Probiotics: Not Helpful in Soothing Infants With Colic

Dr Valerie Sung MBBS(Hons) FRACP MPH NHMRC PhD Candidate, Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne, and Community Health Services Research, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrician, Centre for Community Child Health, The Royal Children’s HospitalMedicalResearch.com Invitation with:
Dr Valerie Sung MBBS(Hons) FRACP MPH
NHMRC PhD Candidate, Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne, and Community Health Services Research, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute
Paediatrician, Centre for Community Child Health
The Royal Children’s Hospital

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Sung: Lactobacillus reuteri was NOT effective in reducing crying or fussing in infants with colic, whether they are breast or formula fed. This is the largest and most rigorous trial to date to show this.

MedicalResearch.com: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Dr. Sung: Previous to this study, three smaller trials in Europe suggested that the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri was possibly effective in breastfed infants with colic. Therefore, the findings from this study unexpectedly contradict the existing evidence. Also, formula fed babies who were assigned the probiotic fussed more than the ones assigned the placebo, but they did not cry more. The reasons for this are unclear.

MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Sung: Probiotics cannot be routinely recommended for all infants with colic.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Sung: We are in the process of collaborating with other similar studies from around the world to pool together data into an individual participant level meta-analysis. This type of analysis is more powerful as it involves larger numbers, and hopefully will more definitively inform us whether certain subgroups of infants with colic may benefit from probiotics.

Citation:

Treating infant colic with the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri: double blind, placebo controlled randomised trial

Sung V ,Hiscock H ,Tang MLK ,Mensah FK ,Nation ML ,Satzke C ,et al. Treating infant colic with the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri: double blind, placebo controlled randomised trial. BMJ 2014;348:g2107

 

 

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