A new study on probiotics

13-400-species-probioticsA new study shows that babies given a probiotic during their first three months of living seem to suffer less often from colic.

We’ve heard all the horror stories about colic, Parents may want to jump into using probiotic supplements but doctors always urge parents to be careful when using any new treatment to decrease the chance of developing colic

This new study was done by Aldo Moro University in Bari, Italy. This study implies that when probiotics (healthy & good disease fighting bacteria) are introduced into the babies gut couldĀ  during the first couple of months of its life could reduce the risk of colic. However Doctors don’t know the long-term effects on the baby’s growing immune system and are worried that this study will get some parents to treat their babies with probiotics without due diligence.Parents are always recommended to check with their pediatricians before trying probiotics on their children. David Seres says “Because the immune system is still learning how to function at that age, supplementing things that have an impact on the immune system may have an effect at a later age,”

Now doctors don’t know what exactly causes this condition. They suspect because of the constant crying, it could be from gastrointestinal discomfort.

Flavia Indrio who is one of he researchers in this study, said that there are other studies that look the treatment of colic with probiotics, however this was the 1st study that looked at preventing colic. Now researchers are not yet sure how these disease fighting friendly bacteria work, but they suspect that it balances the bacteria in the gut. So the friendly bacteria go to war with the discomfort causing bacteria in the tummy.

“We attempted to use the probiotic for prevention to keep the baby from having colic before it becomes an issue,” Flavia Indrio said. “Whenever the child develops colic, even though it clears up later, this can provoke disease later in life, with gastrointestinal disorders” These gastrointestinal disorders could be IBS (Irritable Bowl Syndrome) which often leads to cramping and overly frequent bowel movements.

554 newborns were split into 2 groups. one group was given a small dose of a probiotic named lactobacillus reuteri and the other group received the placebo. After the study was completed it was concluded that the newborns who received the probiotic had shorter periods of colic. Their was also a heathy increase of bowel movements. The study will check the children who were on probiotics when they are 5 years old and 10 years old to find out what the long-term effects are on their stomach health.