Efficacy of Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis, BB-12 ® on infant colic - a randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study

Benef Microbes. 2021 Nov 16;12(6):531-540. doi: 10.3920/BM2020.0233. Epub 2021 Sep 22.


To evaluate the administration of Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis, BB-12® (BB-12) on infant colic in breastfed infants, a double-blind, placebo-controlled randomised study was conducted in Chengdu, China from April 2016 to October 2017 with 192 full-term infants less than 3 months of age and meeting the ROME III criteria for infant colic. After a 1-week run-in the infants were randomly assigned to receive daily BB-12 (1×109 cfu/day) or placebo for 3 weeks. Crying/fussing time were recorded using a 24 h structured diary. The primary endpoint was the proportion of infants achieving a reduction in crying and fussing time of ≥50% from baseline. Parent's/caregiver's health related quality of life was measured using a modified PedsQL 2.0 Family Impact Module and immunological biomarkers were evaluated from faecal samples at baseline and after the 21-day intervention. The percentage of infants achieving a reduction in the daily crying/fussing time ≥50% after the 21-day intervention was significantly higher in the infants supplemented with BB-12 (P<0.001). The mean number of crying episodes was significantly reduced in the BB-12 group compared to the placebo group (10.0±3.0 to 5.0±1.87 vs 10.5±2.6 to 7.5±2.8, respectively) (P<0.001) and the mean daily sleep duration was markedly increased from baseline to end of intervention in the BB-12 group compared to the infants in the placebo group (60.7±104.0 vs 31.9±102.7 min/day, respectively) (P<0.001). The faecal levels of human beta defensin 2, cathelicidin, slgA, calprotectin and butyrate were statistically higher in the BB-12 group compared to the placebo group after the 21-day intervention. At the end of the intervention the parent's/caregiver's physical, emotional and social functioning scores were significantly higher for the BB-12 group compared to the placebo group (all P<0.05). Supplementation of BB-12 is effective in reducing crying and fussing in infants diagnosed with infant colic.

Keywords: Bifidobacterium; excessive fussing and crying; probiotics.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Bifidobacterium animalis*
  • Colic* / therapy
  • Crying
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Probiotics* / therapeutic use
  • Quality of Life