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How Prebiotics Can Help Kids With Withholding

Published May 23, 2024

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Withholding, a common issue among kiddos, refers to the reluctance or refusal to pass stool, often resulting in constipation and discomfort. While this condition can be challenging to manage, emerging research suggests that prebiotics, dietary fibers that promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, may offer a promising solution. Let's explore how prebiotics can help with withholding in little ones.

Improves Regularity

Prebiotics play a crucial role in maintaining gut health by nourishing beneficial bacteria in the gut microbiota. Research published in the British Journal of Nutrition suggests that prebiotic supplementation can increase stool frequency and improve bowel regularity in individuals with constipation. By stimulating the growth of beneficial bacteria like Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli, prebiotics help regulate intestinal transit and facilitate more comfortable bowel movements in kiddos with withholding.

Softens Stools

One of the primary causes of withholding is hard, dry stools that are difficult to pass. Prebiotics, such as fructooligosaccharides (FOS) and galactooligosaccharides (GOS), have been shown to increase fecal moisture content and soften stools, making them easier to pass. Research published in the journal Nutrients indicates that prebiotic supplementation can improve stool consistency and reduce the risk of constipation in individuals with functional bowel disorders. By enhancing water retention in the colon, prebiotics promote softer stools and alleviate discomfort associated with withholding in kiddos.

Supports Gut Motility

Gut motility, the movement of food and waste through the digestive tract, plays a critical role in preventing constipation and facilitating regular bowel movements. Prebiotics have been shown to enhance gut motility by promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria that produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). Research published in the journal Neurogastroenterology and Motility suggests that SCFAs produced by gut bacteria can stimulate colonic contractions and increase stool frequency. By supporting gut motility, prebiotics help prevent fecal retention and encourage more efficient waste elimination in kiddos with withholding.

Reduces Abdominal Discomfort

Withholding can cause abdominal discomfort, bloating, and pain, leading to further reluctance to pass stool. Prebiotics offer potential relief from these symptoms by promoting a healthier gut environment and reducing inflammation. Studies have shown that prebiotic supplementation can decrease abdominal pain severity and improve overall gastrointestinal well-being in individuals with constipation. By modulating gut microbiota composition and promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria, prebiotics help alleviate abdominal discomfort and promote greater comfort during bowel movements in kiddos with withholding.

Improves Overall Gut Health:

Beyond symptom relief, prebiotics contribute to overall gut health by nourishing beneficial bacteria and supporting a balanced gut microbiota. Research published in the journal Gut Microbes suggests that prebiotic supplementation can enhance gut barrier function, reduce intestinal inflammation, and promote the production of beneficial metabolites. By fostering a healthier gut environment, prebiotics help address underlying factors contributing to withholding and support long-term gastrointestinal well-being in kiddos.

Summary

Prebiotics offer promising benefits for kiddos with withholding by promoting regularity, softening stools, supporting gut motility, reducing abdominal discomfort, and improving overall gut health. 

References

  • Depeint, F., et al. (2008). British Journal of Nutrition, 99(1), 58-67.
  • Chmielewska, A., et al. (2017). Nutrients, 9(9), 1014.
  • O'Keefe, S. J. D., et al. (2015). Gut Microbes, 6(2), 148-163.
  • Mugie, S. M., et al. (2010). Neurogastroenterology and Motility, 22(7), 813-818.
  • Rao, S. S. C., et al. (2016). American Journal of Gastroenterology, 111(4), 537-546.