Written by: Bonnie Feldman, DDS, MBA, Ellen M. Martin, Hailey Motooka
It all began with a fight for life.
Jamie Morea was inspired to start Hyperbiotics to overcome illness, conquer hardship, and achieve maximal well-being. While healing from a parasitic infection that kept her bedridden for several months, she studied to understand the microbiome. Through extensive research, she found that the connection between the microbiome and systemic health was not only profound, but also, sadly, overlooked.
In order to gain more insight into Hyperbiotics, we interviewed the Practitioner Relations Director, Dana Rutscher. Her story was similar to Morea’s: she, too, began a career at Hyperbiotics because of her own health issues, including secondary infertility. This common goal of both women, to pursue healthier lives, is both the founding basis and the driving factor behind Hyperbiotics.
Along came probiotics…
The result of Morea’s vision and determination, stemming from her own experience, is a line of probiotic supplements targeting both the gut and oral microbiomes. Previously, broad-spectrum antibiotics were used to eliminate harmful microflora. The problem is that many symbiotic and commensal bacteria that actually promote health are also killed by these treatments, creating dysbiosis–an imbalanced microbiome that triggers many symptoms. This is where probiotics are different.
Focusing specifically on the oral microbiome products, Hyperbiotics’ includes the strains S. salivarius K12 and S. salivarius M18 in their formula. These species minimize disruption within the oral microbiome, while targeting particular bacterial species associated with oral disease. Hyperbiotics’ probiotics claim to address common oral problems such as halitosis (bad breath), dental caries, periodontal disease, and even ear, nose, and throat issues.
We were skeptical about the whole thing. Is it really possible that the addition of two little bacterial strains can help to manage halitosis? Decrease the development of dental caries and periodontal disease? Diminish the amount of fluid in the middle ear to reduce rates of ear infection? Seriously, EAR INFECTION?
Diving into the research
So we did some digging (a lot of digging), and found that through certain antimicrobial processes such as suppressing Gram-positive bacteria and targeting specific bacterial species, K12 and M18 actually CAN help mitigate a multitude of common oral health problems.
Associated bacterial species: Solobacterium moorei; Atopobium parvulum; Eubacterium sulci
Halitosis, or bad breath, is the by-product of bacterial metabolic degradation occurring on oral surfaces, in periodontal pockets, and on the dorsal surfaces of the tongue (1). Although there are many bacterial species associated with halitosis, one of the most prevalent is Solobacterium moorei. In a study conducted in 2012, researchers found that bacteriocin-producing strain S. salivarius K12 was able to suppress the growth of S. moorei, showing significant improvements for subjects with oral malodour (2).
2. Dental Caries
Associated bacterial species: Streptococcus mutans; Streptococcus sobrinus
Dental caries continues to impose a major health and economic burden on most people all over the world. Accumulating research has found that the presence of acidogenic mutans streptococci favors the development of dental caries. A study conducted on 76 children (aged 6-17 years) on the basis of a Cariogram (an algorithm based software program that aids clinicians in providing more objective dental caries risk assessments), showed that the use of M18 counteracts plaque formation and increases the chance of avoiding development of dental caries in children (3).
3. Periodontal Disease
Associated bacterial species: Porphyromonas gingivalis
Periodontal disease refers to an inflammatory process in the tissues surrounding the teeth, in response to bacterial accumulations or dental plaque on the teeth (4). To test the effectiveness of M18 on periodontal disease, a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial was carried out on 30 patients with chronic periodontitis. Results show that there was a significant reduction in P. gingivalis numbers, and fewer patients were classified as needing surgery on more than three teeth (5). The decrease in development of chronic periodontitis is beneficial not just for oral health! Periodontal disease and the bacteria involved, have been linked to systemic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and chronic pulmonary disease (read more about this here)!
4. Ear, Nose, and Throat Infection
Associated bacterial species: Streptococcus pyogenes (throat); Streptococcus pneumoniae (ear)
Due to the high vascularization of the oral cavity, many bacterial pathogens can infect or trigger inflammatory responses in nearby regions such as the ear, nose, and throat. One of the most common infections in children is Acute Otitis Media (AOM), an infection of the middle ear associated with high counts of Streptococcus pneumoniae. However, the onset of AOM in children is also correlated to an increase of bacterial pathogen populations (such as Streptococcus pyogenes) within the nasopharyngeal microbiota (6). Various clinical studies have found the application of strain K12 to inhibit growth of S. pyogenes, S. pneumoniae, and M. catarrhalis, all of which are involved in the pathogenesis of AOM and bacterial pharyngotonsillitis in children and adults (7).
A chewable mint tablet with targeted strains for oral health
Targets: Bad breath; Caries/Periodontal disease; ENT Health
PRO-Dental is formulated with targeted probiotic strains K12 and M18 to restore the balance of good bacteria and promote oral and upper respiratory health. The product also contains chelated zinc to help protect cells against harmful free radicals. It is suggested to take the tablet after one’s usual oral hygiene routine in morning and at night for maximal effect. Although the idea of taking chewable tablets twice a day may seem unnecessary, it is a proactive method to improve overall health and well-being in the long-term.
