A few weeks back I was impressed to see a TV news show broadcasting a study out of Finland that showed a link between chewing xylitol based gum and the prevention of ear infections in children. Since cold and flu season is upon us, I thought I’d post about this really neat chewing gum study and a second kid-friendly immune booster known as Larch.
Firstly, Xylitol is a naturally occurring sugar from fibrous plant foods like mushrooms, oats and corn husks. It is non-toxic to humans. Also, it has been shown to be a “tooth friendly” sweetener. Health food stores have long sold natural chewing gum, sweetened with xylitol, for those who were looking for an option that was free of artificial sweetener.
The study showing a link between chewing xylitol based gum and lower ear infections in kids concluded that xylitol curbs the growth of some bacteria. Although the gum itself did not treat an active infection, the researchers found that having kids chew this gum prevented the onset of ear infections in healthy children.
You can read more about the study here: Chew on This: Gum May Prevent Ear Infections
Next up… Larch, anyone?
Larch, also known as Arabinogalactan, is a starch-like sugar that is also derived from plants, namely the Larch tree. Larch can be found as a flavourless powder and therefore it’s an ideal remedy for kids to take. It’s easily dissolved in food or water.
Larch has immune boosting properties and it is safe for children. It can help prevent infections by gently boosting the immune system and by acting as food for the good bacteria in the body.
If you are considering using Larch with your children be sure to follow a paediatric guideline if you buy it from the store. If unsure about it’s use, it’s ideal to consult a licensed Naturopathic Doctor to get proper guidance if needed.
If you have tried these immune supportive measures for yourself, or your children, and still find yourself battling colds and flus it’s also important to seek individualized care with a licensed Naturopathic Doctor to get to the root of your concerns.