Having a colicky baby is any parent’s worst nightmare, but recent research shows that there may be a simple solution.
Research by paediatrician Dr Francesco Savino of the University of Turin in Italy shows that relief could be at hand in the form of a probiotic called Lacobacillus reuteri (ATCC 55730).
The results were published in the January issue of the Paediatrics Journal.
The research study
In the clinical trial, 90 breastfed, colicky infants of similar age and birth weight were divided into two random groups and given either Lactobacillus reuteri drops (five drops once daily) or Simethicone (60mg/day).
Colic was defined as bouts of crying lasting three or more hours a day, three or more days of the week. At the start of the study, the average daily crying time in both groups was 197 minutes (3 hours, 20 minutes).
However, within seven days of treatment, parents with babies in the probiotic group noted a significant improvement, which was even more pronounced by day 28. At day 28, the average crying time in the L.reuteri group was reduced to 51 minutes/day as apposed to 145 minutes/day in the Simethicone group.
The investigators found that 95% of infants demonstrated a response to L.reuteri, compared to 7% of the infants in the Simethicone group. The positive effect was most pronounced at the end of the four-week study.
No side effects were observed in either group.
At this stage, the exact mechanism behind the beneficial effects of L.reuteri isn't clear. One explanation is that L. reuteri modulates the immune responses of the gut by virtue of its anti-inflammatory action.
“The safety profile of probiotics makes them a favourable alternative to all other therapeutic options for infants with colic,” notes Savino.
- (Thebe Pharmaceuticals, February 2007)
Pre/probiotics safe in formula milk
Could prebiotics cut infant eczema?