Severe infantile colic and food intolerance: a long-term prospective study

J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 1991 Apr;12(3):332-5. doi: 10.1097/00005176-199104000-00008.


To determine the relationship between infantile colic and cow's milk protein intolerance (CMPI) in formula-fed infants, 70 infants (38 male, 32 female) were selected, with mean age 30.2 +/- 21.4 days, with severe colic (duration of crying greater than 4 h per day for 5 days per week). In 50 of the infants in the study group (71.4%) there was a remission of symptoms when cow's milk protein (CMP) was eliminated from the diet. Two successive challenges caused the return of symptoms in all these 50 infants. There was a positive anamnesis for atopy in 9 of 50 of the patients with CMP-related colic and in 1 of 20 of those with non-CMP-related colic (p greater than 0.05). A follow-up period of 18 months' mean duration showed that 22 of 50 (44%) of the infants with CMP-related colic and 1 of 20 (5%) of those with non-CMP-related colic developed an overt alimentary intolerance (p less than 0.02). We conclude that a considerable percentage of the infants with severe colic also have CMPI and that in these cases, dietetic treatment should be the first therapeutic approach.

MeSH terms

  • Colic / etiology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Food Hypersensitivity / complications
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / genetics
  • Infant
  • Infant Food / adverse effects
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Milk Hypersensitivity / complications*
  • Milk Hypersensitivity / diet therapy
  • Milk Proteins / adverse effects*
  • Prospective Studies


  • Milk Proteins