

Genestra Baby B vs BioGaia Comparison Reference Chart

 

Genestra HMF Baby F

Bio Gaia

Active bacteria per dose:

10 billion CFU

100 million CFU

Bacterial strains:

Bifidobacterium bifidum

Lactobacillus reuteri protectis

 

Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis

 

 

Lactobacillus salivarius 

 

 

Lactobacillus paracasei

 

Other ingredients:

Transgalactooligosaccharides (GOS)

Bulking agent (isomalt), sweetener (xylitol), L. reuteri DSM 17938, palm oil, natural lemon flavoring and flavor enhancer (citric acid).

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