BLIS K12® is an innovative, clinically-backed oral probiotic that helps protect children & adults from a wide range of infections.
BLIS K12 is a type of beneficial bacteria naturally found only in a small percentage of people. Supplementing it as a probiotic can help protect you from infections and boost the immune system. This BLIS K12 review details its advantages over generic probiotic supplements:
- Specialized. BLIS K12 is the world’s first probiotic designed specifically for mouth, throat, and ear health.
- Patented. BLIS K12 is an innovative, patented approach to probiotics that uses a special strain of bacteria already present in the mouth.
- Research-backed. The health benefits of BLIS K12 are backed by numerous cell culture and human studies.
BLIS K12 is a probiotic strain of the bacteria Streptococcus salivarius, which is naturally present in the mouth and throat. This beneficial strain helps protect the oral cavity from bad bacteria that can cause strep throat, bacterial tonsillitis, bad breath, and other problems. In addition, it can also support the body’s immune defenses, potentially protecting against a much wider range of infections.
BLIS K12 was discovered by microbiologist Dr. John Tagg, who founded the company Blis Technologies to incorporate it as an ingredient in probiotic supplements.
The major difference between BLIS K12 and standard probiotics is that it is an oral probiotic. This means that it increases the population of beneficial bacteria in the mouth & throat, rather than in the digestive tract. Considering that many harmful organisms enter the body through the mouth and nose, oral probiotics are an innovative approach for protecting us from infection. In fact, it is the first probiotic designed specifically for supporting oral, throat, and ear health.
In addition, BLIS K12 also stands out for being backed by a large volume of research, which supports its use for protecting both children & adults from a wide range of infections. In particular, there is strong evidence for fighting bacterial pharyngitis, tonsillitis, ear infections, and bad breath. In addition, there is some evidence that it can also help with viral infections, including the flu and common cold.
How does BLIS K12 work?
When taken by mouth in the form of lozenges or powder, the BLIS K12 bacteria colonize the oral cavity. In doing so, they help protect you from various infections in two major ways:
- Fighting harmful bacteria. BLIS K12 helps displace harmful bacteria that can cause strep throat, bad breath, and other issues by competing with them and releasing natural antibiotic compounds called bacteriocin-like inhibitory substances (BLIS).
- Boosting immune function. BLIS K12 has been demonstrated to beneficially impact the immune system, resulting in effects such as increased levels of interferon gamma, a cytokine involved in protecting us from viral and bacterial infections, and reduced levels of IL-8, a pro-inflammatory cytokine. In this way it can improve the body’s defenses against not just bacteria, but also viruses and other microorganisms.
BLIS K12 Patents
This patent covers the use of BLIS K12 and the lantibiotics (bacteria-produced antibiotics) that it produces to treat and prevent streptococcal infections of the throat caused by the bacterium S. pyogenes (US patent 6773912). Common streptococcal infections include strep throat, scarlet fever, and rheumatic fever.
Treatment of bad breath
This patent describes the use of BLIS K12 for preventing or treating halitosis (bad breath). Under this patent, BLIS K12 is used as an antimicrobial probiotic that reduces the growth of “bad” bacteria, and particularly those that cause bad breath (US patent 8057790).
BLIS K12 Nutritional Supplement Uses
Immune System Supplements
BLIS K12 is most commonly incorporated into probiotic supplements used for preventing infections. More specifically, it is used to:
- Protect against Streptococcal infections such as pharyngitis (sore or strep throat) and tonsillitis
- Protect against other bacterial and viral infections such as the cold, flu, thrush (candidiasis) and ear infections
- Support overall immune system health
- Restore healthy oral microflora after the use of antibiotics
- Reduce bad breath (halitosis)
These uses are backed by a growing volume of cell culture and human research, making BLIS K12 one of the most evidence-backed probiotics.
Read more: Probiotics for immunity
BLIS K12 Advantages
BLIS K12 has several advantages over generic probiotic supplement ingredients:
- Specialized. Whereas standard probiotics are taken to support gut health, BLIS K12 is the first probiotic in the world designed specifically for supporting mouth, throat, and ear health. In doing so, it helps protect us at the most common sites of infection.
- Clinical research: BLIS K12’s benefits are backed by numerous cell culture studies and human clinical trials, which confirm that it helps fight pharyngitis, tonsillitis, ear infections, bad breath, and possibly also protect against viral infections such as the cold and flu.
- Safety: Streptococcus salivarius is already naturally present in the oral cavity. In addition, multiple studies have confirmed that BLIS K12 is safe for human consumption, and it is Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) by the FDA.1
BLIS K12 Research
Human studies demonstrated that BLIS K12 helps protect both children and adults from bacterial infections such as pharyngitis (strep throat), tonsillitis, bad breath, and otitis media (ear infection). In addition, there is early evidence that it may also protect us from other bacterial & viral infections such as the cold & flu through its beneficial effects on the immune system.
This study examined the efficacy of BLIS K12 in protecting against streptococcal pharyngitis and/or tonsillitis, and acute otitis media – some of the most common infections in children. A total of 41 children with recurrent streptococcal infections were given a BLIS K12 probiotic supplement (Bactoblis®) daily for 90 days and compared to 37 untreated children (control group).
Compared to the previous year, the treated children had a 90% reduction in episodes of streptococcal pharyngeal infections and a 40% reduction in acute otitis media. In addition, they also had a 65% reduction in pharyngeal and ear infections compared to the controls in the 6 months following the treatment.
