The Role of Lactulose as Prebiotic for Child's Health
Oleh: Morinaga Platinum
Maintaining the health of children is an important matter, especially their gut. The gut is an important organ that plays role in the growth and development, immunity, as well overall health of children by helping maximum absorption of nutrients.
The health of children’s gut is influenced by various factors, one of which is the presence of microorganisms within it. Do ‘good’ bacteria really exist? Not all bacteria within the body is bad or causing illness. Some species of bacteria are considered good (probiotics) and help boost immunity from bad bacteria. To mention one is Bifidobacterium, the good bacteria within a child’s gut.
Children who get formula milk have different bacteria composition in their gut than those who get breastmilk. There are variations in the colony of bacteria within the formula-fed children, i.e. Bifidobacterium, E. Coli, and Bacteriodes. To make Bifidobacterium outgrows the other gut bacteria, supplements, called prebiotics, are needed to support its growth within the gut. One type of prebiotics proven to increase the growth of Bifidobacterium is lactulose.
Lactulose is a prebiotic containing galactose (a carbohydrate compound). It is also known as milk sugar, a part of milk that provides the sweet taste with sweetness level lower than sucrose. Lactulose works in helping the absorption of sodium and calcium.
For your child, lactulose can be obtained from fortified formulas. The addition of lactulose in infant formula has a significant impact on Bifidobacterium composition within the gut, improves the stool consistency, and reduces the rate of gastrointestinal infection as well as risk of skin disorders due to allergy.
A 2004 study conducted in France showed that providing Bifidobacterium and prebiotic lactulose influence the health of human gut.
It turns out that prebiotics have lots of benefits. To make sure your child gets the maximum benefit of lactulose, choose formula products that have been fortified with it. Therefore, the growth of good Bifidobacterium can be stimulated within your child’s gut.