Probiotic combination may ease colic in infants: Study

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Colic is characterized by excessive crying, grimacing, a red face, knees drawn up to the chest, clenched fists and excessive gas, the answer seems to lie in the gut. A growing body of science shows that probiotics may help   Image © AhuSavanAn Getty Images
Colic is characterized by excessive crying, grimacing, a red face, knees drawn up to the chest, clenched fists and excessive gas, the answer seems to lie in the gut. A growing body of science shows that probiotics may help Image © AhuSavanAn Getty Images

Related tags Probiotics colic

A combination of two probiotic strains may improve measures of functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) in infants, including colic and constipation, says a new study.

Infants receiving a combination of Bifidobacterium longum​ subsp. longum​ KABP-042 plus Pediococcus pentosaceus​ KABP-041 were reported to experience significant reductions in the severity of FGID, with good tolerability.

“Our observational pilot study demonstrated that the oral intake of​ B. longum KABP042 and​ P. pentosaceus KABP041 mixture for 14 days was well-tolerated by infants diagnosed with FGIDs (infant colic and/or functional constipation),”​ wrote scientists from AB-Biotics (part of Kaneka Corporation) in Frontiers of Microbiology.

“Moreover, infant FGID severity and parental anxiety were significantly reduced according to physicians and caregivers rating, respectively,” they added.

Floradapt Baby Colic

The combination studied is used in the commercial Floradapt Baby Colic ​product from Kaneka. The new study was welcomed by Mike Kolifrath, Vice President, Sales and Marketing of the Probiotics Division at Kaneka, as substantiation of the Baby Colic formulation.

“This newly published study substantiates the efficacy of the KABP Formulation for reducing FGIDs - - which is one of the most prevalent challenges for infants and a significant source of anxiety for parents,” ​he said. “Moreover, the study substantiates the efficacy of Floradapt Baby Colic, our dietary supplement probiotic that is constituted entirely of the KABP Formulation,”​ said

“Although Baby Colic is a dietary supplement and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, this multi-pronged study of the effects of the KABP Formulation adds another layer of support to the existing competent and reliable scientific evidence that Baby Colic supports a calm gut and healthy microflora in babies and helps reduce the duration of crying episodes and crying time,”​ added Kolifrath.

Study details

The new study involved several parts: The first part included in silico​ analyses, which revealed that both strains had no virulence factors. Toxicology studies with rats confirmed the safety of both strains, added the Spain-based researchers.

Additional in vitro​ experiments showed that the strains resisted gastric and bile challenges and had good adhesion to human intestinal cells.

The researchers then tested the probiotics in a pilot trial with 34 infants diagnosed with FGID (functional constipation and/or infant colic). All the infants received the probiotics at a total dose of two billion CFUs per day for 14 days. The probiotic was administered as a liquid drop.

The data indicated that FGID severity was significantly reduced after two weeks of supplementation.

Interestingly, the pilot trial also suggested that the probiotic combination was effective regardless of the infant feeding mode (breast-fed or formula-fed) and delivery type (vaginally delivered or C-section). 

“This study of characterization of ​B. longum KABP042 and ​P. pentosaceus KABP041 confirms that the strains fulfill probiotic requisites and show functionality over intestinal barrier integrity and pathogen inhibition,” ​wrote the researchers.

“In addition, the outcome of the observational, single-arm, pilot trial confirms the safety of the probiotic formula and set the basis for future larger, randomized, double blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trials in infants with diverse FGIDs.”

Source: Frontiers of Microbiology
Published online, doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2021.741391
“Probiotic Properties of ​Bifidobacterium longum KABP042 and ​Pediococcus pentosaceus KABP041 Show Potential to Counteract Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders in an Observational Pilot Trial in Infants”
Authors: E. Astó et al


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