WHO HQ in Geneva, Switzerland. Copyright : WHO/Pierre Virot

Live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host.

Definition of probiotics, WHO/FAO (2001)

Probiotics means ”for life” in contrast to antibiotics which means ”against life”. Important criteria for qualifying as a probiotic are thus that the microbes are alive and have proven health effects in clinical trials. Furthermore, a probiotic product must contain the same bacterial strain (or strains) and the same dose that was used in the clinical trials. The most common types of microbes used as probiotics are lactic acid bacteria, like Lactobacillus reuteri, and bifidobacteria.

Lactobacillus reuteri has no reports of side-effects or negative effects. It is well researched and has been shown to help promoting digestive health within the following health conditions:


Rotavirus is one of the most prevalent causes of acute diarrhoea in small children worldwide. By the age of five it is estimated that all children, regardless of their homeland, have had one rotavirus infection. In the USA rotavirus is behind 45 per cent of all cases of acute diarrhoea in children. Antibiotic-associated diarrhoea (AAD), i.e. diarrhoea as a side-effect of antibiotic therapy, affects up to 25 per cent of all patients treated with antibiotics. The risk of AAD is increased by factors such as the intake of several different types of antibiotics over a long period of time, gastrointestinal surgery and long-term hospital stays.


Percent of children affected by rotavirus infection by the age of 5

Infant colic

Up to 26 per cent of all infants in the West suffer from infant colic, which is defined as recurrent crying, mainly in the evening, for at least three hours per day, at least three days per week and for at least three weeks in an otherwise healthy infant.


Percent of children affected by infant colic in western countries


The incidence of constipation among children varies between 7 and 30 per cent depending on the country. A full 40 per cent develop symptoms already during the first year of life and these often persist for a long time. Many children with constipation have continued problems as teens and adults.


Percent of children developing symptoms of constipation during first year of life


Regurgitation is defined as the passage of refluxed gastric content into the throat whilst vomiting is defined as expulsion of refluxed gastric content from the mouth.

More than half of all infants age 0-6 months have at least one functional gastrointestinal disorder, the most common one is regurgitation. The frequency of regurgitation varies with age, with infants up to the first month being more frequently affected (up to 80% of children during the first month of life). Most infants are happy and healthy even if they frequently spit up or vomit. Regurgitation represents 25% of paediatric consultations


Percent of children affected by regurgitation during the first month of life

Helicobacter pylori

At least half of the earth’s population is infected, but its incidence varies from over 80 per cent of all adults in developing regions such as Asia and Latin America to between 20 per cent and 50 per cent in the industrialised world. However, the majority of infected individuals are unaware of this fact and only around 20 per cent have symptoms.


Percent of people infected by H. pylori worldwide

Functional abdominal pain (FAP)

Long lasting intermittent or constant abdominal pain without evidence of an organic cause is defined as functional abdominal pain. It affects 10-20% of all school-aged children and is one of the most common complaints of children and adolescents visiting a paediatric gastroenterologist.


Percent of children affected by functional abdominal pain