A daily dose of the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri can improve the symptoms of infantile colic. In a new study, 83 infants were given either the probiotic or the pharmaceutical control simethicone (a commonly used colic medication, also called Mylanta) for a period of one month.
At the study's end, the average crying times of the probiotic group had decreased by about 75 percent, compared to only 26 percent for the control group.
A daily dose of 108 colony-forming units (CFU) of L. reuteri was given to the infants in the probiotic group 30 minutes after feeding. Mothers were asked to follow a diet free of cow's milk.
The average crying times of the infants in this group decreased by 21 percent, from 197 to 159 minutes per day, after only one week of treatment. The crying time of the control group decreased by only 10 percent, to 177 minutes per day, in the same period.
At the end of the full month, the average crying times of the probiotic group had decreased to 51 minutes per day, while crying times for the control group had only decreased to 145 minutes per day. No adverse effects were reported by the mothers.Infantile colic is one of the most common problems reported during the first three months of an infant's life; it affects more than a quarter of all newborns. It is characterized by excessive and inconsolable crying, with no identifiable cause.