Is modified cow's milk formula effective in reducing symptoms of infant colic?

Br J Community Nurs. 2003 Jan;8(1):24-7. doi: 10.12968/bjcn.2003.8.1.11019.


To determine the effectiveness of modified cow's milk formulas on the symptoms of infant colic, a mini-review (Griffiths, 2002) of double-blind randomized controlled trials was undertaken. The population was infants diagnosed with colic and the outcome was a reduction in infant distress. Medline, Embase, CINAHL and the Cochrane Library were searched and seven clinical trials and two systematic reviews were identified. After applying inclusion criteria, two studies were examined in the review. One study compared the effects of a modified formula and a standard cow's milk formula on bottle-fed infants. The other examined the effects of a low-allergen diet on breast-fed and bottle-fed infants. Results could only be retrieved from one study, which showed that hydrolysed formulas have a positive effect on reducing the symptoms of infant colic although sample sizes were small and the magnitude of benefit unclear. There is evidence to support advice to parents of bottle-fed infants with colic to consider changing to such formulas.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Colic / diet therapy*
  • Crying
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Food*
  • Milk*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Treatment Outcome