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potential benefits of probiotics for relieving colic

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Unread 08.30.10, 09:02 AM
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potential benefits of probiotics for relieving colic


Dear Reader,

He doesn't know why he's in pain -- he just is.

He can't tell you where it hurts -- so he just cries. And cries. And cries. For hours at a time.

Staring at his clenched fists and screwed-tight face, you can't help but feel helpless.

If you have a child or grandchild with colic, this scene is probably familiar. All you want to do is bring relief to the poor baby, but what can you do?

Most theories of colic have to do with food hypersensitivity or abnormal gut function.

So, could babies benefit from a supplement we adults rely upon to keep our digestive systems in tip-top shape?

That was the question on the minds of a group of researchers who recently carried out two separate studies on the potential benefits of probiotics for relieving colic.

The first was published in the journal Pediatrics. It found that a daily dose of Lactobacillus reuteri (L. reuteri) -- 108 colony-forming units per day -- improved symptoms and was well-tolerated in breastfed infants.

Babies who were given the supplement went from crying an average 370 minutes per day to 35 minutes per day in 21 days with no adverse effects. In the same time frame, babies taking a placebo went from crying an average 300 minutes per day to 90 minutes per day.

All but one of the infants in the probiotic group responded to treatment (defined as a 50% reduction in crying time from the baseline time). Most of them responded within one week.

In the second study, published in Epidemiology and Infection, young children suffering from diarrhea were given a probiotic drink called Yakult. Researchers found the drink was beneficial. I checked out the ingredients for Yakult and there's a lot of sugar in there, not to mention artificial flavoring, so you might want to stick with another source for probiotics for your tummy-troubled baby.

If you're interested in learning about a few other ways to treat colic naturally and safely, subscribers can check out the September 2006 article "Herbal secrets for quieting a colicky baby" by logging on to the archive at www.wrightnewsletter.com.

Yours in good health,

Christine O'Brien
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