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Excessive crying affects up to 25% of infants worldwide
Though one in four healthy infants experience excessive crying and fussing, the exact cause is unknown. Excessive crying has become one of the most common reasons parents consult a health care professional during the first three months of their baby’s life.
Often babies with excessive crying have lower counts of good bacteria and increased concentrations of undesirable bacteria in their digestive tracts. It is thought that the probiotic strain Bifidobacterium, BB-12®, may help by modifying the microbiota in infants with intestinal dysbiosis thus increasing bifidobacterial abundance and by inhibiting the increase of harmful bacteria.
Bifidobacterium, BB-12® reduces the duration of excessive crying and fussing
The recently published Chen et al scientific study was a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study conducted in China. The participant group included 192 breastfed Chinese infants (≤12 weeks) with excessive crying and fussing. For 21 days, the infants were given either a placebo or 1 billion CFU per day of Bifidobacterium, BB-12®, administered via oil drops that were provided by Chr. Hansen.
Upon completion of the scientific study, it was found that 1B CFU Bifidobacterium, BB-12® reduced the duration of excessive crying and fussing. In fact, there were almost 3x as many infants with a ≥50% reduction in the duration of crying and fussing after 21 days in the BB-12® group vs. placebo.
Percentage of infants with a ≥50% reduction in duration of crying and fussing after 21 days was significantly higher in BB-12® group
Additional benefits observed in the Bifidobacterium, BB-12® group
In addition, the study found that 1B CFU Bifidobacterium, BB-12® reduced crying time. On average, infants who received the BB-12® strain cried for an hour and 20 minutes less per day and had five less crying episodes per day. Similarly, the infants supplemented with the BB-12® strain slept an average of one hour more per day.
While we know excessive crying and fussing can be difficult for the infant, it can also be difficult for the parents or caretakers. In this study, parents of the infants given the BB-12® strain reported an improvement in their health-related quality of life. Specifically, there was a significant improvement in their physical, emotional and social functioning.
This data supports and expands on a study published in 2019 by Nocerino et al which included 80 infants ≤7 weeks of age. In this Italian study, a significant reduction in excessive crying and fussing was also seen after BB-12® supplementation.
These studies, along with Zone IVb stability for hot, humid and tropical environments, highlight that the strain may be beneficial across different demographics and genetic backgrounds. This is a highly important finding as the benefit of probiotic strains in diverse population groups and microbiota has often been discussed.
The Bifidobacterium, BB-12® probiotic strain used in this scientific study is offered exclusively by Chr. Hansen.