Probiotic Effects on Inflammatory Bowel Disease
The relationship between probiotics and IBD is definite. The problem is that we don’t have all the details worked out just yet. What is very clear is that friendly bacteria is absolutely essential for healthy immune system development in the newborn and infant. Having them there early in life helps to set up a tolerance that forever helps balance the immune system.
If the balance is destroyed early, as is the case in any infant given antibiotics and not replaced w/ probiotics (I personally have yet to see a patient come into my office that has ever been recommended probiotics by their pediatrician), the risk for IBD goes up. The problem is that later in life, if the patient develops IBD, the strength of protectiveness of probiotics is not so clear cut.
The bottom line is that we HAVE to understand what antibiotics do to the long term trajectory of our health when given to our infants. To date, it is not and our greatest concern w/ antibiotic overuse remains resistance.