Children with severe colic can benefit from a daily dose of a probiotic supplement containing Lactobacillus Reuteri, a bacterium that helps improve digestion, new research has revealed.

The bacterium is known to improve digestion and reduce crying among infants with colic, a disease that occurs during the first three months of a child’s life wherein a healthy child starts crying without a break for as many as three hours each day.

Researchers at the University of Turin in Italy compared a group of 25 healthy infants randomly assigned to receive drops of the bacterium to another group of 21 infants receiving placebo drops. All the infants were diagnosed with colic.

The research team then measured crying where it was found that the crying times were pretty much the same in the two groups of infants. However, over a three-week period, those who received placebo drops were seen crying more than the other group.

The results of the study, published in the online version of the medical journal Pediatrics, suggest that colic may be linked to an immature immune system that is trying to do away with bacterial imbalances in the gastrointestinal tract. In addition, the high levels of E.coli bacteria may also contribute.

The team suggests the findings further support the belief that the Lactobacillus Reuteri may help cut down colic symptoms by improving gut motility and functions. These could help reduce gas in the gastrointestinal tract and soothe abdominal pain and cramping.