Thursday, May 10, 2018

Probiotics for preemies - a good fit, or risky undertaking?

Probiotics are something of a craze right now. Like you, I've done my fair share of literature searches on this topic, but there is still some controversy about the evidence, effectiveness, and lack of harm associated with probiotics. I ran across this article from NOVA Next recently; it gave me lots to think about. 


Can Probiotics Prevent Deadly Infections in Preemies?
By Cassandra Willyard on Wed, 02 May 2018

"Humans need about 40 weeks in the womb to fully develop. MaKenzie Trice, however, took an early exit. Her mom’s water broke at 20 weeks, and by 27 weeks MaKenzie’s head was so far down in her mother’s pelvis, doctors struggled to get a good ultrasound image. When MaKenzie came bursting into the world at 28 weeks and four days, she was tiny—no bigger than an eggplant. Her skin was paper-thin, and she needed a ventilator to breathe.

Today, MaKenzie is nearly two months old. She still needs help breathing, and she still weighs far less than a typical newborn. Like other babies in the neonatal intensive care unit at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, she receives a daily cocktail of helpful bacteria, or probiotics. MaKenzie, dressed in a striped sleeper with bright red feet designed to look like strawberries, is about to get today’s dose. A nurse hooks up a syringe full of milky liquid to MaKenzie’s feeding tube and pushes the plunger, jettisoning billions of live bacteria into her stomach. " Read rest of article at NOVA Next

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