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This is an objective, independently written product review on Progast® FloraCare Drops – a novel formulation of the highest quality. Scientifically formulated in a vitamin E oil-based liquid, this unique blend of L. reuteri (from human origin), Vitamin D3 and Zinc picolinate is the only remedy of its kind on the shelves today. There is no substitute.

Helps to safely and naturally restore, improve and maintain immune and gut health

The latest addition to the Progast® range is Progast® FloraCare Drops formulated particularly for use by pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, infants and babies and is an especially important remedy during antibiotic therapy to restore and optimise the gut flora and to improve immune function.

INGREDIENTS

Progast® FloraCare Drops is a natural product of pharmaceutical grade quality containing 100 million (1 x 108) live, freeze dried Colony Forming Units (CFU) Lactobacillus reuteri, (strain 1E1), 10.000 µg Vitamin D3 (400 IU) and 20 mg Zinc picolinate.

Use as prescribed for healthy development, immune support and the prevention of various common gut conditions (specifically in infants). These conditions include colic, chronic constipation, wind, diarrhoea, acid reflux and urogenital infections.

Evidence supporting health claims for probiotic products varies widely. Always ensure that the claim match the probiotic strain. The safety of L. reuteri has been determined in children as well as adults.

baby colic

POSITIVE EFFECT ON INFANTS AND BABIES

The mother transfers microorganisms to her baby during pregnancy, delivery and lactation, and the mother’s diet and microbiota can influence that of her baby. Pre-term birth, Caesarean section, formula feeding, antibiotic use, and malnutrition have been linked to dysbiosis (a disrupted gut microbiome) which in turn is associated with inflammatory bowel diseases, colic and allergies. Recent reports have suggested that gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is linked with a 1.7 times higher incidence of cow’s milk sensitisation in children.1

The benefits of probiotic administration during pregnancy, lactation and early life should not be underestimated or ignored. The administration of the probiotic strain L. reuteri may prevent colic, regurgitation and constipation.2,3

Zinc is an essential mineral and required for normal growth and development and function of immune cells. Zinc also helps to regulate our inflammatory response through its role in supporting our immune system. Any deficiency in zinc can have dire consequences, including stunted growth and development, immune dysfunction, and metabolic imbalances.4

Vitamin D has an effect on the developing immune system, reduces inflammation, promotes calcium absorption in the gut and enable normal mineralisation of bone. The addition of vitamin D may help with the development of healthy bones and teeth.

Antibiotic‐associated diarrhea (AAD)

ADD occurs when antibiotics disturb the natural balance of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria in the intestinal tract causing harmful bacterial growth. Probiotics may reduce the incidence of AAD5. In acute diarrhea, the specific probiotic strain, L. reuteri has been helpful to significantly reduce the frequency of watery diarrhea in infants and toddlers.6,7 

Prevention and treatment of allergies, allergic skin reactions and eczema

Supplementing with a probiotic before and after birth, could reduce the risk of food hypersensitivity in young children, according to a systematic review and met-analysis of various trials.8 Probiotics may prevent a form of allergy in which eczema or asthma may occur in a part of the body not in contact with the allergen.

A promising area of research is the use of probiotic supplementation in pregnancy and infants in the first 6 months of life, to reduce skin rashes in babies by 50%!9

We see a rise in inflammatory diseases, the ‘allergy epidemic’ in babies and young children. A healthy digestive tract is critical for normal immune development, as is vitamin D. Many studies have been conducted and found various positive results such as improved microbial composition, intestinal maturation, decreased ‘bad’ bacterial load and infections, and improved immune response. Probiotic, prebiotic and synbiotic interventions in early life can be envisaged for disease prevention in both a healthy baby and a baby at risk of chronic disease.10

baby colic

The management of colic

Saliva has its own pH buffer system. This can be disturbed by a zinc deficiency. Causing major digestive upsets.

