Sunday, May 26, 2024

Do Probiotics Help With Colic

Colic Symptoms In Breastfed Babies

Dr Valerie Sung: Do probiotics help treat infants with colic?

There are many causes of colic, but the most common one is from gas. Babies usually cry more during the evening and night hours because this is when they have a higher production of stomach acid due to their sleep cycle.

Parents should pay close attention to what time their baby starts crying and how long it takes them to stop crying so that they can identify if its from gas or not.

One way for moms who breastfeed their infants to help reduce the symptoms of colic is by feeding on demand instead of using a schedule, burping after feedings, keeping track of your babys poop consistency, and offering foods high in fiber such as fruits with seeds and vegetables.

Foods that are considered common triggers of colic include dairy, eggs, soy, spicy foods, fruits such as apples, pears, and oranges, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower, onions, and garlic.

How Did The Researchers Interpret The Results

They say that L. reuteri did not reduce crying or fussing in infants with colic, nor was it effective in improving infant sleep, maternal mental health or family or infant functioning and quality of life. Probiotics cannot therefore be recommended for all infants with colic, although they state that further research is needed to identify which subgroups of babies, if any, might benefit.

In an accompanying editorial, William E Bennett, Assistant Professor of Paediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine, points out that parents and their babies “may be better served if we devote more resources to studying the interventions recommended long before the discovery of probiotics: reassurance, family social support and the tincture of time”.

The Power Of Probiotics

Infant colic is a common condition that is characterized by episodes of excessive and uncontrollable crying in an otherwise healthy baby, that lasts at least three hours a day, for three days a week, over a period of three weeks.

Affecting one in five infants during the first few months of life, the condition can cause frustration and distress for parents and caregivers as they try to soothe their baby.1

Despite lots of research, there is no known underlying cause of colic which makes it very hard to treat. To better understand the impact probiotics could have on decreasing infant cry time and fuss, a study was carried out using two strains of BioCares probiotics on breastfed babies.

The babies involved in the study were exclusively breastfed. DSM supports the WHO recommendation that infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life, and then breastfed alongside complementary food for up to the age of two years or beyond, to achieve optimal growth, development and long-term health.

Also Check: How Long Until Probiotics Start Working

Probiotics ‘no Good’ At Treating Infant Colic

Probiotics ‘don’t ease’ baby colic, the Mail Online reports. A small, though well-conducted, study suggests that probiotics commonly touted as friendly bacteria could actually make symptoms worse.

Colic is a poorly understood condition in which otherwise healthy babies cry excessively and frequently. While not a serious threat to a babys health, colic can be extremely distressing for parents especially those of the sleep deprived variety .

The study included 167 young babies with colic and looked at whether giving them daily drops of the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri improved symptoms, in comparison to giving them inactive placebo drops. The researchers found the treatment did not help.

In fact, after a month of treatment, formula-fed babies in the probiotic group actually cried or fussed for almost an hour longer than those in the placebo group. The treatment did not have any side effects.

This may be bad news for parents struggling to comfort their crying baby. The good news, however, is that all babies grow out of colic within a few months.

Do Probiotics Help With Colic

Gerber soothe probiotic drops walgreens

Your precious newborn is healthy, fed, and diaper clean, but has been crying non-stop for hours. Youve tried everything to calm your infant and nothing works. Crying in a healthy infant is to be expected and usually means that the baby needs you. But prolonged and intense crying in a healthy infant can be symptomatic of colic.

What is Colic?

According to the Mayo Clinic, Colic is frequent, prolonged and intense crying or fussiness in a healthy infant. Colic is seen in newborns and usually peaks when an infant is around six weeks old, declining after three to four months of age.1Colic can be extremely frustrating for parents as the crying and distress appear to be for no reason and consoling doesnt help calm the infant. While colic does not cause short-term or long-term medical problems for a child, managing colic adds significant stress to caring for your newborn child.

Signs of Colic in Babies

Its completely normal for infants to fuss and cry. When it comes to colic, the crying goes beyond what you might consider normal crying and is defined as crying for three or more hours a day, three or more days a week, for three or more weeks.1 Here are some of the signs of colic:1

  • Intense crying as if in pain
  • Crying for no apparent reason
  • Extreme fussiness even after crying has diminished
  • Crying around the same time each day
  • Reddening of the face or paler skin around the mouth when crying
  • Pulled up or stiffened legs, stiffened arms, clenched fists, arched back, or tense abdomen

Read Also: Probiotics That Cause Weight Gain

Second Study: Bifidobacterium Animalis & Infant Colic


The next study looked at the effect of Bifidobacterium animalis combined with a lactobacillus species probiotic on infantile colic. This was a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study that looked at 192 neonates with colic who received either probiotic or placebo. After three weeks on placebo or probiotic, only the probiotic group showed a noticeable reduction in crying/fussing, better sleep, and better quality of life for the parents. I think its important to echo this, especially if youre a parent and your child is a neonate. You may be concerned and rightfully so, as a small child could appear fragile. Well, good news there. This is an intervention that can be quite health promoting for that child.

