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Toddlers Now Get Benefits Of Probiotics


For immediate release

July 23, 2014

Toddlers Now Get Benefits Of Probiotics

Dunedin-based BLIS Technologies has launched a new probiotic powder suitable for children as young as six months old. The powder, part of the BLIS K12™ product range, is aimed at introducing healthy bacteria into the mouth and throats of young children to support ear, nose and throat health.

CEO Barry Richarson says every parent dreads the onset of middle ear infection in their child.

“Some children are lucky and seldom get middle ear infections. Others, though, are prone to them. And like most childhood illnesses, they’re worse at night. Chances are high that all children will have at least one middle ear infection before they turn six.”

Middle ear infection often begins with a sore throat or cold. Many middle ear infections are viral and don’t respond to antibiotics. Pain relief and time to recover are as much as as any parent can do. For bacterial caused middle ear infections treatment can be ineffective if started too late and the result is likely to be a burst eardrum, and hearing loss for the duration of the infection.

University of Otago researcher Professor John Tagg discovered BLIS K12™, the world’s first bacterial replacement probiotic specifically developed for both the mouth and the throat. It was isolated after Professor Tagg noticed some children didn’t get sore throats as often as others. Analysing their saliva, he found those children having fewer (or no) sore throats had different types of bacteria in their saliva.

BLIS K12™ is a probiotic that has been shown in trials1-3 to reduce the frequency of throat infections and middle ear infections.

“When taken regularly it maintains the healthy bacterial population in the saliva to a level that staves off infections. And that’s a win-win. Healthier children means less time off work for working parents,” says Richardson.

Italian clinical trials of BLIS K12™ in children who regularly came down with streptococcal sore throats, the source of middle ear infection, showed over 90% reduction in doctor visits, days off school and, as a result, days off work for parents looking after sick children3.

The group of treated children spent a combined total of 30 days under antibiotic treatment while the control group spent a combined total of 900 days on antibiotics.

Traditionally, BLIS K12™ only came in lozenge form.

“That’s an effective way for older children and adults to take the supplement, but it doesn’t work for tots. So now it’s available in a strawberry and vanilla flavoured powder sprinkled over food twice a day.”

Pilot studies1 of children with recurrent ear infections indicate that children taking BLIS K12™ had 67% fewer ear infection recurrences compared to a control group.

New Zealand studies4,5 also show the healthy BLIS K12™ bacteria can transfer to the nasopharynx – the upper part of the throat behind the nose – which is the bacterial reservoir for ear infections.

Bacterial sore throats can lead to more serious complications such as rheumatic fever. Rheumatic heart disease is largely unknown in developed countries, but causes 160 deaths in New Zealand each year, a rate that is even higher than that observed in third world nations.


List of citations:

1: Preliminary pediatric clinical evaluation of the oral probiotic Streptococcus salivarius K12 in preventing recurrent pharyngitis and/or tonsillitis caused by Streptococcus pyogenes and recurrent acute otitis media. Int J Gen Med. 2012;5:991-7

2: Clinical evaluation of the oral probiotic Streptococcus salivarius K12 in the prevention of recurrent pharyngitis and/or tonsillitis caused by Streptococcus pyogenes in adults. Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2013 Mar;13(3):339-43.

3: Use of Streptococcus salivarius K12 in the prevetion of streptococcal and viral pharynotonsillitis in children. Drug Health Patient Safety. 2014:Feb 13: 6: 15-20

4: BLIS Technologies. Internal report

5: Preliminary investigations of the colonisation of upper respiratory tract tissues of infants using a paediatric formulation of the oral probiotic Streptococcus salivarius K12. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2008 Jun 17.

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