New Study: Probiotics and Infant Gastrointestinal Disorders

Probiotics may improve gastrointestinal health in infants

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Giving an infant probiotics in the first three months of life can reduce the onset of gastrointestinal disorders. This is the outcome of an Italian study published in "JAMA".

The study, conducted by Aldo Moro University in Bari, involved 554 newborns. Over the course of 90 days, they either received a probiotic with lactobacilli or a placebo. During this time, the parents were asked to keep a diary in which they recorded paediatrician visits, vomiting, emptying of the bowels and phases of inconsolable crying.

According to the scientists, the duration of crying time, vomiting and bowel movements partly differed considerably between the probiotic and the placebo group (crying time: 38 versus 71 minutes daily). In addition, the health costs per patient in the probiotic group were 119 US dollars lower.

Treatment with probiotics, through which the gut flora changed due to the lactobacilli, could, according to the authors led by Flavio Indiro, at least be an option for predisposed infants.