Data on the use of probiotics and supplements in children are limited; however, a definite role has been shown for probiotics in gastrointestinal disease. Dietary supplements are important in treating deficiencies and insufficiencies when a child’s nutritional status is impaired.
Understanding of the human gut microbiome has flourished in recent years. New methods of analysing bacteria have allowed the identification of species that were previously unrecognised due to limitations in culture methods. Colonisation of an infant’s gastrointestinal tract evolves through the first years of life and is affected by gestational age, mode of delivery (i.e. vaginal or caesarean), breastfeeding, antibiotic use and diet.1 The make up of the human microbiome and its function have been shown to vary with health and disease.2
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