A low allergen diet is a significant intervention in infantile colic: results of a community-based study

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1995 Dec;96(6 Pt 1):886-92. doi: 10.1016/s0091-6749(95)70224-5.


Background: The effect of diet change in 38 bottle-fed and 77 breast-fed "colicky" infants, referred from community-based pediatric facilities was studied over a 1-week period in a double-blind (within each feeding mode), randomized, placebo-controlled trial.

Methods: Bottle-fed infants were assigned to either casein hydrolysate or cow's milk formula. All mothers of breast-fed infants were started on an artificial color-free, preservative-free, additive-free diet and also randomized to an active low allergen diet (milk-, egg-, wheat-, nut-free) or a control diet.

Results: The response to diet was assessed on day 1 and day 8 with the use of a previously validated infant distress chart on which parents recorded distress levels. If successful outcome was defined as a reduction in distress of 25% or more, after adjusting for age and feeding mode, infants on active diet had a significantly higher rate of improvement than those on the control diet (odds ratio, 2.32; 95% confidence interval, 1.07-5.0; p = 0.03). Analysis of the day 8 to day 1 distress ratio, again adjusted for age and feeding mode, showed that infants on the active diet had distress reduced by 39% (95% confidence interval, 26-50) compared with 16% (95% confidence interval, 0-30) for those on the control diet (p = 0.012).

Conclusion: The results suggest a period of dietary modification with a low allergen diet and appropriate nutritional support should be considered in healthy infants with colic.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Allergens / adverse effects*
  • Colic / diet therapy*
  • Colic / epidemiology
  • Colic / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Food Hypersensitivity / diet therapy
  • Food Hypersensitivity / epidemiology
  • Food Hypersensitivity / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Food* / adverse effects
  • Male


  • Allergens