First off the bat, I have to say, this is in no way sponsored. No financial or any other benefit has been exchanged between myself and Qiara. I just really like this product and the SCIENCE that supports it.
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Let's talk QIARA probiotics. If you're pregnant or already a mama I'm sure you've seen it advertised, talked about and maybe been a customer. This off-the-shelf probiotic has been hailed by some mothers as a 'miracle preventative and treatment for mastitis' for a number of years now. But how does this tiny sachet of white substance work its magic? Let's start from the beginning...
What are Probiotics?
Probiotics are live bacteria found naturally in the gut and breast milk, as well as in select foods and supplements. When taken in adequate amounts, they provide a health benefit to the person.
What do they do?
Probiotics interact with resident microbes already colonised in your digestive system. As they pass through the gut, they interact with gut cells, immune cells and food substances, exerting their benefits.
Research has shown that probiotics have many benefits including, support digestive health and immune function, reducing antibiotic‐associated diarrhoea, improving resilience to infections, and improving digestion of lactose.
What is Mastitis?
Mastitis is a common infectious disease during lactation, and the main nasties that cause these infections are staphylococci, streptococci, and/or corynebacteria.
Resistance to antibiotics and the formation of biofilms (think of a slimy thin layer that houses these nasty Staph/Strep bacteria which are incredibly sticky and hard to budge!) are very common in Staph infections. This explains why mastitis can be difficult to treat with antibiotics and why it constitutes one of the main reasons women cease breastfeeding.
So if antibiotics aren't the answer, what now?
In 2005, a team of Spanish scientists first isolated probiotic lactobacilli strains from the milk of healthy mothers. Five years later that same team investigated as to whether two of these strains, Lactobacillus fermentum CECT5716 and L. salivarius CECT5713, could be used for treating lactational mastitis and to compare such an approach with the antibiotic therapy that is usually prescribed to treat this condition.
352 women were assigned to 3 groups: (A) Lactobacillus fermentum CECT5713, (B) Lactobacillus fermentum CECT5716 or (C) antibiotic treatment. Remarkably, women in groups A and B who ingested the probiotics once a day for 21 days showed a statistically significant reduction in total bacterial counts and little to no breast pain when compared to the antibiotic group C. Interestingly, all the women (n=9) who decided to stop breastfeeding during the trial belonged to the antibiotic group. The strain Lactobacillus fermentum CECT5716 went on to become Qiara's patented strain and is now sold across Australia (If you're a science curious nerdo like me, you can read more about this study here)
My Hot Tip when buying Qiara
- Keep it at room temperature. Probiotics don't like heat!
- Remember I said above, it's about taking the adequate amount of probiotic. Each sachet of the Qiara Breastfeeding (Mastitis preventative/treatment) contains a minimum of 3 billion live probiotic bacteria. Whilst the Adult sachets contain a minimum of 1.5 billion live probiotic bacteria. So, if you're desperate and can only get your hands on the Adult product, just take 2 sachets per dosage (1.5 x 2 = 3).
In addition to probiotics, we must remember that mastitis is fundamentally an infection. Rest, wholesome foods and hydration are your best friends.
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