I’ve grilled in the idea that the bacteria in our body is not always detrimental and should not be wantonly destroyed with antibiotics.
Quite the opposite–when healthy bacterial flora is present our bodies benefit. And the list of benefits is quite long and includes pretty much any condition or disease that the human body can experience. And this relationship between the bacteria in our gut and our health starts early in life.
In this particular study, a group of 46 infants with colic were in the control group or were given a specific form of probiotic (Lactobacillus reuteri to the tune of 800 million / day – which is much lower then I usually recommend in inftants) and found some pretty strong benefits on colic. For any of those parents out there dealing with a colicky baby, anything that can help is a godsend. If that intervention happens to be inexpensive and simple, it becomes a no-brainer. Here’s what the researchers found:
- Responders (50% reduction in crying time from baseline) were higher in the L reuteri group versus the placebo group on days 7 (20 vs 8), day 14 (24 vs 13), and day 21 (24 vs 15).
Now, long before the colic sets in, we need to understand that mom needs to have good bacteria to start with–both in the vaginal vault and in her gut so that she can transport the bacteria to her breast milk for nursing. That means that if mom has EVER had antibiotics and did not replace the good bacteria that was destroyed, she will likely not have the good bacteria to pass on to the newborn during the travel through the birth canal and subsequently through nursing. I would also add that, if a nursing mother has an infant experiencing colic, chiropractic adjustments and having mom avoid dairy have been shown to help as well.