Oral Probiotic Stops Yeast Infections
The researchers tested the probiotic, Streptococcus salivarius K12 by first applying it to Candida albicans using a plate assay using fluorescence microscopy. The laboratory model was developed to match the environment of the oral cavity.
After applying the probiotic to the culture model, Streptococcus salivarius K12 inhibited the growth and development of the Candida yeast, not by directly acting as a fungicidal and killing the yeast, but by changing the yeast’s ability to adhere. When the Candida yeast cannot adhere, they cannot grow within a particular tissue system.
Following the laboratory testing, the researchers then tested the probiotic with mice that were infected with Candida albicans. Once again, they found that the S. salivarius K12 was able to stop the growth of the yeast infections.
Once again, the mechanism found was the probiotic’s ability to stop the yeasts from adhering to the mucosal membranes of the oral cavity. This inability to adhere allows the mucous membranes and immune system to remove the infective microorganisms before they can grow any larger.
Yeast infections of Candida albicans are quite common, especially as we age. Menopausal women are often victims. Oral symptoms of Candida infections are called “thrush.” Yeast infections can start in the mouth and spread throughout the body if not controlled.
Oral probiotics are friendly bacteria that naturally reside in the oral cavity, sinuses and throat. They colonize these areas and help prevent infections of pathogenic bacteria, yeasts and viruses. Oral probiotic species and strains are different from intestinal probiotics, although a few species will live in both the intestines and the mouth.
Streptococcus salivarius is a typical oral probiotic colonizer among healthy persons. The S. salivarius K12 strain was cultured specifically for supplementation by Blis Technologies, Ltd. of New Zealand.
Ishijima SA, Hayama K, Burton JP, Reid G, Okada M, Matsushita Y, Abe S. Effect of Streptococcus salivarius K12 on the in vitro growth of Candida albicans and its protective effect in an oral candidiasis model. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2012 Apr;78(7):2190-9.
Adams C. Oral Probiotics: The Newest Way to Prevent Infection, Boost the Immune System and Fight Disease. Logical Books, 2010.