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Recent Studies Show Benefits of K12 Probiotic

03/19/2013 04:57 pm ET | Updated May 19, 2013

A recent study released by the International Journal of General Medicine cited the oral health benefits of the probiotic BLIS K12 ingredient in preventing reoccurring infections in the mouth and throat in children. A second study found that the ingredient may offer the same benefits for adults. Researchers from Stratum Nutrition reported that the specific strain of Streptococcus salivarius (S. salivarius) secretes antimicrobial molecules to support upper respiratory health and prevent bad breath. The administration of the probiotic strand may be able to reduce the amount of streptococcal pharyngeal infections.

BLIS K12 ingredient

BLIS, or bacteriocin-like-inhibitory substances, is a specific strain of strep that may help promote healthy bacteria in the mouth and prompt fresh breath and a healthy immune system. NutraIngredients reported the ingredient was developed by a group of scientists at the University of Otago in New Zealand by professor John Tagg of the school's microbiology department. Tagg was searching for a protective mouth bacteria when BLIS K12 was created. When taken on a daily basis, studies have suggested this ingredient has been very effective.

The study in children

According to the International Journal of General Medicine, researchers enrolled 82 children, 65 of which had a recent diagnosis of recurrent oral streptococcal and 17 that did not. Twenty children in the recurrent group served as the control group, as well as the 17 who did not experience symptoms, while the 45 others were treated daily for 90 days with a slow-release tablet containing 5 billion colony-forming units of the probiotic ingredient. The treatment was then followed by a six-month period without use of the product.

Of the children who completed the 90-day treatment of K12, 90 percent showed a reduction in streptococcal pharyngeal episodes and 40 percent saw a reduction of acute otitis media, a type of middle ear infection. No side effects of dropouts were reported during the study.

The effect on adults

Velleja Research conducted a similar study with 40 adults who had a history of recurrent throat and ear infections. The group of adults was evenly split into a control group and those who were subjects for a 90-day treatment of K12. Of those 20 individuals who took the oral probiotic, 80 percent saw a reduction in episodes of streptococcal pharyngeal infection. Roughly 60 percent of participants saw a reduction in pharyngitis after the use of the product. Similar to the children, there were no side effects or dropouts reported.

Barry Richardson of BLIS Technologies told Nutraceutical Business and Technology:

We have seen that BLIS K12 probiotic, when taken on a daily basis, is very effective at establishing itself inside the mouth and throat. This is important because BLIS K12 has evolved a number of defense mechanisms, which protects it from other bacteria, such as those shown to cause tonsillitis etc; by protecting itself from harmful bacteria, BLIS K12 also protects us from harmful bacteria.

According to BLIS K12's official website, the strain is the first probiotic that was specifically developed to help support and maintain the immune system health of the ear, nose and throat, as well as the oral cavity. Richardson also noted that doctors have been aware of the effectiveness of the BLIS K12 from several years of research, but the third-party findings help to defend their work.

What it can do for your breath

Probiotic bacteria establish themselves within the mouth and work to counteract the bad bacteria that cause bad breath and lead to cavities. According to the book Understanding Food: Principles and Preparation, BLIS K12 have protective properties to prevent the harmful growth of bacteria in the mouth. Replacing bad bacteria with good can also help to avoid periodontal disease, or gum disease, tonsil stones and other oral health issues. In addition, these types of oral conditions are thought to be linked to other ailments such as heart disease and diabetes.

Other health benefits

According to the Harvard Medical School, a growing body of scientific evidence shows that some illnesses can be prevented and treated with live bacteria that counteract the harmful bacteria in the body. Clinical studies have shown that probiotic therapy can be used to delay the development of allergies and treat gastrointestinal issues. It can also help the body to absorb nutrients, aid in digestion, improve immune health and keep harmful pathogens at bay. Ailments such as Crohn's disease and irritable bowel syndrome are also thought to be aided by probiotic therapy.

Probiotics have made their mark on digestive health. With bad breath often being a symptom of larger bodily issues, it makes sense to include a variety of these healthful bacteria into any diet.

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