Probiotic may reduce baby’s crying time with colic

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Gut flora Probiotic

One week of supplementation with Lactobacillus reuteri Protectis may reduce crying time in infants with colic by 74 per cent, compared with less than 40 per cent in the placebo group, says a new study.

After three weeks of supplementation 84 per cent of infants receiving L. reuteri​ Protectis no longer had colic, compared with only 43 placebo group, according to results presented today at the Annual Meeting of ESPGHAN in Istanbul. NutraIngredients has not seen the full data.

Infantile colic is one of the most common problems during the first three months of an infant's life, and can affect up to 28 per cent of newborns. It consists of a behavioural syndrome characterized by excessive and inconsolable crying with no identifiable cause.

The researchers tested the hypothesis that modulation of the gut microflora via oral administration of probiotics could decrease crying time related to infants with colic.

Lead researcher Francesco Savino from the University of Turin in Italy, who presented the results, said that results of the double-blind, placebo controlled study support previous findings with BioGaia’s L. reuteri​ Protectis (Pediatrics​, 2007, Vol. 119, pp. e124-e130).

Study details

The researchers recruited 50 infants and randomly assigned them to receive either the Lactobacillus supplement at a daily dose of 100 million colony forming units (CFU) per day or placebo for three weeks.

According to Dr Savino, the crying time decreased after seven days of supplementation from 300 to 95 minutes, a decrease of 74 per cent, compared to a decrease from 370 to 185 minutes in the placebo group.

After three weeks, the average crying time in the probiotic group was 35 minutes, compared with 90 minutes in the placebo group, said Dr Savino.

“The data with L. reuteri are convincing and confirm, in a placebo-controlled study, our earlier data with this probiotic. We believe these results will have an impact on the treatment of infants with colic,”​ said Savino.

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