Probiotic BLIS K12 may protect against oral yeast growth

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

BLIS K12 decreased the adherence of C. albicans to the petri dish
BLIS K12 decreased the adherence of C. albicans to the petri dish

Related tags Yeast

Supplements containing the probiotic BLIS K12 ingredient may inhibit the growth of the yeast responsible for oral thrush, suggests new in vitro data that supports the oral health potential of the ingredient.

Oral thrush or candidiasis was inhibited by increased levels of the probiotic BLIS K12, showing oral health benefits for the probiotic beyond antimicrobial activity, according to data published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology​.

"This research represents further evidence that the BLIS K12 probiotic plays an important role in maintaining good oral health and protecting the mouth and throat from the potential of invading pathogens,"​ said Dr Barry Richardson, CEO of BLIS Technologies.

"We believe that both the ​in vitro data and this animal model strongly points to beneficial effect in the human oral cavity and we expect further human studies to confirm this." 


The ingredient is a specific strain of Streptococcus salivarius​ (S. salivarius​), which secretes powerful antimicrobial molecules called BLIS: Bacteriocin-Like-Inhibitory Substances.

BLIS K12 is an oral probiotic that is said to support healthy bacteria in the mouth for long-term fresh breath and immune support.

The ingredient was developed by scientists at the University of Otago in New Zealand, and recently added to Stratum Nutrition’s portfolio of specialty bioactive ingredients.

Study details

Led by Sanae Ishijima from Teikyo University Institute of Medical Mycology (Tokyo), the researchers examined the potential of BLIS K12 to modulate the growth of Candida albicans (C. albicans) in vitro​.

Results showed a dose-dependent decrease in the adherence of C. albicans​ to the petri dish.

Additional study indicated that the probiotic ingredient was not directly fungicidal, but appeared to inhibit C. albicans​ adhesion to the substrate by preferentially binding to hyphae rather than yeast.

“This is the first report that the direct interaction between bacteria and ​Candida induces a protective effect against oral candidiasis in an animal model and ​in vitro assay systems,”​ wrote the researchers.  

“The data obtained in this study suggest that the use of ​S. salivarius K12 as an oral probiotic for the prevention or treatment of oral candidiasis may have merit and warrants further clinical investigations.

“The mechanisms of the therapeutic effect of ​S. salivarius K12 against oral candidiasis will be studied in detail in future experiments,”​ they concluded.

The scientists involved in the new study were affiliated with Teikyo University Institute of Medical Mycology (Tokyo), BLIS Technologies Ltd., University of Otago, (New Zealand), Tradepia Co., (Tokyo), and the University of Western Ontario (London, Ontario).

Source: Applied and Environmental Microbiology
April 2012, Volume 78, Number 7, Pages 2190-2199, doi: 10.1128/​AEM.07055-11
“Effect of ​Streptococcus salivarius K12 on the In Vitro Growth of ​Candida albicans and Its Protective Effect in an Oral Candidiasis Model”
Authors: S.A. Ishijima, K. Hayama, J.P. Burton, G. Reid, M. Okada, Y. Matsushita,  S. Abe

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