Infant colic is defined as fussing and excessive, constant crying for extended periods.2 It is a major source of anxiety and distress, negatively impacting quality of life.3 Colic is common, with up to 20% of all infants under three months of age visiting the doctor's office due to colic symptoms.4, 5
Occurring in otherwise healthy infants, with no apparent cause or signs of failure to thrive,4 colic was previously defined as idiopathic, but recent clinical studies suggest that colic is related to an imbalance in the gut microbiome.3, 6
Infants with colic symptoms during the first two weeks of life showed a distinct microbial pattern with less bacterial diversity and stability in the gut microbiota.3 Intestinal dysbiosis affects the microbial concentrations, with a lower number of good (or beneficial) bacteria, particularly bifidobacteria, and increased concentrations of undesirable, and potential pathogenic bacteria.6
Bifidobacteria are found in breast milk,7 and Bifidobacterium, BB-12® has demonstrated a positive impact on infant gastrointestinal issues.8 Therefore, BB-12® may help address colic symptoms.
Though the mechanism is not entirely elucidated, one mode of action by which BB-12® may regulate intestinal dysbiosis is competitive exclusion.8,9 By utilizing the high adherence properties of BB-12®,8 the probiotic bacteria adheres to the mucosa layer in the gastrointestinal tract, occupying the potential adhesion sites of pathogenic bacteria, and thus displacing them.8 Additionally, BB-12® might regulate the microbiota by producing antimicrobial substances such as lactic acid and acetic acid; modifying the intestinal environment, making it hostile to pathogenic bacteria.10
In a randomized trial, BB-12® probiotic supplementation has been associated with improvements of colic symptoms, and of the infant gut microbiota.1
Studies suggest that BB-12® may address colic symptoms by modifying the microbiota in infants with intestinal dysbiosis. This may be achieved through producing antimicrobial substances and competing with the harmful bacteria for adhesion sites in the intestine.1
BB-12® is a registered trademark of Chr. Hansen A/S.
The article is provided for informational purposes regarding probiotics and is not meant to suggest that any substance referenced in the article is intended to diagnose, cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent any disease.
The probiotic strain Bifidobacterium, BB-12® is the world’s most documented probiotic bifidobacterium. It has been extensively studied and has been associated with improved outcomes across various health areas.
BB-12® is a trademark of Chr. Hansen A/S
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