Is your child having constant mood swings or outbursts and often without reason? Or maybe he or she lacks the motivation to play or participate in kids activities? Yes, these child tantrums may be common and expected but there is a surprising fact many parents should take note of – your child’s gut germs could be to blame.
According to research by the Ohio State University for Clinical and Translational Science1, the microbiome of a child’s gut flora could influence their behaviour, particularly amongst boys. Researchers uncovered this after factoring in several aspects, including their diet.
Now, let’s dive deeper into how to deal with temper tantrums in children by understanding the connection between gut flora and moods, plus what you can do to improve your child’s overall digestive health.
The link between child tantrums and gut flora
The study by the Ohio State University Center for Clinical and Translational Science further found that intestinal bacteria interacts with stress hormones2. From 77 stool samples, children who had a diverse range of gut bacteria were more positive, curious and sociable. In male children specifically, microbes such as Rikenellaceae, Ruminococcaceae families, as well as Dialister and Parabacteroides were associated with the development of extroverted personalities.
Scientists have found that imbalances within gut health can lead to anxiety, decreased energy levels and even, depression3. Likewise, other factors such as the quality of parent and child relationships were said to have influenced changes within their gut health4.
Additionally, the gut produces mood-regulating chemicals. Roughly 90 per cent of serotonin5 – a brain neurotransmitter – is made within the digestive system.
So, will your child be happier with a healthier gut?
Most likely. One of the main and arguably the most crucial role of the gut for children is nutrient absorption as this is where large portions of nutrients reside. What does this mean for parents? Basically, regardless of the amount of healthy, nutrient-dense foods you feed your child, they may not be getting the full benefits if they have a weak gut.
For the gut flora to properly absorb the key nutrients from their meals, the good bacteria (probiotics) within the gut must be nurtured and survived by components such as indigestible fibre known as prebiotics. These good bacteria support vital functions within the body including regulating bowel movements to ensure they are digesting the good nutrients while eliminating the waste.
Moreover, as established from the findings above, gut health is ultimately linked to the brain which can lead to negative behaviour if their intestinal health is not at its prime.
Another perspective is how a leaky gut can cause severe discomfort such as constipation or diarrhoea and this will affect how your child reacts or acts throughout the day – we have all encountered a cranky child in distress.
According to the Mindd Foundation, doctors have found also that without such digestive problems, children are more interactive, less likely to become aggressive and happier6. Hence, if children are able to self-regulate, the better their overall health and mood will be!
The role of prebiotics
Now we can conclude that prebiotics is a gut’s best friend – they “serve” and feed the good bacteria within the gut to help them survive. Prebiotics are carbs that are mostly made up of fibre that our bodies cannot digest, instead, they act as food for the good bacteria and help them grow.
Although prebiotics work to serve, it is the key driver in concluding your child’s overall wellbeing – it can influence your child’s ability to digest nutrients, appetite and of course, regulate their mood.
Prebiotics are found in various fruits, vegetables and whole grains. These include our daily cooking ingredients such as onions and garlic.
How can parents deal with child tantrums and improve their child’s gut health?
As children will be children, it can be difficult getting them to give in when you attempt to stuff them with these prebiotic-rich foods.
Luckily, there are products in which prebiotics are added for the sole purpose of improving the gut health such as Mamil D-GestPro+.
Mamil® D-GestPro+ is an affordable solution for parents who want to improve their child’s gut health. It is a sucrose-free formula that contains a prebiotic mix for children up to the ages of nine-years-old.
Mamil® D-GestPro+’s formulation contains:
- A unique prebiotic mixture: It is formulated with a unique Oligosaccharide mixture GOS/IcFOS (9:1) that increases good bacteria and helps maintain a healthy gut flora.
- Milk from grass-fed cows: It is sourced from cows that are predominantly grass fed, which means it is high in protein, calcium and vitamin D.
- DHA*: This is a key component that is essential for your child’s growth and brain development.
*Mamil® Step 3 contains 96mg DHA content based 3 servings per day
Need more information on Mamil® D-GestPro+? Visit Dumex Mamil’s website!
1 (2015, May 27). Toddler temperament could be influenced by different types of …. Retrieved October 1, 2020, from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/05/150527091438.htm
2 (2015, May 27). Toddler temperament could be influenced by different types of …. Retrieved October 1, 2020, from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/05/150527091438.htm
3 (n.d.). Children’s Behavior Connected to Gut Health | Key …. Retrieved October 1, 2020, from https://www.keycompounding.com/childrens-behavior-connected-gut-health/
4 (2020, January 23). What your child’s gut health says about their behavior. Retrieved October 1, 2020, from https://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Article/2020/01/23/What-your-child-s-gut-health-says-about-their-behavior
5 (2015, April 9). Microbes Help Produce Serotonin in Gut | www.caltech.edu. Retrieved October 1, 2020, from https://www.caltech.edu/about/news/microbes-help-produce-serotonin-gut-46495
6 (n.d.). How Healthy Gut Flora can Impact Children’s Behaviour. Retrieved October 1, 2020, from https://mindd.org/healthy-gut-flora-childrens-behaviour/
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Read more: How to deal with tantrums