The company suggested that while probiotic supplements for children are taking over retail shelves, research and quality-testing are still catching up. While research has confirmed that probiotics help with the digestion and absorption of food, we're only just discovering how they affect metabolism, immunity, and mood, even in developing children. These links have implications for a child's risk in a number of major diseases, including diabetes, affective disorders, and autoimmune diseases like eczema. With such potential downstream effects, it's no wonder then that marketing for children's probiotics has outpaced science, Labdoor said.
All products in Labdoor's latest testing passed biological contaminant screenings, but effectiveness was questionable overall. Even though it’s common to see total bacterial counts on labels, researchers now advocate for displaying specific strain quantities as this determines what conditions a product is good for. Out of 11 products in this analysis, however, seven claimed proprietary blends where this information was left out. Only two products specifying strains had effective amounts according to pediatric guidelines developed by the World Gastroenterology Organization.
Labelling inaccuracies were also a major issue; products deviated from label claims for total bacteria by an average of 160%. One product had as much as 7 times the bacteria it claimed while another had practically no living bacteria at all. For more information and to find out how products ranked for free, see the full rankings here.
Coming up in Labdoor's testing pipeline is electrolytes and nootropics.