Oral-health probiotic BLIS K12 (Streptococcus salivarius K12) is already supported by published research suggesting it can reduce the occurrence of streptococcal pharyngo-tonsillitis (PT) and acute otitis media (AOM) in children, but new study results suggest the probiotic may also reduce incidence of PT and AOM in young children with no prior history of such infections. BLIS K12 developer Blis Technologies (Dunedin, New Zealand) and North American distributor Stratum Nutrition (Saint Charles, MO) shared results of the study last week.
The study included 222 healthy, ethnically diverse children around the age of three years (aged 33–45 months) who were soon to attend their first year of kindergarten at the time of enrollment in the study. The children were randomized into two demographically equivalent groups, with one group given one slow-dissolving BLIS K12 probiotic tablet to take daily for six months, followed by an additional three-month follow-up in a sub-population of 29 subjects. The other 111 children who did not receive BLIS K12 served as an untreated control group. During the six-month intervention period and the three-month follow-up, researchers evaluated subjects for treatment tolerance and episodes of streptococcal PT, scarlet fever, and AOM.
While the control group had 48% of children diagnosed with streptococcal PT during the intervention period and 80% diagnosed with AOM, the BLIS K12 group showed streptococcal PT and AOM incidence of just 16% and 44%, respectively. Additionally, during the 3-month follow-up period, streptococcal PT and AOM incidence was found to be 15% and 12% in the probiotic group, respectively, compared to 26% and 36% in the control group.
“The daily administration of BLIS K12 to children attending their first year of kindergarten was associated with a significant reduction in episodes of streptococcal pharyngitis and acute otitis media,” researchers concluded. They noted that no protection against scarlet fever was found.
“Once again, the clinical efficacy of BLIS K12 is reported in an entirely new population of children who might potentially benefits,” said Joseph L. Evans, PhD, founder and president of P & N Development Ventures and former executive manager of research and development for Stratum Nutrition. “It is one achievement to demonstrate the protective benefits in a population that has proven to be susceptible. It is an altogether new challenge to show an analogous benefit in those who had exhibited no previous susceptibility.
Evans added that streptococcal PT and AOM are primary reasons for practitioner visits among children this age, although there are not currently proven or approved prophylactic agents available—making these findings on BLIS K12 all the more noteworthy.
Nutritional Outlook Magazine
Di Pierro F et al., “Effect of administration of Streptococcus salivarius K12 on the occurrence of streptococcal pharyngo-tonsillitis, scarlet fever and acute otitis media in 3 years old children,” European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences, vol. 20, no. 21 (November 2016): 4601–4606