Friday, December 13, 2013

The Benefits of Probiotics during Pregnancy

The Benefits of Probiotics during Pregnancy

Every mother wants to do what’s best for their baby. This journey starts from the moment a woman finds out that there is a tiny human growing inside her. Suddenly her world revolves around this new life, effecting every decision that she makes from this point forward.
One of the first decisions to be made is that of what to put into her body on a daily basis. Nutrition plays a huge role in the overall health of a woman’s pregnancy. One nutritional component that has been found to have benefits for the infant is the consumption of probiotics during pregnancy.  
In a study conducted by Randi Bertelsen, PhD, of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health in Oslo, it was found that when mothers ate probiotic enhanced dairy products while pregnant, their children were less likely to develop eczema and nasal allergies during infancy and toddlerhood.  Specifically, mothers who consumed milk and yogurt fortified with probiotic bacteria, were found to lower the risk of atopic dermatitis in infants at 6 months by 7% and the risk of rhino conjunctivitis at ages 18-36 months by 12%.
Although previous studies have been conducted to show similar results, evidence from these studies has been questionable. With The Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study, results offer an increased level of significance and reliability. It was a large, ongoing observational study that enrolled 108,000 pregnant women and their children for over 9 years. The risks were adjusted to control for maternal factors including age, education, smoking status, body mass index at conception, dietary fiber intake, breastfeeding, parity and history of asthma and allergy, as well as infant gender and type of delivery.
It was noted that children born vaginally versus C-section were more likely to see the benefits of probiotics consumed during pregnancy. Although the study mentioned a possible confounding variable to be that more women delivered vaginally than by C-section. One theory presented by Bertelsen however, is that newborns receive an inoculation of bacteria at birth from the mother's vaginal flora during normal delivery, which does not occur with C-section.
Also, Bertelsen noted that in previous studies, breastfeeding was found to be another route that the intake of probiotics could affect infants. Probiotic bacteria consumed by mothers can make their way into breast milk and have been found to increase interleukin-10 levels. This in turn could decrease the allergic reactions in breastfed infants.
Bertelsen also mentioned that the colonization of exogenous probiotic bacteria is not permanent, and the protective effect in children may not last beyond 18-36 months.  Although the matter of whether it can be maintained by continued probiotic administration remains unclear, it seems that the benefits could be significant.

Sources:Probiotics in Pregnancy Cut Allergies in Tots” by John Gever , Senior Editor, MedPage Today. Reviewed by Zalman S. Agus, MD; Emeritus Professor, Perelman School of Medicine at the             University of Pennsylvania and Dorothy Caputo, MA, BSN, RN, Nurse .

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Fruit Yogurt Pops

This is a delicious and easy recipe to make healthy yogurt popsicles for yourself or your kids! It's so simple and always a big hit. Feel free to change it up and substitute your favorite fruit. Enjoy!

2 small ripe bananas

6 ounces frozen strawberries or 1 cup frozen blueberries

2 cups White Mountain Foods Bulgarian Yogurt

2 tablespoons honey

1) Puree the bananas and strawberries/blueberries.

2) Mix puree with yogurt and honey. You can also mix in the honey first and then swirl in the fruit to create a design in the popsicle!

3) Pour mixture into popsicle molds.

4) Place in freezer for 3-4 hours or until frozen.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Pastuerization vs. Raw Milk

Pastuerization is the process of heating milk in order to kill pathogens and other disease causing bacteria. The US Food and Drug Administration strongly recommends pastuerization and on a State level, Texas requires that dairy is pastuerized as legislators have decided the health risk is not worth the potential benefits.

Raw milk proponents believe that pastuerization kills the good properties in dairy and therefore milk is better in its raw and natural form. They also argue that non-pastuerized dairy only affects the very young and the very old and most people are not susceptable to these diseases, however, research shows that diseases such as salmonella are found in all ages and segments of the population. Clearly, a healthy person is less likely to become terminally ill from a disease causing pathogen but potential stomach pain and nasaua are still not really worth it to many consumers.

White Mountain Foods is all for natural and organic and we do support Non-GMO and USDA Certified Organic, however, this should be balanced with disease prevention and control. We believe that foods are best in their natural form and pastuerization does not change the consistancy while taste discrepancies are debatable and based on personal preference.   

The second argument from raw milk proponents is that there are European cheeses such as Brie and Camombert that are un-pastuerized in which people have been eating for decades. First of all, the FDA regulation is no raw milk products sold in the US with the exception of cheese that is aged for over sixty days which will work in the same fashion as pastuerization, killing off the disease causing pathogens.

If you are concerned with pastuerization or would like to research it further, please visit the FDA website below.

FDA's stance on pastuerization.