What the study found: A recent study published in the scientific journal Pediatrics found that children in a day-care center given daily probiotics (lactobacillus reuteri) for 3 months were less likely to have:

- Diarrhea - both in terms of frequency and duration
- Upper respiratory infections
- Lost sick days from school
- Parents with lost days from work having to care for the kid
- Sick visits to the doctor's office
- Antibiotics prescribed for infection

How they studied it: The study provided 168 kids with daily probiotics (dose was 10^8 colony forming units) for 3 months and compared outcomes to 168 kids who were given daily placebo. They found compelling and statistically significant evidence that this probiotic increases health and well being, reducing infant and toddler diarrhea.

Implications: This study adds to a growing body of evidence showing that probiotics can have several beneficial effects for the health and well being of children. It has also proven a great treatment for rotavirus diarrhea and the symptoms of colic (which are thought to be partially due to gastrointestinal discomfort).

How to get Lactobacillus Reuteri: Lactobacillus occurs naturally in many organic food products, and is typically found in mothers' breast milk - especially if the mother is taking an L. Reuteri supplement. It is one of many naturally occuring healthy bacterias that flourish in the human digestive system.

Here are some of the best Lactobacillus Reuteri supplements. Note that probiotic supplements should be refrigerated to maximize culture lifespans:

1. BioGaia ProTectis L.reuteri Chewable Tablets. This is one of the best-reviewed and best-selling L.reuteri supplements on the market. The chewable tablets are a great option for kids, with good flavor and easy swallowing. For infants, we suggest the drops, listed below.

These chewable tablets are for both children and adults. Users report that this probiotic is great in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), colic, cramps, and diarrhea, and enhances overall quality of life, well-being, and health.

2. BioGaia L.reuteri Probiotic Drops. These drops are a fantastic option for babies not quite old enough to be trusted with a chewable tablet. You can put the drops directly into the babies mouth, in a spoon, mixed into their pureed food, or in a bottle/drink. These were so good that Gerber recently bought the rights to these drops, so you can also find them on Amazon.com and elsewhere listed as Gerber Soothe Colic Drops. Try them now, and thank us later! :-)

 Scientific Resources:

Gutierrez-Castrellon, Pedro, et al. "Diarrhea in Preschool Children and Lactobacillus reuteri: A Randomized Controlled Trial." Pediatrics 133.4 (2014): e904-e909.

Weizman, Zvi, Ghaleb Asli, and Ahmed Alsheikh. "Effect of a probiotic infant formula on infections in child care centers: comparison of two probiotic agents."

Shornikova, Aino-Vieno, et al. "Bacteriotherapy with Lactobacillus reuteri in rotavirus gastroenteritis." The Pediatric infectious disease journal 16.12 (1997): 1103-1107.