- Probiotics might reduce daily crying time in infants with colic, but they seem to have no effect on colic occurrence, according to this Cochrane review.
Why this matters
- Colic is a misery for infant and parents.
- Some evidence suggests microbiota differences between infants with and without colic.
- Among the 6 compared studies:
- Randomization bias risk was low.
- Meta-analysis of all 6 showed no difference between probiotics and placebo for new colic cases.
- Risk ratio (RR), 0.46 (95% CI, 0.18-1.19).
- Low-certainty evidence; I2 could not be calculated.
- A meta-analysis of 3 of the studies found a mean difference of –32.57 minutes per day with probiotics vs placebo (95% CI, –55.60 to –9.54).
- Evidence is low-certainty; I2, 93%.
- 1 type of probiotic, Lactobacillus reuteri (which was most studied among the publications), was associated with a steeper reduction of 44.26 minutes per day (95% CI, –66.6 to –21.9; I2, 92%).
- Meta-analysis of 6 randomized controlled trials of probiotics vs placebo in 1886 infants
- Colic: inconsolable crying for >3 hours/day, >3 days/week, ≥3 weeks.
- Funding: Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, UK; others.
- Further research may change conclusions.