Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 16, Issue 6, pp 1319–1331 | Cite as

Dietary Management of Infantile Colic: A Systematic Review

  • Marina Iacovou
  • Robin A. Ralston
  • Jane Muir
  • Karen Z. Walker
  • Helen Truby


Infantile colic, the cause of 10–20% of all early paediatrician visits, can lead to parental exhaustion and stress. A systematic review was conducted to examine whether dietary change provides an effective therapy for infantile colic. Six databases were searched from 1960, and 24 studies selected for inclusion. In breastfed infants, evidence suggests that a hypoallergenic maternal diet may be beneficial for reducing symptoms of colic. In formula-fed infants, colic may improve after changing from a standard cow’s milk formula to either a hydrolysed protein formula or a soy-based formula. Fibre-supplemented formulae had no effect. Removal of poorly digested carbohydrates from the infant’s diet has promise, but additional clinical studies must be conducted before a recommendation can be made. Use of a universal definition to measure symptoms of infantile colic and consistent analysis of urine and faecal samples would improve the evidence in this area.


Infantile colic Diet Breastfed infants Formula-fed infants 


Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marina Iacovou
    • 1
  • Robin A. Ralston
    • 1
  • Jane Muir
    • 2
  • Karen Z. Walker
    • 1
  • Helen Truby
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Monash Medical Centre, Southern Clinical School of MedicineMonash UniversityClaytonAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Medicine, Eastern Health Clinical SchoolMonash UniversityBox HillAustralia

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