In a study to show if probiotics administration is beneficial in babies with colic, daily drops of L. reuteri mixed with oil, or just an oil mixture was given to infants born at full term. Parents were asked to keep diaries recording vomiting episodes, bowel movements and episodes of inconsolable crying (all associated with colic). According to head researcher Dr. Flavia Indrio from the University of Bari Aldo Moro, Italy: ‘After three months, the average duration of inconsolable crying per day was 38 minutes for those infants who received probiotics versus 71 minutes for those who received the placebo; the average number of regurgitations per day was 2.9 for those who received probiotics versus 4.6 for those who received the placebo; and the average number of bowel movements for those that received probiotics was 4.2 versus 3.6 for those that received the placebo.’11

The specific probiotic strain used in Progast® FloraCare Drops, L. reuteri, assists in the absorption of food, accelerates gastric emptying and increases the number of stools,12 reduces distension and lessens the frequency of regurgitation.13 The results of another study,14 suggest a useful role for L. reuteri supplementation in improving feeding tolerance and gut function in formula-fed preterm newborns.

Some say colic is due to gut inflammation. Research15 shows that colicky babies have more gas-producing bacteria than non-colicky infants who have more anti-inflammatory bacteria that live in the vaginally canal. Vaginal delivery carry these health benefits but all is not lost should a caesarean birth be necessary. Liquid probiotics can be placed on the nipple or on babies lips before feeding.

A study was done on 105 infants diagnosed with colic, to receive either a probiotic (L. reuteri, 100 CFU [the quantity in FloraCare Drops]) with vitamin D3 supplements or vitamin D3 supplements alone. Results showed a significant reduction in pain-relieving medication use and less crying among the group receiving probiotics and vitamin D3 supplementation.16

Supports the immune system

Probiotic supplementation can significantly reduce the duration of respiratory tract infection in young children at both 3 and 6 months old.17 L. reuteri has been shown to protect against the pneumonia virus.18  Low levels of vitamin D are associated with upper and lower respiratory infections, asthma and inflammatory bowel conditions. Vitamin-D deficiency may be one of the primary reasons for susceptibility of cold and flu viruses. Vitamin D lowers the prevalence of a common cold and ear infections. Zinc shortens the duration of colds.  

 L. reuteri plays an important role in helping babies to digest breast milk and solids foods. Throughout life, the bacteria supports the integrity of the gut lining and improve immune response. 

pregnant mother

POSITIVE EFFECT ON PREGNANT AND BREASTFEEDING MOTHERS

Pregnant and breastfeeding women need higher levels of probiotics, zinc and vitamin D. Vitamin D assists with bone mineralisation and effective calcium absorption for bone formation. Zinc has also been found to enhance the effects of vitamin D on bone health. Vitamin D is fat-soluble so its absorption depends on the gut’s ability to absorb dietary fat. Probiotic supplementation will restore gut health.

A zinc deficiency reduces the immune cells’ ability to function. Inadequate zinc supply leads to inflammation.19 For all these reasons, zinc has a substantial impact on the body’s immune defences. Furthermore, research indicates that inadequate zinc status increases the risk of pregnancy complications. Even mild zinc depletion in expecting mothers has been associated with growth retardation in the uterus. The occurrence of neonatal infections significantly decrease with zinc supplementation, supporting the benefits of zinc supplementation for both mother and developing fetus.20

Anxiety and Depression

Inflammation of the gut have been linked to several mental illnesses, including anxiety and depression – the most common mental health problems in pregnancy. Probiotic supplementation show real promise for anxiety symptoms and depression, as part of natural lifestyle interventions. Probiotics are very safe to take during pregnancy and breastfeeding. If you are dealing with anxiety and depression, please consult your doctor.

Psychobiotics is an exciting new area of research on probiotics and their potential to restore normal microbial balance, positively effecting hormonal and mental health. The extensive bidirectional communication network between the gastrointestinal tract and the central nervous system, is referred to as the ‘gut–brain axis.’

Hormones Balance Begins in the Gut

The gut microbiome may be the most important organ of the endocrine system and regulates your hormones. Hormonal balance is dependent on good gut and microbial health. The gut microbiome doesn’t just influence the production of hormones, the bacteria actually determines the creation and release of each hormone!21 The microbiome actually synthesises one of the three main forms of oestrogen, known as oestriol, whilst also balancing overall oestrogen levels.

