Up to one in four infants globally suffer from excessive crying and fussing – often called colic.1 Colic is defined as severe pain in the abdomen caused by wind or obstruction in the intestines and suffered especially by babies2. It is a source of distress for the infants, parent and caregivers and associated with parental guilt, frustration, sleep problems and physician visits.2 Furthermore, excessive crying and fussing is one of the common reasons parents seek doctors’ advice during their child’s first three months of life.3
What causes excessive crying and fussing?
The underlying cause of excessive crying and fussing is still poorly defined. However, the answer seems to lie in the gut. Babies with excessive crying and fussing have lower counts of good bacteria and increased concentrations of undesirable bacteria in their digestive tracts3, 5.
Clinical trial: probiotic strain BB-12® may help
The results from a clinical trial published in 2019 show that the daily intake of probiotic strain Bifidobacterium (BB-12®) may provide help to infants suffering from excessive crying and fussing. 80% of the infants supplemented with Bifidobacterium (BB-12®) met the trial primary endpoint criteria, showing a reduction in duration of crying by 50% or more.
The trial was conducted in Italy by Professor Roberto Berni Canani and has been published in medical journal Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics: “The therapeutic efficacy of Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis (BB-12®) in infant colic: a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled trial”.
The 80 breast fed infants in the trial were seven weeks or younger and had all been diagnosed with excessive crying and fussing according to Rome III criteria. The infants were given a placebo, or 1 billion live bacteria per day of Bifidobacterium (BB-12®) oil drops from Chr. Hansen over 28 days.
Used worldwide since 1985
Bifidobacterium (BB-12®) has been used worldwide since 1985 as an ingredient in food and dietary supplements. It has been described in more than 315 scientific publications where more than 190 of these are from clinical studies.6
1 Wolke et al. J Pediatr. 2017;185:55-61.e4
2 National Health Service 2019; https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/colic
3 Zeevenhooven et al. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol, 2018;15:479-496
4 Kheir et al. Ital J Pediatr, 2012;38:34;
5 Mayer et al. J Clin Invest, 2015;125:926-38
6 As at August 2019