New study shows favorable impact of Bifidobacterium, BB-12® on infants with colic symptoms

New study shows favorable impact of Bifidobacterium, BB-12® on infants with colic symptoms
"Now more infants and parents can benefit from our findings in their everyday life,” says Mehdi Sadaghian, scientific advisor, Chr. Hansen.
Press Release | Oct 18. 2021 07:14 GMT

Up to one in four infants experience colic, often manifesting in excessive crying and fussing. In a new study, children with colic consuming Chr. Hansen’s BB-12® probiotic strain Bifidobacterium, have experienced less excessive crying and fussing, accompanied by increased sleep time. The mechanism by which Bifidobacterium, BB-12® exerts a beneficial effect on the study group is expected to be the same as in healthy infants.

Bifidobacterium, BB-12®, the world’s most documented Bifidobacterium, adds another scientific study to its growing list of publications.

The newly published study Chen et al provides data that Bifidobacterium, BB-12® can help soothe excessively crying infants with colic. In addition, it highlights that the strain is 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.

Reduction of excessive crying and fussing and increased sleep duration
The new study supports and expands on the findings of Nocerino et al. in a study published in 2019, which concluded that Bifidobacterium, BB-12® supported a reduction in daily crying duration and a decrease in the number of daily crying episodes.

This new study is a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study which included 192 breastfed Chinese infants, who were 12 weeks of age or less. For 21 days, the infants were given a placebo or 1 billion CFU per day of Bifidobacterium, BB-12®, administered via oil drops provided by Chr. Hansen. The study found that infants with colic, who received the Bifidobacterium, BB-12® strain, cried for an hour and 20 minutes less per day and had, on average, five less crying episodes per day.

Dr. Cathrine Melsaether, senior clinical development scientist, Chr. Hansen states, “The study suggests that the Bifidobacterium, BB-12® strain supports a reduction in excessive crying. In fact, the outcome of our study showed that nearly three times as many infants in the Bifidobacterium, BB-12® group saw a reduction after 21 days, compared to placebo”.

The new study also looked at the impact of the Bifidobacterium, BB-12® on sleep. Infants receiving 21 days of Bifidobacterium, BB-12® intervention slept an average of one hour more per day. Moreover, parents of the infants in the Bifidobacterium, BB-12® group reported a significant improvement in their physical, emotional and social functioning.

Lastly, Bifidobacterium, BB-12® supported regular stool movements and consistency over the 21-day study period.

Global impact
With studies in both China and Italy suggesting this strain’s ability to support the reduction of crying and fussing, plus Zone IVb stability for hot, humid and tropical environments, the BB-12® probiotic strain Bifidobacterium, has the potential to make a global impact.

“With results from both China and Italy, we have shown our probiotic strain’s ability to support the reduction of crying and fussing across different demographics and genetics. Now more infants and parents can benefit from our findings in their everyday life,” concludes Mehdi Sadaghian, scientific advisor, Chr. Hansen.

What is excessive crying?

  • Excessive crying, defined as crying for more than three hours per day on more than three days per week, has become one of the most common reasons parents consult a health care professional during the first three months of their infants ’s life.
  • While 25% of healthy infants worldwide experience excessive crying and fussing, the exact cause is unknown. However, often the infants in question have lower counts of good bacteria and increased concentrations of undesirable bacteria in their digestive tracts.


    The Bifidobacterium, BB-12® is manufactured by Chr. Hansen and proven genetically stable for decades. BB-12® is a trademark of Chr. Hansen A/S.


    Chr. Hansen is a global, differentiated bioscience company that develops natural ingredient solutions for the food, nutritional, pharmaceutical and agricultural industries. At Chr. Hansen we are uniquely positioned to drive positive change through microbial solutions. We have worked for over 145 years to enable sustainable agriculture, better food and healthier living for more people around the world. Our microbial and fermentation technology platforms, including our broad and relevant collection of around 40,000 microbial strains, have game-changing potential. Matching customer needs and global trends we continue to unlock the power of good bacteria to respond to global challenges such as food waste, global health and the overuse of antibiotics and pesticides. As the world’s most sustainable biotech company, we touch the lives of more than 1 billion people every day. Driven by our legacy of innovation and curiosity to pioneer science, our purpose – To grow a better world. Naturally. – is at the heart of everything we do.

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