Proposed Aetiological Factors For Infant Colic

Recent research has focussed on the pathophysiological role of gut microbiota in the exacerbation of infant crying. This promising new hypothesis is currently generating substantial research interest, with several studies confirming differences in gut microbiota between infants with and without colic. One study indicated increased concentrations of faecal Clostridium difficile in infants with colic compared to controls , while two studies reported increased Eschericia coli concentrations and reduced Lactobacillus species concentrations in infants with colic compared to controls . Another study identified certain Lactobacillus strains to predominate in infants with colic compared to controls , while a more recent study suggested certain Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus species to be protective against crying . These findings suggest that while the microbiota are likely to be different in infants with colic, it remains uncertain whether these microbiota differences are the cause or result of the colic condition. Disturbances in gut microbiota may lead to mechanical changes in the gut, such as gas production and bloating and/or gut dysmotility , which in turn lead to infant crying. The aetiology of infant colic is likely multifactorial.

You May Like: Probiotic And Prebiotic Foods List

Probiotic May Help Treat Colic In Infants

Probiotics — or ‘good bacteria’ — have been used to treat infant colic with varying success. In a new trial, investigators have shown that drops containing a particular probiotic strain reduced the duration of daily crying by more than 50% in 80% of the 40 infants who received the probiotic once daily for 28 days, with beneficial effects on sleep duration and on stool frequency and consistency.

Probiotics — or “good bacteria” — have been used to treat infant colic with varying success. In a new trial published in the journal Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, investigators have shown that drops containing a particular probiotic strain reduced the duration of daily crying by more than 50% in 80% of the 40 infants who received the probiotic once daily for 28 days, with beneficial effects on sleep duration and on stool frequency and consistency. This compared with only 32.5% of the 40 infants who received placebo.

Infant colic is a very common gastrointestinal disorder affecting up to 25% of infants in the first 3 months of life, and although it is a benign condition, it is source of major distress for the infants and their families. It is associated with maternal postpartum depression, early breastfeeding cessation, parental guilt and frustration, shaken baby syndrome, multiple physician visits, drugs use, formula changing, and long-term adverse outcomes such as allergies and behavior and sleep problems.

Story Source:

Best Probiotics For Colic And Reflux In Babies

Can probiotics help with baby colic ?

As any exhausted parent knows, having a colicky baby is both distressing and worrying. If your baby suffers with colic, youll be familiar with inconsolable crying, gas, fussiness and screams of pain. A growing area of interest is the role of the gut microbiome, and many parents and carers are considering the use of probiotics for colic. You can read more about probiotics in Dr Kate’s article Baby Probiotics.

In this article we discuss:

  • How probiotics help with colic?
  • Which are the best strains of probiotic to use?
  • Whether probiotics can make colic worse?
  • How to choose the best probiotic for colic?

The exact reason why some babies develop colic and reflux remains relatively unknown, however, growing evidence suggests that gut bacteria could play a role. Babies with colic may have lower levels of beneficial bacteria and higher levels of inflammation and these combined can cause digestive issues, including colic and reflux1.

Having lots of the right bacteria in your babys gut is very important on many levels. The prenatal environment, delivery method and genetics can all shape the babys gut, it is also suggested that probiotics play a key factor in physical, cognitive, social and emotional development2.

Recent research for baby probiotics suggests that certain strains of beneficial bacteria particularly Bifidobacterium, have been shown to reduce the symptoms often associated with colic3.

You May Like: Where To Buy Culturelle Probiotics

The Daily Intake Of Probiotic Strain Bifidobacterium May Provide Help To Infants Suffering From Excessive Crying And Fussing Around The World A Clinical Trial Shows A Reduction In Duration Of Crying By 50% Or More

Up to one in four infants globally suffer from excessive crying and fussing often called colic.1 Colic is defined as severe pain in the abdomen caused by wind or obstruction in the intestines and suffered especially by babies2. It is a source of distress for the infants, parent and caregivers and associated with parental guilt, frustration, sleep problems and physician visits.2 Furthermore, excessive crying and fussing is one of the common reasons parents seek doctors advice during their childs first three months of life.3

Do Probiotics Make Colic Worse

Probiotics do not have any expected side effects, however, it is important to choose the right probiotics for use in babies, to help relieve the symptoms of colic and reflux.

Some research suggests Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 179388 showed mixed results when looking at an improvement of symptoms relating to colic. Although this strain did not help relieve the duration of crying and fussiness which are common symptoms associated with a colicky baby, it is beneficial for managing diarrhoeal disease in children9. Highlighting again the importance of looking for specific strains which have demonstrated a positive outcome for babies suffering from colic and reflux symptoms.

The microbiome of adults and babies are significantly different. When babies are born one of the first natural bacterial colonisers is Bifidobacterium, however, evidence and research suggest that babies suffering from colic and reflux often have lower levels of this bacteria in their gut.

The infant gut, like adults, is influenced greatly by their diet, environment, and medication such as antibiotics. It is these factors that can influence a baby’s susceptibility in developing gut issues.

