A new study found a strain of probiotics powerful in fighting two common childhood illnesses. The bug, Streptococcus salivarius (BLIS K12), fought the illneses streptococcal and viral pharyngontonsilitis – the dreaded lousy sore throat that seems guaranteed to make its way around classrooms every winter.
The study was published in the Journal of Drug, Healthcare and Patient Safety, and mentioned on Natural Products Insider. Researchers looked at 60 kids between the ages of three and 13 with a history of recurrent throat infection. Half the kids consumed lozenges with the probiotic for 90 days while the other half served as the control group. Researchers found a 96 percent reduction in the incidence of streptococcal sore throat in the kids who took the probiotic-laced lozenges. Researchers also found an 80-percent reduction in episodes of viral infections and a reduction in the number of days when antibiotics (amoxicillin) and antipyretics were used. The number of days the subjects missed school because they were sick went from 228 to 16, according to Natural Products Insider.
What is this amazing bug that may keep kids in the classroom even during the germy depths of February? BLIS K12 is a strain of bacteria found in the mouths of healthy people. Kind of like a bacterial Clark Kent, it’s common, but also can have germ-fighting superpowers. It has the ability to inhibit undesirable bacteria, such as the dastardly S. pyogenes and S. pneumonia.
This study adds to the growing research supporting the health-promoting powers of probiotics which has led to more and more products on the market that include them, such as probiotic coffee, which now comes conveniently in office-friendly K-cups, making it easier for workerbees to enjoy an afternoon microbe break.