Gerber Adds Probiotics to Good Start Formula Line

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Parents across America have a new option in the formula aisle.

Early childhood nutrition leader Gerber has added probiotics to its Good Start milk-based powder formula line, according to a news release.

“At Gerber, we are always looking for ways to improve our products and ensure we are offering the best nutrition possible,” said Aileen Stocks, Chief Marketing Officer of Gerber. “By adding probiotics similar to those found in breast milk to all our milk-based powder infant formulas, we are able to help support baby’s developing digestive system and a healthy immune system.”

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Gerber’s parent company, Nestlé, along with other organizations, has conducted research to figure out how probiotics can help with healthy digestive and immune systems in infants and young children.

Probiotics are good bacteria often already found in breast milk. Based on the research conducted, Gerber made probiotics a key ingredient in their Good Start formulas.

“As a mom, I understand how important it is for my baby to be comfortable and I love Gerber’s commitment to providing comfort to babies,” said Kristen Finn, a clinical scientist at Gerber. “Whether breastfeeding or transitioning to formula, I always try to make sure that my children are getting probiotics on a daily basis. Gerber has made it easy for moms to choose a formula with probiotics regardless of which milk-based powder formula they choose.”

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For babies who are not exclusively breastfed, Gerber uses the probiotic B.lactis in their formulas. Stage 1 Gerber Good Start Gentle is the closest formula to breast milk and is the only infant powder formula with a blend of DHA, prebiotics and probiotics, according to the company.

Stage 2 Gerber Good Start is the only stage two infant powder formula containing probiotics, while Stage 3 Gerber Good Start Grow is specifically designed for the nutrition needs of toddlers and is the only stage three product with probiotics.

Gerber Good Start Soothe powder formulas are specifically designed for infants experiencing colic, excessive crying and fussiness. The company uses probiotic L. reuteri after study suggested using the probiotic may reduce the crying time of colicky infants.

The study focused on the effects and safety of L. reuteri for infantile colic. Randomized controlled trials found that the probiotic could be a possible treatment.

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“Lactobacillus reuteri possibly increased the effectiveness of treatment for infantile colic and decreased crying time at two to three weeks without causing adverse events,” the study’s abstract said. “However, these protective roles are usurped by gradual physiological improvements. The study is limited by the heterogeneity of the trials and should be considered with caution. Higher quality, multicenter randomized controlled trials with larger samples are needed.”

Over 400 infants with colic participated in the trials. The study’s abstract said the probiotic increased colic treatment effectiveness and decreased crying time up to three weeks of age. The abstract said the probiotic did not influence the infants’ weight, lengths or head circumferences and  was not associated with any serious adverse events.

In addition to adding probiotics, Gerber’s formulas are made without genetically engineered ingredients, or GMOs.

Gerber was founded in 1928 in Fremont, Michigan. The company joined Nestlé on Sept. 1, 2007.