Read Also: Can Prebiotics And Probiotics Help You Lose Weight

New Benefits Of Probiotics For Kids Including Reduced Colic Gut Infections Eczema And More

Recent clinical trials on the use of probiotics with children found evidence of effectiveness for colic, intestinal infection, atopic dermatitis, and upper respiratory infection. New benefits were identified for adults, as well.

The studies include a look at the benefits of dead vs. live probiotics, which should be of interest to anyone who has ever forgotten to put the bottle back in the fridge.

Evidence continues to mount for the potential of probiotic supplements to address a wide variety of health conditions in people of all ages.

Do Infant Probiotics Help With Gas

BioGaia ProTectis Drops

Do infant probiotics help with gas? As you all know that there are some good bacteria in our stomach, which help in keeping the digestive system and stomach health healthy. The same bacteria are also found in probiotic foods and by going into the intestines, they increase the process of digestion. Thats why probiotics help keep many digestive problems such as diarrhoea, vomiting, and diarrhea or constipation at bay. If you have an infant or small child in your house, then it may be that he has to face this type of problem often. Maybe he is not able to digest food well. Probiotics are a better solution to this problem. But you may have doubts whether it is right to give probiotics to the baby or not and you may not even know how much probiotics it is safe for them to consume. So today in this article we will give you important information about this.

According to Motherhood Hospital Noida Senior Consultant Pediatrician and Neonatologist Dr Amit Gupta, we all have thousands of small bacteria inside and outside our body. Which are called microbiome. It is formed during pregnancy in the baby. The more these bacteria remain in number and remain healthy, the healthier the person will be. Probiotics are needed to maintain the microbiome. You can also give probiotic foods to small babies.

probiotics for babies

When and How to Give Probiotic Foods to Children?At what age children should be given probiotics, it depends on the food that you feed them.

foods for baby

Recommended Reading: Best Probiotic For Excessive Gas

Be Sure To Take Care Of Yourself As Well As Your Baby

Caring for a colicky child can be incredibly upsetting and exhausting, especially for first-time parents. But its important for parents to remember that they didnt do anything wrong to cause the colic, and that the condition will resolve eventually. Parents dealing with colicky babies are more likely to develop anxiety and postnatal depression, and to shake or harm the baby. Parents should not hesitate to reach out to friends, family, and neighbours if they need to take a break, and should seek support and advice from healthcare professionals.

Eleventh Study: Probiotic Safety & Psoriasis


The next study looked at the effectiveness and safety of probiotic supplementation for psoriasis. This was a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized control trials. And in the three randomized control trials that were looked at with a total of 164 patients, two studies found that probiotics reduced psoriasis severity. One study found that probiotics lowered levels of inflammation. Although not complete, theres some evidence here finding that probiotics can reduce some severity markers of psoriasis.

Also Check: Are Nature Made Probiotics Good

Should I Give My Baby Probiotic Drops

The Food and Drug Administration considers them a supplement. Therefore, they are not regulated like medications nor proven to be safe. There is no official recommended dose for infants at this time. Some of them have side effects that cause allergic reactions, stomach pain, diarrhea, and gas and bloating.

Study Summary: Lactobacilli Cut Crying Time

Probiotics For Baby Colic!

In a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial, Savino et al randomly assigned 50 exclusively breastfed colicky infants ages 2 to 16 weeks to receive either L reuteri DSM 17 938 or placebo daily for 21 days. Diagnosis of colic was made according to the modified Wessels criteriafussy crying for 3 hours per day for 3 days per week in the week before enrollment. Their mothers were told to avoid ingesting cows milk during the course of the study.

Term infants adequate for gestational age were eligible for inclusion in the study. Exclusion criteria included evidence of chronic illness or gastrointestinal disorders, any intake of probiotics and/or antibiotics in the week preceding recruitment, and any formula feeding.

Parents and providers were blinded during the study, and they reported daily crying time, stool characteristics, adverse events, and growth patterns. An identical looking and tasting triglyceride oil without live bacteria was used in the placebo group. Each infant received 5 drops of L reuteri or placebo each morning 30 minutes before the morning feeding.

The primary outcome was a reduction of average crying time to < 3 hours a day by Day 21. A secondary outcome was the number of infants in each group who experienced a 50% decrease in the daily average crying time from baseline on Days 7, 14, and 21 of the study.

Don’t Miss: Is Probiotic Acidophilus Good For You

Can Babies With Lactose Intolerance And Milk Allergy Have Probiotics

Babies can have probiotic drops or powder safely following recommendations from the manufacturer. However, lactose intolerance and milk allergy become a problem when the primary source of probiotics for the baby is yogurt. The ability to eat probiotic-rich yogurt varies as per the condition :

Lactose intolerance: Lactose intolerant babies may tolerate yogurt, especially if they can breastfeed. You must start with a minimal quantity of yogurt and look for symptoms like stomachache, bloating, and gas. If you sense the baby is tolerating yogurt well, then you can slowly increase the quantity. Give yogurt mixed with food items like cereal or fruits during meal times.

Milk allergy: A baby with a milk allergy is unable to digest only cows milk, but can have breast milk. Therefore, babies with a milk allergy should avoid all milk products including yogurt.

Next, we address a few commonly asked questions about probiotics for babies.

Popular Articles
Related news