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Cutting Maternal Allergens in Diet May Curb Colic

Excluding cow's milk and other allergens from breast-feeding mother's diet reduces infantile colic

TUESDAY, Nov. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Cutting potentially allergenic foods from the maternal diet may reduce colic in breast-fed infants, according to a study in the November issue of Pediatrics.

David J. Hill, FRACP, of Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, and colleagues studied the effects of a low-allergen maternal diet among breast-fed infants presenting with colic. In the active arm of the study, women removed cow's milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy and fish from their diet. Mothers in the control group did not alter their diet.

Of 107 infants, 90 finished the trial. Their mean age was 5.7 weeks, and 54 were boys. While infants in both groups originally "presented with significant distress," the cry/fuss duration per 48 hours dropped by 21% in women on a low-allergen diet compared with controls. However, there was no significant difference in women's subjective assessment of crying.

"Exclusion of allergenic foods from the maternal diet was associated with a reduction in distressed behavior among breast-fed infants with colic presenting in the first six weeks of life," the authors write.

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