Hello again! This week the office has been receiving a lot of questions on the health and wellness of children. As a young, newly married woman with no children this doesn’t concern me too much. For those of you who do not know me very well, I do not expect myself to be having children very soon. Not because I don’t want to but because I am completely terrified. I once tried babysitting for a little extra money but that gig didn’t last very long. Before I get myself into trouble the children were not harmed in any way and they were fed and clean. However, I decided I did not have the knowledge and will power as a teenager to care for any children.
Looking back on this I realize I still feel the same way. I am certain I can handle anything that comes along once in awhile but what about the day to day things? I’m not sure what children need every day. Many things on the market are not safe for young children even when well-informed people say they are. I am sure the day will come when my husband and I decide to have children and people say that your mothering instinct will kick in, but I’m not taking any chances. I am going to need answers, and a lot of them. I am going to need people telling me what exactly I need to provide for my children to be healthy.
I’ll give you some background, certain doctors have been prescribing Miralax for their patients’ children and people have been wondering if this is the correct decision. While I have no opinion or answer on this topic, our Director of Brand Development, Kevin McCarthy made it his mission this week to seek out answers for the questions we received. He scoured our online resources found at pinnaclife.com and he sought the advice of our very own Dr. Darlene McCord when he needed the extra guidance. Many parents and healthcare professionals wanted to talk specifically about fiber and the importance of it in children and I for one really wanted to know more. So please enjoy Kevin’s response, I hope you learn just as much as I did.
When you are considering the causes of constipation in children you have to address two main issues that affect most children today before placing them on a laxative. 1) Children don’t get enough water. Is your child drinking enough water? Water is necessary for life. Cells migrate, replicate and take in nutrients in the presence of water, and the digestive system requires water to produce passable stool, among other things. And 2) Children are often times deficient in fiber.
Fiber is derived mainly from vegetables and grains. It would be great to say that our children are getting all the fiber they need from the foods they eat, but the rising cases of fiber deficiency in children is a clear indication that they are not. So, we supplement.
There are two types of fiber: Insoluble and Soluble. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to the stool and allows foods to pass quickly through the stomach and intestines. The Pinnaclife soluble fiber comes from digestion resistant maltodextrin (corn starch), attracts water and turns into a gel during digestion. This does a few important things: 1) it slows digestion which allows people to feel full longer and eat less, 2) It softens stool and allows for an easy exit (prevents constipation) and 3) it acts as a filter for nutrients, allowing the naturally occurring bacteria in the colon to filter out the good from the bad.
Providing children with 2 Teaspoons of Pinnaclife fiber per day (half of the recommended adult dose mixed into any hot or cold beverage) should yield results within the first week of use.
There is one key thing to remember here: Adding soluble fiber to your child’s diet will help your child stay regular and more importantly healthy for the rest of his/her life.
Several studies note that free radicals produced in the stomach can lead to to many diseases that affect the digestive system.1,2,3 Adding Olivamine to the Fiber will simply help the fiber work better in the intestines. Since Olivamine is designed and proven to fight free radical damage, the Olivamine can quench the free radicals in the stomach before they enter the intestines. Without the presence of damaging free radicals, the intestines can produce the bacteria needed to produce stool and cleanse the body.
Think of Pinnaclife Fiber Cleanse as a prebiotic. A prebiotic encourages the growth of healthy bacteria in the intestines. Lots of people talk about adding probiotics to their diet – unless otherwise predetermined by a physician, this is a response to a problem in the digestive system that is likely the result of malnutrition and a fiber deficiency.
Probiotics are the healthy bacteria that people take orally in hopes of replenishing the bacteria that should be produced in the intestines naturally. Well, there are a couple of problems with this, first, some research has shown that the probiotics (i.e. probiotic yogurt) are dead when you eat them anyway and are thus useless. Second, assuming they are alive, these bacteria are born in the intestines and are not fit to survive the acidic environment of the stomach. It is unlikely that they will make it to the intestines and actually work. Pinnaclife soluble fiber will cleanse the digestive system and encourage the growth of the natural bacteria that the intestine really wants to produce anyway but cannot because of malnutrition or a fiber deficiency.
Now, I am not a doctor and when supplementing your health, you should always consult your doctor. Though, I can’t explain why a doctor would recommend Miralax for a child. When I spoke with Dr. McCord, she too was confused at the recommendation.
First and foremost, on the Miralax label, it specifically notes that children under the age of 17 should not be given Miralax. Second, Miralax is a laxative, an osmotic stimulant to be specific, NOT a soluble fiber. Miralax uses Polyethylene glycol 3350 is to treat occasional constipation.
Polyethylene glycol 3350 is in a class of medications called osmotic laxatives. It works by causing water to be retained with the stool. This increases the number of bowel movements and softens the stool so it is easier to pass.4 The problem with this especially is that this product retains water that should be going to the body’s cells. As mentioned earlier, without water, the cells cannot take in the nutrients they need to thrive and to survive. This could explain why children taking Miralax sometimes suffer from ailments associated with nutrient depletion.
In conclusion, what children really need is fiber to make everything work great forever, not laxatives. Laxatives will likely unclog them and remedy the acute problem of constipation, but ultimately further deplete their already deplete and fragile cells.
This report is not intended to be taken as medical advice.