- The researchers concluded that “Prophylactic administration of S. salivarius K12 to children with a history of recurrent oral streptococcal pathology reduced episodes of streptococcal pharyngeal infections and/or tonsillitis as well as episodes of acute otitis media.” 2
Similar to their previous study in children, the researchers examined the use BLIS K12 in preventing streptococcal pharyngitis and/or tonsillitis in adults. Twenty participants with recurrent infections were given a BLIS K12 supplement (Bactoblis®) daily for 90 days and compared to 20 healthy controls. The treated group showed an 80% reduction in episodes of streptococcal pharyngeal infections compared to the previous year. In addition, they also had a 60% reduction in pharyngitis infections compared to the controls in the 6 months following the treatment.
- The researchers concluded that “Prophylactic administration of Streptococcus salivarius K12 to adults having a history of recurrent oral streptococcal pathology reduced the number of episodes of streptococcal pharyngeal infections and/or tonsillitis.” 3
This preliminary placebo-controlled study tested the efficacy of BLIS K12 for protecting against halitosis (bad breath) following the use of an antimicrobial mouthwash. A total of 23 participants with halitosis first completed a 3-day regimen of a chlorhexidine antimicrobial (CHX) mouth rinse, and then took BLIS K12 or placebo lozenges. In the K12 group 85% of the subjects had a significant reduction in volatile sulphur compounds (VSC) – the cause of the bad odor – compared to only 30% for placebo. In addition, the bacterial composition of saliva chagned in the K12 group, suggesting that K12 suppressed the growth of bacteria involved in halitosis.
- The researchers concluded that “…replacement of bacteria implicated in halitosis by colonization with competitive bacteria such as S. salivarius K12 may provide an effective strategy to reduce the severity of halitosis.” 4
This randomized study examined the use of BLIS K12 for streptococcal pharyngo-tonsillitis, scarlet fever and acute otitis media in children. A total of 222 children were divided into a BLIS K12 group (Bactoblis® daily) and an untreated control group for 6 months. During the 6 months, the number of children in the treatment group who got sick with streptococcal pharyngo-tonsillitis, scarlet fever and acute otitis media was approximately 16%, 9% and 44% , compared to 48%, 4% and 80% in the control group. Furthermore, during the 3 months of follow-up, the rates of infection were 15%, 0% and 12% vs 26%, 6% and 36%.
- The researchers concluded that “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. No protection against scarlet fever was detected.” 5
This study evaluated the use of BLIS K12 for protecting against streptococcal pharyngitis, tonsillitis, and other infections in children. A total of 48 children with recurrent streptococcal infections took BLIS K12 daily for 90 days, and were compared to a control group of 76 children. Compared to the previous year, the treated children had a 90% reduction in episodes of streptococcal pharyngeal infections. In addition, they had a significant reduction of tracheitis, viral pharyngitis, rhinitis, flu, laryngitis, acute otitis media, and enteritis compared to the controls during the 90 days of treatment and 9 months of follow-up.
- The researchers concluded that “…daily use of BLIS K12 has been associated with a concurrent and persisting reduction in the occurrence of pharyngeal, recurrent, streptococcal disease. Moreover, the benefits to children may also extend to a reduction of nonstreptococcal diseases, including tracheitis, viral pharyngitis, rhinitis, flu, laryngitis, acute otitis media, and enteritis.” 6
BLIS K12 Dosage
- Standalone BLIS K12 supplements typically come in tablets or lozenges providing 1-2 billion CFU (colony forming units – the number of bacteria cells)
- Most research studies used the Bactoblis brand which contains no less than 1 billion CFU of BLIS K12
- Research has shown that BLIS K12 bacteria can live in the mouth for as long as 3 weeks, but with decreasing numbers after 8 days. This suggests that continuous supplementation is necessary to maintain its benefits. 7
Supplements in Review Recommendation
- BLIS K12®, 1-2 billion CFU.
BLIS K12 is the world’s first clinically-proven oral probiotic that protects you from infections. We highly recommend BLIS K12 as a way to protect both children and adults from a wide range of bacterial and viral infections, especially for those who suffer from recurrent illness.
One billion CFU is the research-backed dose. Most research studies use BLIS K12 tablets/lozenges containing 1 billion CFU. This is also the most common dose used in probiotic supplements.
- Jeremy P. Burton et al. Safety Assessment of the Oral Cavity Probiotic Streptococcus salivarius K12. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2006 Apr; 72(4): 3050–3053. ↩
- Di Pierro F et al. 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. ↩
- Di Pierro F et al. 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. ↩
- Burton JP et al. A preliminary study of the effect of probiotic Streptococcus salivarius K12 on oral malodour parameters. J Appl Microbiol. 2006 Apr;100(4):754-64. ↩
- 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. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2016 Nov;20(21):4601-4606. ↩
- Di Pierro F et al. Positive clinical outcomes derived from using Streptococcus salivarius K12 to prevent streptococcal pharyngotonsillitis in children: a pilot investigation. Drug Healthc Patient Saf. 2016 Nov 21;8:77-81. eCollection 2016. ↩
- Horz HP et al. Distribution and persistence of probiotic Streptococcus salivarius K12 in the human oral cavity as determined by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Oral Microbiol Immunol. 2007 Apr;22(2):126-30. ↩