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‘Good bacterium’ prevents colic symptoms in newborns

Treatment with beneficial microbe nearly halves crying time

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6:02pm, January 13, 2014

CALMER BABY  Crying babies like the one shown may benefit from probiotics. In a new study, newborns who took a supplement of helpful bacteria were less likely to develop colic symptoms than babies who got a placebo. 

Newborns who take drops containing a beneficial bacterium cry less than babies not given the supplement, researchers report January 13 in JAMA Pediatrics.

The cause of excessive crying — or colic – is not well understood, but scientists suspect that the microbial mix in infants’ intestines is involved.  Researchers at the University of Bari Aldo Moro in Italy teamed with other scientists across Italy to randomly assign 589 newborns to get either a placebo or a probiotic supplement. The supplement contained live Lactobacillus reuteri, a microbe shown previously to improve intestinal function. Parents delivered the drops and kept detailed diaries of infant health for three months.

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