What is Infant Colic?
Infant colic (IC) is a problem that certain babies have. It causes them to cry a lot and is very frustrating for the baby, the parents, and healthcare providers. The cause of infant colic is unknown, but there is evidence that it may be related to the bacteria in the gut and that probiotics might help.
Is Probiotics an Effective Treatment for Infant Colic?
Bifidobacterium animalis subspecies lactis (BB-12) is a well‐known probiotic, which positively balances the composition of the intestinal microbiota and the function of the immune system.
This study aims to assess how many infants reduced crying by 50% or more after 28 days of taking the probiotic BB-12. Likewise, the following factors were observed:
- Sleeping time
- Number of bowel movements
- And stool consistency
Study Method on Probiotic BB-12 as a treatment for Infant Colic
72 healthy breastfed infants with colic were randomly divided into 2 groups: 35 were given BB-12, the others were given a placebo.
Parents were asked to give their babies six drops of BB-12 or placebo once a day, preferably in the morning before feeding, for 28 days. They were also instructed to avoid the use of any anti‐colic medications during the study.
The rate of infants who had a reduction of crying by 50% or more was higher in the infants given BB-12, starting from the second week. No infant who stopped taking the BB-12 relapsed. The number of crying episodes decreased in both groups, but there was a more significant decrease in the number of crying spells in the group given BB-12.
This carries beneficial effects on sleep duration and was already evident on the first week of treatment. The frequency of stools decreased in both groups, but it dropped more in the group given BB-12 with improved consistency. Bifidobacterium levels increased (and were correlated with less crying), as did butyrate and HBD-2 levels, in the group given BB-12.
These findings show that the probiotic BB‐12 is effective in the treatment of IC, supporting the important role of gut microbiota in treating IC.