Vaginal and Bladder Health

A healthy vaginal microbiota is dominated by the probiotic species Lactobacillus. Lack of Lactobacillus can cause vaginal discomfort, thrush (candida)22 and even bladder infection.

Furthermore, Lactobacillus modulates immune response, metabolizes glycogen to produce lactic acid and maintains a low vaginal pH, keeping pathogens at bay. Lactobacillus are displaced from the vagina by inflammation-causing pathogens that can increases risk of preterm labour.23

Gut Health

The gut accounts for 25% of the immune cells in the body that provides 50% of the body’s immune response.24 In a study to show how probiotics improve immunity, significantly fewer incidences of cold and flu was reported in the probiotics investigational group than the placebo group.25

Dietary fiber is important to prevent constipation, especially in pregnancy. Many people struggle with the unpleasant effects from fermentation of indigestible residues. The key is to increase your fibre intake gradually. Probiotics can improve tolerance and ease this transition to a healthier diet rich in plant-based foods.

The probiotic strain used in FloraCare Drops: Lactobacillus reuteri, minimises gut discomfort such as bloating, wind and constipation as it increases transit time by improving bowel movements.

As we learn more about the microbiome and the probiotics inhabiting it, the benefits are clearly way beyond mere gut health.

DOSAGE AND DIRECTIONS FOR USE

Infants under 1 year: 3 drops (0.1 ml) under the tongue once daily.

Children aged 1 year to 18 years: Infants under 1 year: 5 drops (0.2 ml) under the tongue once daily.

Adults: 5 drops (0.2 ml) under the tongue once daily or as recommended by your healthcare provider.

Shake the bottle well before use. To dispense, turn the bottle at an 45 degree angel and the drops will form slowly. The drops may be given in the mouth, under the tongue, on a spoon, on the babies lips or on the mothers nipples. Do not add the drops to hot food or drink as heat may damage the live cultures.

During antibiotic therapy, the product should be taken at least 3 hours after administration of the antibiotic (i.e. in the interval between doses). Take the recommended dose twice daily during antibiotic therapy.

Store in a cool dry place at or below 25 degrees Celsius. The bacteria in FloraCare grow and thrive and survive at room temperature. FloraCare does not need to be refrigerated. Use within 3 months.

SIDE EFFECTS AND WARNINGS

None known, however it is important to ensure that your child’s medical professional is aware of the use of this product. Please note: Sleep may follow naturally after relief.

Vegan friendly; sugar, soy, GMO, dairy, casein, yeast, artificial colors, flavors, and gluten free. Produced in a GMP and ISO 9001 facility.

For more information, visit Progast.global.

Progast® FloraCare Drops will soon be available without a prescription from all leading pharmacies.

The information published here, does not intend to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The product reviewed has not been evaluated by any regulatory body and is not intended to diagnose treat, cure or prevent any disease. The information given here is not meant to be a substitute for seeing a health professional. It is our opinion only, based on several years of research, in consultation with world experts. We’re sure you’ll find it useful, but please use it wisely and always exercise common sense.

