Probiotic may help colic babies

Posted by Andrea Hogan on 10th January 2018

A new study led by Australian researchers has found a probiotic that may help babies with colic.

The research, led by Australia’s Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, found the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri has the potential to reduce crying in colic babies.

Until now, there has been no effective treatment for colic that sees babies cry and fuss.

It is not known what causes colic, an issue that affects one in five families. Colic has also been associated with maternal depression and child abuse such as Shaken Baby Syndrome.

The study found when compared to a placebo group, a group who was given the probiotic was two times more likely to reduce crying by 50 per cent by the 21st day of treatment. The babies were exclusively breastfed.

Lead researcher, Dr Valerie Sung, said over the last decade many studies have looked at the role of probiotics in treating colic.

“One particular strain, Lactobacillus reuteri (L reuteri) DSM 17938, has shown promise, but results have been conflicting,” Dr Sung said.

According to Dr Sung, while the study is hopeful, the lack of studies on formula-fed babies meant it should not be considered an automatic cure.

“We did find evidence that L reuteri is effective in breastfed babies with colic,” Dr Sung said.

“The role of L reuteri in formula-fed babies with colic cannot be determined due to lack of studies.

“Ultimately the effectiveness of this treatment will need to be assessed on a case by case basis. It is also important to remember that each probiotic strain works differently. L reuteri is the only probiotic strain that may help crying babies who are breastfed.”


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