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Oral Probiotic May Reduce Risk of Throat Infections

Throat infections in children can take a toll on families in the form of missed school, missed work, and the high cost of last minute childcare. A recent study suggests that the probiotic Streptococcus salivarius K12 may significantly reduce the risk of children developing throat infections.

Participants in the study included 61 children who had recently been diagnosed with recurrent throat infections. Over the course of 90 days, 31 of the children took the probiotic supplement containing no less than 1 billion colony-forming units/tablet one daily. The other 30 children served as the control group.

At the conclusion of the study, the probiotic group had an 80% reduction in the number of throat infections, when compared with the pervious year. The control group had a 14% reduction.

The researchers calculated that not taking a the probiotic led to 456 missed days of school for the children and work for the parents, with an average of 15 days per family.

Italian researchers from Velleja Research, University of Parma, Stomatology Institute, Mario Negri Institute, and Uboldo Hospital conducted the study. It was published in the February 2014 issue of Drug Health Patient Safety.

Streptococcus salivarius K12 probiotics have previously been found to help with respiratory viral infections and mouth health. It is most commonly administered to aid with oral health, which has been linked to numerous other benefits, including a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

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