Reducing Colic in Babies with Probiotics

When I had my first baby, I was so excited to be called a mother and to show the world my newborn baby. I did not realize that there were many types of gastrointestinal disorders for newborns out there.  The most common among infants in their first six months of life include colic, acid reflux, and constipation.

Baby colic (also known as infantile colic) is defined as “episodes of crying for more than three hours a day for more than three days a week for three weeks in an otherwise healthy child between the ages of two weeks and four months”.

Acid reflux, also called gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), is one of the most common infant feeding problems; with around 25 percent of all babies experience some degree of it.

Constipation –  well, we’ve all been there at some point in our lives, but when an infant’s has it, it can break your heart.

 Pediatricians often prescribe medications, among other ways to calm a baby that is suffering from gastrointestinal upset. Previous studies have shown that  probiotics can help reduce kid’s diarrhea when antibiotics are prescribed. We know too, that taking  probiotics everyday can benefit our digestive tract.

A new study has found another positive effect of probiotics: there are fewer doctor visits for babies – so there’s a way to save some money now.

 A new study led by Dr. Flavia Indrio at Aldo Moro University of Bari in Italy, on infants and probiotics, published in JAMA Pediatrics, shows that using probiotics in infants may lead to lower health costs associated with gastrointestinal disorders.

Researchers examined 554 newborns under a week old and were born between September 2010 and October 2012. The infants either received a placebo or a probiotic supplement that contained Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 bacteria everyday for 90 days.

The parents were required to keep a journal that included how often the child regurgitated milk or formula and emptied their bowels, the duration of inconsolable crying, and the number of doctor visits.

At the end of the three months, researchers found that the infants who took the daily probiotic;

emptied their bowels more times more than the placebo group

– had lower averages of regurgitation compared to the placebo group

– had shorter periods of inconsolable crying

Researchers also determined that using probiotics saved each patient over 100 dollars in medical costs, and there were no adverse health effects from taking a daily probiotic.

A study published in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology Nutrition in 2007, showed that infants who were formula fed and given a prebiotic mixture had normal growth and stools similar to those who are breast-fed. Prebiotics are nondigestable carbohydrates that act as food for the probiotics, which is fuel for the probiotics to survive, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Prebiotics are found in whole grains, onions, garlic, honey, and artichokes, and probiotics are found in yogurt. When prebiotics & probiotics are combined they form a synbiotic. Fermented dairy products such as kefir are synbiotic because they contain both.

 Study Outcome:

This new study found that probiotics can help decrease vomiting and the duration of inconsolable crying – and increase the number of times that newborns were able to empty their bowels, even in formula-fed infants, who are more prone to constipation.

Had I known then, what I know now….I would have given my newborn probiotics.  But, better late than never, we are all on probiotics today.

Probiotics are great for helping Diarrhea.

Do you know that you have literally millions of friendly bacteria that live in your gut?

What’s more, they’re essential to maintain good digestive function. Unfortunately, when you
experience diarrhea this upsets the normal balance of these friendly bacteria, also known as
probiotics. They are helpful bacteria or sometimes even healthy yeasts, and these friendly
bacteria help overcome many kinds of diarrhea.

The best understanding that we have about how beneficial probiotics can be is seen in studies
of diarrhea in kids, especially infectious diarrhea that is caused by rotavirus. The studies
show that probiotics shorten the time of kids having diarrhea by 1/2 to 2 days. The most
effective strains are Lactobacilllus reuteri and Saccharomyces boulardii. Infact Saccharomyces
Boulardii is one of the strains found in our best seller for kids, Primal Defense.

Traveling internationally is another reason for coming down with a bout of diarrhea. Very often
it’s a matter of eating contaminated food or water, or merely being a new environment where the
bacteria are unfamiliar to your body. is a frequent problem for travelers. Taking probiotics
before you travel can lower your risk of getting diarrhea. We get very good results with Dr
Ohhira’as Original Probiotics formula.

Talking about Dr Ohhira’s prrobiotic, there is clinical research to show its effectivity
against C. difficile
, which is often acquired after a hospital stay. C difficile may lead to
severe and sometimes life-threatening diarrhea and colitis. So taking these probiotics may help
prevent C. difficile infection and even more importantly that it may control repeat infections.

Other studies show that Saccharomyces boulardii and Lactobacillus GG are alos effective. In one
large study, people who were suffering with recurrent diarrhea were given a probiotic or a pill
that was not a probiotic, ie a placebo. They found that only 9 out of 26 people in the group
taking probiotics had a further recurrence of the diarrhea while in the other group who were
taking the placebo, 22 out of 34 had recurrent diarrhea.

