Objective: We sought to assess relationships among components of maternal diet and the presence of colic symptoms among exclusively breast-fed infants aged < or = 4 months.
Design: Data were collected by means of a mailed questionnaire that solicited information on the presence of symptoms of colic in infants and maternal intake of 15 foods (including four cruciferous vegetables) during the week before completion of the questionnaire.
Subjects: Exclusively breast-feeding women (n = 272) and their 273 infants aged < or = 4 months.
Statistical analyses performed: Dietary variables were analyzed categorically by logistic regression. Two-by-two tables were used to calculate relative risks.
Results: Relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for colic symptoms by food items the mothers consumed ranged from 0.7 (CI = 0.3 to 1.5) for beef to 2.0 (CI = 1.1 to 3.5) for cow's milk. Maternal intake of cabbage (RR = 1.3, CI = 1.1 to 1.5), cauliflower (RR = 1.2, CI = 1.0 to 1.4), broccoli (RR = 1.3, CI = 1.0 to 2.2), cow's milk (RR = 2.0, CI = 1.1 to 3.5), onion (RR = 1.7, CI = 1.1 to 2.5), and chocolate (RR = 1.5, CI = 1.0 to 2.2) were significantly related to colic symptoms. Maternal intake of more than one cruciferous vegetable was associated with an RR of 1.6 (CI = 1.1 to 2.4) for infants experiencing one or more colic symptoms.
Conclusion: Results of this study provide initial evidence that maternal intake of cruciferous vegetables, cow's milk, onion, or chocolate during exclusive breast-feeding is associated with colic symptoms in young infants.