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Objective: To determine if Lactobacillus reuteri is an effective treatment for infantile colic by reviewing existing literature and performing a systematic analysis. Design: Systematic literature review. Methods: The PubMed database was searched using the terms “Lactobacillus reuteri” and “colic.” The yielded results were refined to only include human clinical trials published within the past 10 years. Results: Chau et al., Savino et al., and Szajewska et al. each found that the average crying times were significantly shorter for the L. reuteri group than they were for the probiotic group on days 7, 14, and 21. All three trials also found that the L. reuteri group had a significantly higher number of infants who had ≥ 50% reduction in their crying times by the end of the study.
Conclusion: The studies included in this review consistently showed therapeutic benefit in administering L. reuteri to colicky breastfed infants. The subjects receiving L. reuteri had significant reductions in crying times when compared to those who received placebo. These findings support the use of L. reuteri in the management of infantile colic. However, these trials were slightly limited by their relatively small sample sizes and further studies with larger sample sizes are necessary in order to assess the strength of this conclusion.
Evans KV, Gaitan HD. Lactobacillus reuteri in the Management of Infantile Colic. Posted online December 14, 2020.