Published: Wednesday, 27 June 2012
Parents could soon have new tools to soothe the tummies and ease
the cries of colicky infants, thanks to a new study at the
Children's Nutrition Research Centre, School of Medicine, The
University of Queensland.
Study leader Tracy Harb said the research aimed to determine
whether careful modifications to the diets of lactating mothers
would ease the symptoms of colic in babies.
"Colic is unexplained, persistent crying in an otherwise healthy
baby and in spite of much research into the condition, its cause
and its treatment remains unknown," Ms Harb said.
"One popular theory is that colic may be triggered in breastfed
babies when foods consumed by the mother cause symptoms of food
allergy, intolerance or gastrointestinal discomfort.
"Mothers are often told to avoid cruciferous vegetables (broccoli,
cauliflower and cabbage), chocolate, onion, and cow's milk, as it
is commonly thought that they may cause colic in infants - yet
limited scientific evidence exists to support this claim.
"Our study will compare a standard medical treatment for suspected
reflux for colic with two special maternal diets.
"During the four week intervention period, mothers and babies will
undergo a range of simple tests to determine whether dietary
interventions are suitable treatments for colic, and which dietary
interventions are most successful in alleviating symptoms for
"We hope this study will finally resolve whether maternal diet is
associated with the incidence of colic in breastfed babies, and
support the development of evidence-based treatment options for
primary health care professionals to assist parents of babies with
The Children's Nutrition Research Centre is seeking mothers of
colicky or unsettled babies who are exclusively breastfed and
younger than four months of age to participate in the study.
Volunteers need to live in the Brisbane Metropolitan area, the
Canberra Region and Sydney metropolitan area and be willing to
undertake some brief questionnaires and follow a prescribed diet
for a four week period.
Contact: Tracy Harb, 0407 381 691