This newly published Cochrane Review assessed the efficacy and safety of prophylatic probiotics in preventing or reducing severity of infantile colic.
The review included six randomised controlled trials, with 1886 participants (pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers or newbord babies, depending on the study design), comparing probiotics with placebo. Two studies examined Lactobacillus reuteri DSM, two examined multi-strain probiotics, one examined Lactobacillus rhamnosus, and one examined Lactobacillus paracasei and Bifidobacterium animalis. Two studies began probiotics during pregnancy and continued administering them to the baby after birth.
The review authors found no clear evidence that probiotics are more effective than placebo at preventing infantile colic. However, daily crying time appeared to reduce with probiotic use compared to placebo. There were no clear differences in adverse effects; only four serious events were reported in one large study and these were clinically unlikely to be linked to the taking of the study products.
The review authors rated the overall quality of the evidence as low: they have limited confidence in the effect estimate; the true effect may be substantially different from the estimate of the effect.
Read the full review here.