The latest buzzword in health news feeds and the food industry is gut health. This is a term that refers to the digestive system of the body. The microbiome, which is a composition of trillions of fungi, viruses, and bacteria living in the intestines, is a key player in gut health.

The body depends on the microbiome to maintain a healthy intestinal lining, keep off certain bad bacteria, shape the immune system, and help in digestion. Its development starts in the womb and it grows fully between 3 and 5 years of age. Usually, its makeup is influenced by many factors, including diet, environment, medications, infections, and breastfeeding. Here is why gut health is crucial for the wellbeing of your children.

Nutrient Absorption

Many times, children who consume a balanced diet experience malnutrition. This phenomenon may be triggered by malabsorption, whereby the body lacks the ability to absorb nutrients. The digestive system is designed to convert nutrients into micro-units that penetrate the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream to allow for easy transfer into other body cells. When the wall of the intestines is damaged by bacteria, parasites, or viruses, this transfer is hindered, and the nutrients are eliminated as waste through the stool.

Studies show that the gut microbiome plays a major role in the storage, harvest, and transfer of nutrients that are obtained from the diet. It determines how well food breaks down and the way the body utilizes micronutrients, such as minerals and vitamins and macronutrients, including proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Ideally, maintaining a healthy gut in kids is crucial for proper nutrient synthesis and absorption. To ensure that your kid has a healthy gut that can support nutrition, feed them on fibre-rich foods, fermented foods, healthy fats, and proteins.

Waste Elimination

The elimination of undigested food and waste products takes place after digestion. Once food penetrates the small intestines, the undigested materials are directed to the colon and stored in the rectum. As a response to the presence of the faecal matter, the rectum expands and triggers the neural signals to eliminate waste.

While the main job of the gut is to eliminate waste, the toxins have to be excreted regularly to prevent their reabsorption into the bloodstream. If your kids do not have a bowel movement every day, this is a problem that is likely to suffice. Understand that constipation can exert too much pressure on the liver, and this may cause the body to use up all the energy needed to keep it healthy.

Stable Immune System

Keeping your child’s gut bacteria healthy is the most important step to maintaining healthy immunity. Note that at least 70 percent of the human immune system is present in the gut. This is to mean that you must be careful with what your child eats or drinks.

As soon as food is digested, the gut works to absorb the nutrients while also eliminating the waste products. The healthy bacteria in the gut is responsible for stimulating the development of T-cells, which protect the cells and tissues from harm. An imbalance in the gut can, in turn, cause the immune system to attack your child’s cells. This outcome can quickly cause your child to fall sick and make it hard for the body to recover.

Gut-Brain Connection

The high chances are that you have at some point felt butterflies in your tummy, or what is called the gut feeling. That is just evidence of a form of connection between your belly and your brain, triggered by the ”second brain.” It is scientifically known as the enteric nervous system (ENS). Unlike your child’s main brain, which is focused on thoughts, the ENS controls digestion, from swallowing to elimination.

The gut has 500 million neurons that are all connected to the brain through the chemicals known as neurotransmitters that control emotions and feelings. Also, the microbes in the gut produce gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is responsible for controlling anxiety and fear. If your child has an imbalanced gut, they are likely to suffer from depression, learning difficulties, anxiety, and behavioural problems.

While the environment and lifestyle will eventually shape the microbiome of your child, it is important that their gut health is nurtured in the early years while it’s being established. In order to improve your child’s gut health, it is vital that you consider adding probiotic supplements, such as Sproutedbiome to their diet. The supplements play a vital role in the promotion of the growth of healthy bacteria, aid in digestion, and boost nutrient absorption.

Cite this article as:
Editorial Staff, "4 Reasons Why Kid’s Gut Health Is So Important," in Medicalopedia, December 11, 2020, [Permalink: https://www.medicalopedia.org/9451/4-reasons-why-kids-gut-health-is-so-important/].