Probiotic Supplement Use among Young Children in Taiwan: A Prospective Cohort Study

Yi Chun Chen, Yi Wen Chien, Pei Jen Chang, Wu Shiun Hsieh, Pau Chung Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: The objective of this study is to provide details on probiotic supplement use among young children in Taiwan. Participants and Methods: This study is based on the Taiwan Birth Cohort Study database. We used questionnaires to collect information on probiotic supplement use among young children from birth to 18 months of age, while also considering their demographic characteristics and other covariates. Low-birth-weight infants, preterm infants, those with birth defects, and those with caregivers who returned incomplete questionnaires were excluded. The final valid sample comprised 16,991 cases. Results: Approximately half the children received probiotic supplements before the age of 18 months. Only 6.3% of the children received probiotic supplements during the two periods of birth to 6 months and 7 to 18 months. Firstborn children, native mothers, mothers with higher educational levels, higher family income, and parents who lead healthy lifestyles were positively related to probiotic supplement use among children. Young children who were breastfed, with eczema, or with gastrointestinal tract problems were significantly positively associated with probiotic supplement use. Conclusion: The findings show that probiotic supplement usage among young children is associated with a more socially advantaged circumstance and certain child health factors, such as eczema, diarrhea, and constipation. Parents might use probiotic supplements for prevention or treatment of child diseases. The findings of this research could serve as a baseline for future studies, and provide insight into probiotic supplement use behavior for health professionals caring for infants and young children.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere43885
JournalPLoS One
Volume7
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 12 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

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