Activated Charcoal Probiotic Toothpaste
Supports oral health and whiter teeth with activated charcoal, xylitol, and & Lactobacillus paracasei
Targets: Bad breath, Stained teeth, Free radicals
What many people don’t know is that the big brand toothpaste contains detergents and emulsifiers that strip away the plaque that nourishes and protects our teeth. Think of the oral microbiome as a forest, and popular toothpaste brands as loggers. They aim at sterilizing the mouth of all bacteria, like large-scale deforestation. Although there are short-term benefits to such ‘deforestation’, the long-term effects can be detrimental to the overall environment of our oral cavity.
For this reason, Hyperbiotics’ toothpaste emphasizes the use of natural ingredients that work cohesively with the innate defenses of the oral microbiome. The toothpaste’s formula contains activated charcoal and coconut oil to polish and whiten teeth, and diatomaceous earth to improve the body’s intake of calcium to strengthen teeth. The formula also implements the use of xylitol–a natural sweetener originally discovered in birch tree bark. The reason why xylitol is so effective is because it can’t be fermented by pathogenic bacteria and, as a result, starves them out of the oral microbiome (8). Hyperbiotics’ combination of ingredients, along with their new perspective on oral hygiene through the maintenance of microbial balance, has resulted in a new innovative toothpaste that promotes both short term and long term oral health.
Chewable Strawberry tablet with targeted strains for ENT health
Targets: Bad breath; Caries/Periodontal disease; ENT Health
Ear infections, sinus problems, and sore throats are common issues that children face. The chewable tablet with naturally added strawberry and vanilla flavoring contains the probiotic strains K12 and M18 to help promote throat health. In fact, K12 was actually first isolated and discovered in a healthy child in New Zealand during an experiment to determine microbiota associated with throat health. Without these additional probiotic strains, our normal beneficial throat and pharynx bacteria can create a barrier against invaders that can lead to unpleasant ear, sinus, and chest issues.
PRO-15 & PRO-Kids
Time-released pearls, uniquely formulated to repopulate your gut
We aren’t going to go into the science of these products, because they deal with an entirely different monster–the microbiome residing in your gut, but read one of our other posts Trust Your Gut for more information. However, we do want to highlight their extended-release properties, which ensure release at constant levels throughout the day to relieve digestive sensitivity. They have also designed a kids’ version of their PRO-15 product, PRO-Kids. The difference is the size of the pearl, which is the smallest on the market, designed for easy swallowing. If swallowing is still an issue however, the PRO-Kids formula has a naturally added tangy-orange flavor that can also be taken easily as a tasty chewable.
Even though Hyperbiotics’ main focus is on making a difference by helping people achieve their maximal wellbeing, they have also partnered with the carbon offset program, Robin Lim with Bumi Sehat, and the Change for Women. Collectively, their efforts support both sustainability and equality for women. The company has experienced tremendous growth in the five years since their inception, and they hope that with further education about the microbiome and an increase in public desire to achieve better health through functional and preventative practices, their envisioned future is surely within reach.
Check out more products offering solutions to improve balance within the oral microbiome here!
- Kazor, C. E., et al. “Diversity of Bacterial Populations on the Tongue Dorsa of Patients with Halitosis and Healthy Patients.” Journal of Clinical Microbiology, vol. 41, no. 2, Jan. 2003, pp. 558–563., doi:10.1128/jcm.41.2.558-563.2003.
- Masdea, L., et al. “Antimicrobial Activity of Streptococcus Salivarius K12 on Bacteria Involved in Oral Malodour.” Archives of Oral Biology, vol. 57, no. 8, 2012, pp. 1041–1047., doi:10.1016/j.archoralbio.2012.02.011.
- Pierro, Francesco Di, et al. “Cariogram Outcome after 90 Days of Oral Treatment with Streptococcus Salivarius M18 in Children at High Risk for Dental Caries: Results of a Randomized, Controlled Study.” Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dentistry, 2015, p. 107., doi:10.2147/ccide.s93066.
- Bingham, Clifton O., and Malini Moni. “Periodontal Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis.” Current Opinion in Rheumatology, vol. 25, no. 3, 2013, pp. 345–353., doi:10.1097/bor.0b013e32835fb8ec.
- Teughels, Wim, et al. “Clinical and Microbiological Effects OfLactobacillus Reuteriprobiotics in the Treatment of Chronic Periodontitis: a Randomized Placebo-Controlled Study.” Journal of Clinical Periodontology, vol. 40, no. 11, 2013, pp. 1025–1035., doi:10.1111/jcpe.12155.
- Pierro, Francesco Di, et al. “Oral Use of Streptococcus Salivarius K12 in Children with Secretory Otitis Media: Preliminary Results of a Pilot, Uncontrolled Study.” International Journal of General Medicine, 2015, p. 303., doi:10.2147/ijgm.s92488.
- Pierro, Francesco Di, et al. “Use of Streptococcus Salivarius K12 in the Prevention of Streptococcal and Viral Pharyngotonsillitis in Children.” Drug, Healthcare and Patient Safety, vol. 2014, no. 6, 2014, p. 15., doi:10.2147/dhps.s59665.
- Miyasawa-Hori, H., et al. “Difference in the Xylitol Sensitivity of Acid Production among Streptococcus Mutans Strains, and Its Biochemical Mechanism.” International Congress Series, vol. 21, no. 4, 2006, pp. 187–188., doi:10.1016/j.ics.2005.06.049.