This is a double blind, placebo-controlled pilot study investigating the effects of daily probiotic supplementation on feeding tolerance and gastrointestinal motility in healthy, formula-fed preterm infants.

Thirty infants with a mean gestational age of 34 weeks and mean birth weight of 1,890 gram were enrolled. Ten infants were exclusively breast-fed, and 20 were randomly assigned to receive either 1×10^8 CFU (Colony Forming Units) of Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC 55730/day or placebo for 30 days, and a standard infant formula.


Fig. 1 In each patient the gastric emptying rate was expressed as percent reduction in antral cross sectional area from time 0 to 120 minutes after the meal ingestion.

indrio_2008_2At the end of the study period gastric emptying rate was significantly improved in formula-fed infants receiving Lactobacillus reuteri compared to the placebo group (P<0.001), as measured by ultrasonography.

Daily regurgitations were reduced to 2.1 vs. 4.2 (P<0.01) and daily bowel evacuations were increased to 3.7 vs. 2.1 (P<0.05), respectively. Daily crying time was significantly decreased to 32 minutes in the Lactobacillus reuteri group vs. 88 minutes/day in the placebo group (P<0.01). The breast-fed infants’ mean daily crying time was 66 minutes. Weight gain per day was similar in the three groups and there were no adverse events.

Conclusion: Daily Lactobacillus reuteri supplementation to preterm formula-fed newborns improved tolerance to the formula. This was shown as a significant decrease in regurgitations and mean daily crying time, and an increased number of stools compared to those given placebo. Gastric emptying was also improved.



Indrio F, Riezzo G, Raimondi F, Bisceglia M, Cavallo L, Francavilla R. The effects of probiotics on feeding tolerance, bowel habits, and gastrointestinal motility in preterm newborns. J Pediatrics 2008;152:801-806.

Crawling baby

For the avoidance of doubt, BioGaia’s products are food supplements, and the information on this part of the website should not be interpreted as our products are intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

The information on this part of the website is intended only for health care and business professionals. If you are not a health care or business professional and would like to learn more about the indications BioGaia works with, please visit our Expertise pages.

Please read terms & conditions before accepting. By clicking on the button “I acknowledge and accept” you confirm that you are a healthcare or business professional and have read and understood this disclaimer including the terms and conditions.