Probiotics for the Management of Infantile Colic

J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2016 Jul;63 Suppl 1:S22-4. doi: 10.1097/MPG.0000000000001220.


Purpose of review: Evidence suggests that the gut microbiota in subjects with infantile colic differs from the gut microbiota in an unaffected population. In colicky infants, dysbiosis may affect gut motor function and gas production resulting in abdominal pain/colic. If so, it is logical to assume that manipulation of the gut microbiota may play a therapeutic role and also could be a preventive measure in the evolution of these disorders. We aimed to evaluate evidence on the effectiveness of probiotics for treating and preventing infantile colic.

Recent findings: The administration of Lactobacillusreuteri DSM 17938 is likely to reduce crying time in breastfed infants with infantile colic, but its role in formula-fed infants is less clear. Data summarized in the current review suggest that L reuteri DSM 17938 may be effective in the reduction of crying/colic both in breastfed and formula-fed infants. Other probiotics (single or in combinations) were studied in single trials only.

Summary: Given the lack of effective therapy for infantile colic and the good safety profile of L reuteri DSM 17938, this therapeutic option could be discussed with caregivers. Data on other probiotics, either positive or negative, are too limited to allow one to draw reliable conclusions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Colic / etiology
  • Colic / prevention & control*
  • Dysbiosis / complications
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / etiology
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Probiotics / administration & dosage*