MORE PRODUCT REVIEWS IN THIS RANGE: PROGAST® FloraCare Capsules

REFERENCES

    1. Farahmand et al: Cow’s milk allergy among children with gastroesophageal reflux disease. Gut Liver. 2011;5(3):298-301.
    2. MiGL, Zhao L, Qiao DD, et al.Effectiveness of Lactobacillus reuteri in infantile colic and colicky induced maternal depression: a prospective single blind randomized trial.  2015;107(154):1557-1553.
    3. Indrio F, Di Mauro A, Riezzo G, et al. Prophylactic use of a probiotic in the prevention of colic, regurgitation, and functional constipation: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Pediatr. 2014;168(3):228-233.
    4. Fischer W et al. Global and regional child mortality and burden of disease attributable to zinc deficiency. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2009;63(5):591–597.
    5. Guo Q, Goldenberg JZ, Humphrey C, El Dib R, Johnston BC. Probiotics for the prevention of pediatric antibiotic-associated diarrhea. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2019;4(4)
    6. Diarrhoea Eom T-H, et al. The therapeutic effect of Lactobacillus reuteri in acute diarrhea in infants and toddlers. Korean J Ped.2005;48:986-989.
    7. Gutierrez-Castrellon P, et al. Diarrhea in preschool children and Lactobacillus reuteri: a randomized controlled trial. 2014;133(4):e904-e909.
    8. Zhang GQ, Hu HJ, Liu CY, Zhang Q, Shakya S, Li ZY. Probiotics for Prevention of Atopy and Food Hypersensitivity in Early Childhood: A PRISMA-Compliant Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Medicine. (Baltimore). 2016;95(8).
    9. Kalliomaki M, Salminen S, Arvilommi H, Kero P, Koskinen P, Isolauri E. Probiotics in primary prevention of atopic disease: a randomised placebo-controlled trial. 2001;357:1076–1079.
    10. Miraglia del Giudice M. Maiello N. Decimo F, et al. Airways allergic inflammation and Lactobacillus reuteritreatments in asthmatic children. Journal of Biological Regulators & Homeostatic Agents .2012; 26(1S):35-30.
    11. Slomski A. Prophylactic Probiotic May Prevent Colic in Newborns. JAMA. 2014;311(8): 790.
    12. Ojetti V, laniro G, Tortora A, et al. Effect of Lactobacillus reuteri. supplementation in adults with chronic functional constipation: a randomised double-blind placebo-controlled trial. J Gastrointestin Liver Dis.2014;23:387-391.
    13. Indrio F, Riezzo G, Raimondi F, et al. Lactobacillus reuteri accelerates gastric emptying and improves regurgitation in infants. Eur J Clin Invest. 2011;41(4):417-422.
    14. Indrio F, Riezzo G, Raimondi F, Bisceglia M, Cavallo L, Francavilla R. The effects of probiotics on feeding tolerance, bowel habits, and gastrointestinal motility in preterm J Pediatr. 2008;152(6):801-806.
    15. Daelemans S, Peeters L, Hauser B, Vandenplas Y. Recent advances in understanding and managing infantile colic. F1000Res. 2018;7:F1000
    16. Savino F, Ceratto S, Poggi E, Cartosio ME, Cordero di Montezemolo L, Giannattasio A. Preventing effects of oral probiotic on infantile colic: a prospective, randomised, blinded, controlled trial using Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938. Benef Microbes. 2015;6(3):245-251.
    17. Agustina R, Kok FJ, van de Rest O, et al. Randomized trial of probiotics and calcium on diarrhea and respiratory tract infections in Indonesian children.  2012;129(5).
    18. Gabryszewski SJ, Bachar O, Dyer KD, et al. Lactobacillus-mediated priming of the respiratory mucosa protects against lethal pneumovirus infection. J Immunol. 2011;186:1151–1161.
    19. Bonaventura P et al. Zinc and its role in immunity and inflammation. Autoimmunity Reviews. 2015(14)4:277–285.
    20. Nossier SA et al. The effect of zinc supplementation on pregnancy outcomes: a double-blind, randomised controlled trial, Egypt. The British Journal of Nutrition. 2015(114)2:274–285
    21. Sara Gottfried MD Balance Your Hormones By Stabilizing Your Gut.
    22. Chew, S. Y., Cheah, Y. K., Seow, H. F., Sandai, D. & Than, L. T. L. Probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR‐1 and Lactobacillus reuteri RC‐14 exhibit strong antifungal effects against vulvovaginal candidiasis‐causing Candida glabrata isolates. Journal of Applied Microbiology. 2015(118):1180–1190.
    23. Reid G, Kirjaivanen P. Taking probiotics during pregnancy. Are they useful therapy for mothers and newborns? Can Fam Physician. 2005;51(11):1477-1479.
    24. Palmer S. Research Suggests Beneficial Bacteria May Support Immune Health. Today’s Dietician. 2011;13(1):20.
    25. Zhang H, Yeh C, Jin Z, et al. Prospective study of probiotic supplementation results in immune stimulation and improvement of upper respiratory infection rate. Synth Syst Biotechnol. 2018;3(2):113-120.
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