Probiotics for colic reduces daily crying: Cochrane

  • Ong TG & al.
  • Cochrane Database Syst Rev
  • 13 Mar 2019

  • International Clinical Digest
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Takeaway

  • 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.

Key results

  • 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%).

Study design

  • 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.

Limitations

  • Further research may change conclusions.

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