Clinical précis: Lactobacillus reuteri (DSM 17938) (BioGaia)
in infant colic and childhood abdominal pain
Etiology and manifestations of infant colic8,9
There are several possible causes of infant colic, including painful intestinal contractions, lactose intolerance, food hypersensitivity, altered gut microbial flora, gas, parental misinterpretation of the normal crying pattern, or combinations of all of these.8 Whatever the cause, the primary symptoms are excessive irritability, fussiness or crying for at least 3 hours a day, 3 days a week, in any 1 week for at least 3 weeks. Infant colic affects as many as 1 out of 4 babies and causes parents significant distress.9
Lactobacillus reuteri (BioGaia) helped relieve symptoms in 9 out of 10 babies with infant colic9
BioGaia has undergone the highest standards of scrutiny available for natural health products.

Better quality of life for parents and families.10
A 2012 randomized, controlled, double-blind trial in 80 babies defined treatment success as ≥ 50% reduction in crying time and duration of crying from baseline and noted “the response to [BioGaia] was impressive.” The authors also reported improved quality of life for the parents and families of babies treated with L. reuteri (BioGaia). The conclusion:

“Exclusively or predominantly breastfed infants with infantile colic benefit from the administration of L. reuteri DSM 17938...“

Study details


Improved symptoms in 96% and changes in the microbial flora.11
In a study where 96% of babies responded to treatment, the authors observed: “L. reuteri DSM 17938 [BioGaia] . . . improved symptoms of infantile colic and was well tolerated and safe. Gut microbiota changes induced by the probiotic could be involved in the observed clinical improvements.”

Study details
Children with functional abdominal pain (FAP)12
Functional abdominal pain (FAP) may affect as many as 1 in 5 school-aged children, and is defined as at least 3 episodes of abdominal pain over a period of more than 3 months, which can be severe enough to affect daily activity. Functional gastrointestinal disorders can have a significant impact on a child’s quality of life, with more frequent visits to a doctor and a drop in school attendance; changes in the microbial flora may contribute to FAP.
L. reuteri (BioGaia): Tested and shown to help relieve FAP12
L. reuteri (BioGaia):

  • Has anti-pathogen activity
  • Survives gastrointestinal passage
  • Colonizes the entire gastrointestinal tract
  • Interacts with the immune system
  • Stimulates cytokine release in distal tissues

BioGaia helped reduce abdominal pain.12
In 2010, the authors of a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of 60 children reported:

“The [BioGaia]-supplemented children had significantly lower pain intensity compared with the placebo controls . . . Supplementation with L. reuteri [BioGaia] reduced perceived abdominal pain intensity, which may encourage clinicians to use this probiotic in children with FAP.”

Study details

BioGaia chewable tablets and drops bear Natural Product Numbers (NPNs) 80012472 and 80012473, respectively.
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The World Health Organization defines a clinical trial as “any research study that prospectively assigns human participants or groups of humans to one or more health-related interventions to evaluate the effects on health outcomes.”
An NPN indicates a product has been issued a product license by Health Canada, and appears in Health Canada’s Natural Health Products Database.