L. reuteri Prophylaxis Found Beneficial for Term Newborns

(HealthDay News) – Prophylaxis with Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 during the first three months of life correlates with a reduction in functional gastrointestinal disorder symptoms and associated costs, according to a study published online Jan. 13 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Flavia Indrio, MD, from Aldo Moro University of Bari in Italy, and colleagues conducted a prospective, multicenter, double-masked, placebo-controlled study involving 589 term newborns born at nine different neonatal units in Italy. The infants were randomized to receive L. reuteri DSM 17938 or placebo daily for 90 days.

The researchers found that at 3 months of age there were significant differences between L. reuteri DSM 17938 and placebo groups in the mean duration of crying time (38 vs. 71 minutes; P<0.01); the mean number of regurgitations per day (2.9 vs. 4.6; P<0.01); and the mean number of evacuations per day (4.2 vs. 3.6; P<0.01). The estimated mean savings associated with use of L. reuteri DSM 17938 were $118.71 for the family and $140.30 for the community.

“Given the considerable burden of morbidity and the socioeconomic impact of early-life functional gastrointestinal disorders, new research should urgently be initiated not only to validate our results but also to tailor optimal schemes of intervention,” the authors write.

The study was funded by BioGaia AB, which provided the active study product and the placebo.

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