Another probiotic that has been in the news lately, is VSL#3. This is because it has been shown
to be very effective in reducing symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis. This is a very important
finding because the drugs that are usually prescribed have many side effects with adverse
effects on the immune system.  Now the Junior Packs are also available.

Another very important time to be supplementing with probiotics is when taking antibiotics.
Unfortunately, although antibiotics kill the bad bacteria that make you sick, they also kill
the good bacteria. This leads to a dsiruption of the normal balance of the gut flora in the
gut and that may cause diarrhea. In fact, diarrhea is known to be a common side effect in as
many as 10% – 30% of those who take antibiotics. We recommend that you consider giving your
kids and even taking them yourself, before, during and most importantly after you take

This will lower your risk or at least shorten the length of time you experience diarrhea.
Studies using Saccharomyces boulardii and Lactobacillus GG seem to be the most effective.
Lactobacillus GG is the probiotic used in Culturelle.

Probiotics are very safe to use for people of all ages. They rarely cause side effects, perhaps
some gas, however, that’s usually due to a type of  ‘detox’ or Herxheimer reaction when the bad
bacteria are dying off andcausing symptoms. Other important factors to take into account are
the quality and strength of the particular brand. Its very important to select effective
probiotics and also to take a high enough number of live microorganisms to make it worth while

17 Probiotic use in Diarrhea

Probiotics in Diarrhea

Antibiotic-associated diarrhea

Several reports exist on the benefits of probiotics in this common complication of the use of antibiotics. For example, in the prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea, 45 patients being treated with antibiotics were given, concurrently, one capsule of either Enterococcus SF68 or placebo for 7 days (10 centers) twice daily.

Enterococcus SF 68 was effective in reducing the incidence of antibiotic-associated diarrhea compared to placebo (8.7% compared to 27.2%, respectively) (96). Important here is the evidence that Enterococcus SF68 has been withdrawn because of the risk of antibiotic resistance transfer. Not all reports are similarly encouraging but the type of probiotics used may be important in achieving results.
Probiotics in acute diarrhea

Multiple studies in children have shown that Lactobacillus, administered orally, may have antidiarrheal properties. To determine the effect of Lactobacillus GG on the course of acute diarrhea in hospitalized children, a prospective, placebo-controlled, triple-blind clinical trial was carried out in Pakistan. Forty children (mean age, 13 months) received either oral Lactobacillus GG (n = 21) or placebo (n = 19) twice daily for 2 days, after rehydration in addition to the usual diet.

The clinical course of diarrhea was followed during the treatment period. The features for admission into the study groups were similar and were characterized by severe diarrhea, malnutrition and inappropriate management before presentation. Response was evident on day 2, when the frequency of both vomiting and diarrhea was less in the Lactobacillus group. In those patients with acute nonbloody diarrhea (n = 32), the percentage of children with persistent watery diarrhea at 48 hours was significantly lower in the Lactobacillus group (31 % versus 75%). No significant difference was observed after 48 hours in those with bloody diarrhea (97).

Van Niel et al. (98) conducted a meta-analysis of randomized, controlled studies to assess whether treatment with Lactobacillus improved clinical outcome in children with acute infectious diarrhea. They conducted a search in bibliographic databases of traditional biomedical as well as complementary and alternative medicine literature published between 1966 and 2000. The original search yielded 26 studies, nine of which met the criteria. A reduction of 0.7 days in diarrhea duration and a reduction of 1.6 stools for diarrhea frequency was attained on day 2 of treatment in the participants who received Lactobacillus compared to those who received placebo. A preplanned subanalysis suggested a dose-effect relationship. The results of this meta-analysis suggested that Lactobacillus is safe and effective as a treatment for children with acute infectious diarrhea.
Probiotics in rota virus diarrhea

Rotavirus was discovered in children with gastroenteritis by Bishop et al. in 1973 (99). This agent causes widespread morbidity and 870,000 deaths worldwide each year. As Bishop said, “after doing a lot of background reading, it became clear that there probably was an infectious agent but we could not get anything to grow in culture”. Bishop et al. (99) participated in the development of vaccines against rotavirus, the first of which was licensed for use in the USA in 1998.

The effect of orally administered lactobacilli on acute rotavirus diarrhea was tested by Isolauri et al. (100) in 42 well-nourished children aged 5-28 months. After oral rehydration, the patients received human L. casei strain GG 1010 CFU twice daily for 5 days. The control group was not given lactobacilli. Lactobacillus GG was found in the feces of 83% of the group with L. casei strain GG. The diarrheal phase was shortened in that group. The dietary supplementation with lactobacilli significantly influenced the bacterial enzyme profile. Urease activity during diarrhea transiently increased in the control group but not in the group receiving L. casei strain GG. No intergroup differences were found in B-glucuronidase, B-glucosindase, and glycocholic acid hydrolase levels.

