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Study examines probiotic use in preventing gastrointestinal disorders in infants
Giving an infant a probiotic during the first three months of life appears to reduce the onset of gastrointestinal disorders and result in lower associated costs, according to a study by Flavia Indrio, M.D., of the Aldo Moro University of Bari, Italy, and colleagues.

Infant colic, acid reflux and constipation are the most common gastrointestinal disorders that lead to a pediatrician referral during the first six months of life. They are often responsible for hospitalization, feeding changes, use of drugs, parental anxiety and loss of parental working days, according to the study background.

Researchers randomized 554 newborns in nine pediatric units in Italy to the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 (L reuteri DSM 17938) or placebo for 90 days, and asked parents to record in diary entries the number of vomiting episodes and evacuations (emptying of the bowels), the duration of inconsolable crying and the number of pediatrician visits. Change in daily crying time, vomiting, constipation and the cost benefits of probiotic supplement use was measured during the three month period.

At three months of age, the average duration of crying time (38 vs. 71 minutes), regurgitations (2.9 vs. 4.6) and evacuations per day (4.2 vs. 3.6) differed in the probiotic and placebo groups, respectively. Probiotic use also was associated with a nearly $119 average savings per patient in each family.

"Driving a change of colonization during the first weeks of life through giving lactobacilli may promote an improvement in intestinal permeability; visceral sensitivity and mast cell density and probiotic administration may represent a new strategy for preventing these conditions, at least in predisposed children," the authors conclude.

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APBN Editorial Calendar 2017
January:
Healthcare Focus: LUNGS
February:
War on CANCER
March:
Get to Know TCM
April:
Diabetes: The Big Picture
May:
The Piece of Your Mind - Brain Health/Science
June:
Rare Diseases
July:
Food Science & Technology
August:
Eye Care/ Eye Health
September:
No. 1 Killer - Heart Diseases, Diagnosis and Treatment
October:
Skin Diseases/Allergic Reactions
November:
Diseases threatening our Children
December:
Liver Health & Treatment/Technology
Editorial calendar is subjected to changes.
– Editor: Carmen, Jia Wen Loh
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