Understanding the relationship of probiotics and whether they help with colic in babies

Do probiotics help with colic in babies?

Colic in babies is a condition that many parents face. With the help of probiotics and an understanding of what causes colic, we can create a plan to relieve your baby’s discomfort.

The average age for colic starts at two months old and lasts until three months old.

It typically occurs after midnight with five hours of crying time on most days, which is the cause of sleep deprivation for parents who have to deal with it every day.

The more you know about this condition, the better prepared you will be to tackle it head-on.

In this blog post, we discuss some helpful tips from my experience as well as from research done by experts in infant care so that together we can find a solution that works best.

Do probiotics help with colic in babies?

A number of studies have assessed the role of probiotics in colic and reflux (heartburn), and their findings suggest that certain types of probiotics may provide some degree of relief.

However, more research is needed to better understand how this works and which specific probiotic strains are beneficial.

Colic is a term for an infant’s frequent fits of crying. It can be frustrating to parents whose infants seem inconsolable at such times, but it usually resolves by itself over time without causing any problems for the baby.

Colic tends to be more common among breastfed babies than formula-fed ones.

Scientists don’t know what causes colic, but they think that certain foods or milk proteins might irritate a baby’s stomach and intestines.

A number of studies have assessed the role of probiotics in colic and reflux ( heartburn ), and their findings suggest that certain types of probiotics may provide some degree of relief.

However, more research is needed to better understand how this works and which specific probiotic strains are beneficial.

What is known about the relationship between probiotics and colic?

The available scientific evidence to date consists largely of small, preliminary studies. Most were conducted among breastfeeding infants who had colic symptoms for at least three days a week for at least two weeks.

The main findings showed:

  • That giving the babies a daily dose or multiple doses of Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 seemed to reduce crying in infants.
  • That giving the babies a daily dose of Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 seemed to reduce crying and irritability in breastfed infants with colic symptoms, but not among formula-fed infants with colic symptoms.
  • That giving the babies a daily dose of Lactobacillus reuteri (at least 10 billion colony forming units [CFU] per day) seemed to improve infantile colic symptoms when compared with no treatment, simethicone (an over-the-counter medication used to reduce gas), or placebo (an inactive substance). However, this study included only 86 infants. Moreover, it was unclear whether the active ingredient in the probiotic product contributed to its effectiveness.
  • That giving the babies a daily dose of Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 seemed to reduce crying and improve infantile colic symptoms when compared with a placebo. Moreover, it was unclear whether or not the active ingredient in the probiotic product contributed to its effectiveness.
  • Bone mineral content appeared to increase over time among infants who received Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938, but it did not change among infants who did not receive treatment. However, this study included only 24 infants.

In one small study, giving Bifidobacterium animalis subspecies lactis strain BB-12 to breastfed infants with colic symptoms for two weeks improved their bowel movements and decreased gassiness and fussiness, but it did not reduce crying.

In another small study, giving Bifidobacterium animalis subspecies lactis strain BB-12 to breastfed infants with colic symptoms for two weeks reduced gas and fussiness in these infants when compared with a placebo.

In conclusion

Probiotics may be a good treatment for colic in babies. If your baby is experiencing excessive gas and crying, you might want to try taking probiotic supplements with them or feeding it to them through breast milk if nursing.

We recommend consulting with the paediatrician before starting any new supplement regimen just in case there are negative interactions that could happen when combining medications or foods.

The research supports this idea but more studies need to take place on children under one year old due to their developing digestive system which can make these results unreliable at this time.


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