Medical Moment: Probiotics & Strep Throat

Medical Moment: Probiotics & Strep Throat

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Dr. Heather Linder

Dr. Heather Linder

Dr. Heather Linder answers this week’s question: Can probiotics prevent strep throat?

Recent studies show that a certain strain of probiotic called Streptococcus salivarius K12, also known as BLIS K12, helps prevent throat infections, and may also help prevent bad breath and ear infections.

BLIS K12 is a bacteria that is naturally found in healthy mouths and may stimulate the mouth’s natural immune defense system.

BLIS K12 is particularly effective at preventing the growth of Streptococcus progenies, a bacteria that causes strep throat and can lead to rheumatic fever.

In a study, children who took a daily probiotic lozenge containing BLIS K12 for three months had 80% fewer viral throat infections and 96% less strep throat, compared to children who were not given the lozenge.

Although studies have shown that BLIS K12 helps prevent strep throat, it is not currently approved as a treatment.

If you are prone to strep throat or if a family member or friend was recently diagnosed with strep throat, it may be reasonable to use BLIS K12 as a preventative measure. It is recommended that the lozenge or gum be taken at night after brushing your teeth. Chewing the gum for 5-10 minutes should be sufficient.   Appropriate colonization of the good bacteria occurs after 3-7 days of use.

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