Therefore, Isolauri et al. suggested that rotavirus infection gives rise to biphasic diarrhea, the first phase being an osmotic diarrhea and the second associated with overgrowth of specifically ureaseproducing bacteria. Oral bacteriotherapy appears to be a promising means to counteract the disturbed microbial balance.

To evaluate the ingested strain’s adherent properties and ability to inhibit murine rotavirus infection, Duffy et al. (101) administered human Bifidobacterium sp. strain bifidum to BALB/c lactating mice (n = 58) and their litters (n = 327 pups). ELISA and anaerobic bacteriologic techniques were used to measure murine rotavirus shedding and colonization of Bifidobacterium in the small intestine.

At 1316 days of gestation, pregnant dams (and their expected litters) were randomly assigned to one of four experimental groups as follows: normal controls; B. bifidum-treated only; murine rotavirus-infected only; and B. bifidum-treated plus murine rotavirus-infected dams and litters. During the acute phase of diarrhea, 80% of small-intestine cultures in B. bifidum-treated litters were positive for the ingested B. bifidum strain compared to 24% of fecal cultures.

The examination of tissue cross sections under electron microscopy revealed the ingested B. bifidum strain survived passage through the upper gastrointestinal tract and adhered to the small-intestine epithelium. After the administration of the high dose of virus, diarrhea developed in all pups, but onset was significantly delayed in B. bifidum-treated plus

Murine rotavirus-infected litters compared to litters infected with murine rotavirus only. B. bifidum-treated plus murine rotavirus-infected pups demonstrated a significant reduction in murine rotavirus shedding compared with litters challenged with murine rotavirus only at day 2-10 after inoculation. More direct studies are needed to assess the mechanisms by which this anaerobe may modify the course of murine rotavirus infection at the level of gut epithelium.

Qiao et al. (102) evaluated the potential synergistic effects of Bifidobacterium spp. (B. bifidum and B. infantis), with or without prebiotic compounds (arabi no-galactan, short-chain fructooligosaccharide, iso-maltodextrins), on modulating the course of rhesus rotavirus infection, as well as their ability to mediate the associated mucosal and humoral immune responses. Therefore, they fed these species orally to pups. Rotavirus-specific IgA and IgG in serum, rotavirus antigen, and specific IgA in feces were measured by ELISA. Mucosal total IgA and IgG levels were determined in Peyer’s patches by flow cytometry.

Significantly delayed onset and early resolution of diarrhea were observed in bifidobacteria-treated, rhesus rota virus-infected mice compared with rhesus rotavirus-infected control mice. They saw that supplementation with prebiotic compounds did not shorten the clinical course of diarrhea more than that observed with bifidobacteria treatment alone. Rotavirus-specific IgA in feces was elevated 16-fold on day 5 postinfection in bifidObacteria-treated, rhesus rotavirus-infected mice compared with the rhesus rotavirus-infected only group. In addition, the level of rotavirus-specific IgA in serum was fourfold higher in bifidobacteria-treated, rhesus rota virus-infected litters versus mice challenged with rhesus rotavirus alone on 28 and 42 days postinfection.

They found no enhancement of the immune response in rhesus rotavirus-infected mice that were treated with both bifidobacteria and prebiotic compounds over those treated with bifidobacteria alone. These findings suggested that bifidobacteria may act as an adjuvant by modulating early mucosal and strong humoral rotavirus-specific immune responses, and mitigate the severity of rotavirus-induced diarrhea (102).


Probiotics are “friendly” bacteria


Did you Know?

Probiotics are friendly bacteria

Courtesy of precisionnutrition.com



As we age, reduced stomach acid makes it easier for harmful pathogenic bacteria we ingest to survive and grow in our intestines. The result is a drop in immunity. To preserve immune function, it’s a good idea to take a probiotic that replaces the good bacteria, such as Bifidum and Lactobacillus.

Probiotics are live organisms, microflora, sometimes called “friendly” bacteria, naturally present in your digestive tract. and also available in probiotic foods like active culture yogurt and kefir.

Your intestines already contain huge amounts of probiotics, or friendly bacteria—about three pounds—or about 100 trillion of them. By supplementing your diet with probiotics, you’re ingesting good bacteria to crowd out the bad guys.

Probiotics can ease or prevent:

  • Diarrhea due to antibiotic use,
  • Traveler’s diarrhea,
  • Cancer therapy,
  • Irritable bowel syndrome, and
  • Some forms of inflammatory bowel disease.