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Lactobacillus reuteri is one of the most studied strains of probiotic bacteria, boasting a variety of proven health benefits. From improving your looks to increasing Vitamin D, Lactobacillus reuteri is worth checking out.
What is Lactobacillus reuteri?
Lactobacillus reuteri is a strain of lactic acid bacteria that live in the intestines, and occasionally the stomachs, of humans (although not all individuals), other mammals, and birds.
Its name comes from German microbiologist, Gerhard Reuter, who discovered it in samples of human intestine and feces in the 1960s.
Different strains of Lactobacillus reuteri have been shown to have different physiological effects. For example, Lactobacillus reuteri DSMZ 17648, trademarked “Pylopass” is used for H. pylori (R), while Lactobacillus reuteri NCIMB 30242, trademarked “Cardioviva” is used to address high cholesterol (R).
Lactobacillus reuteri Snapshot
- Promotes beautiful skin and thick, lustrous hair.
- Helps fight infections.
- Is anti-inflammatory and increases beneficial TREGs.
- Improves gut health – decreasing IBS and IBD symptoms.
- Lowers cholesterol.
- May not be good for those with histamine intolerance.
- May cause weight gain in some people.
Benefits of Lactobacillus reuteri
1) Lactobacillus reuteri Promotes Sex Appeal
Animal research on an Lactobacillus reuteri strain called ATCC PTA 6475 has shown potential for improving skin quality (thickness and “glow”) and creating thick, lustrous hair (R).
The probiotic improved skin and hair quality in both sexes, but in females caused a dramatic improvement in the level of shine of their hair. The Lactobacillus reuteri caused females to have a more acidic pH, which was found to correlate with hair luster (R).
Therefore, Lactobacillus reuteri bacteria may restore women’s skin and hair to youthful splendor (R).
When translated into human terms, an acidic pH in the vagina correlates with the time of peak fertility, estimated to be around age 25 (R).
Lactobacillus reuteri‘s ability to increase testosterone and lower inflammation can potentially benefit implications for male pattern baldness. High IL-17 inflammation can inhibit hair growth, and Lactobacillus reuteri has been shown to suppress IL-17 (R).
Lactobacillus reuteri‘s additional perk of strengthening sex drive makes the probiotic an attractive supplement for men (R).
2) Lactobacillus reuteri is Anti-Inflammatory
Lactobacillus reuteri inhibits NF-κB, one of the most important factors in reducing whole-body inflammation (R). To learn more about NF-kB, read my post, How To Inhibit NF-kB: The Key To Health And Master Control of Inflammation.
Note: Lactobacillus reuteri may not be good for histamine intolerance.
3) Lactobacillus reuteri Lowers Stress and Pain Perception
Lactobacillus reuteri ingestion impacts the nerves in such a way that it may slow gut motility (improving cases of diarrhea) and decrease pain perception (R).
4) Lactobacillus reuteri Increases Vitamin D
According to the authors of the study, this is the first time blood levels of vitamin D3 have been increased by oral probiotic supplementation (R).
5) Lactobacillus reuteri Helps Gut Health
Our gut bacteria need to consume tryptophan in order to make serotonin, which is crucial for proper gut function (R).
Lactobacillus reuteri switches our bacteria’s primary food source from sugar to tryptophan, which helps produce serotonin, and protects our gut from infections. This lessens susceptibility to gut problems and IBS (R).
Infants also increased bowel frequency even at a dosage of 100 million cfu (colony forming units) (R).
Yogurt containing Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 increased T regulatory cells in patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease and decreased inflammation (TNF-alpha and IL-12) (R).
6) Lactobacillus reuteri Fights Candida
Of the 8 probiotic strains tested in the lab, Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC 55730 showed the strongest inhibition of oral Candida albicans (R).
7) Lactobacillus reuteri is Good for the Thyroid
In mice, Lactobacillus reuteri increased thyroid size and activity (increasing T4 levels), lessening the fatigue and weight gain associated with aging and causing a more youthful physical appearance (R).
8) Lactobacillus reuteri Lowers Cholesterol
Hs-C-reactive protein and fibrinogen were reduced by 1.05 mg/l and 14.25%, respectively (R).
Another study used microencapsulated Lactobacillus reuteri NCIMB 30242 yogurt taken twice a day over 6 weeks by adults with high cholesterol. Results included a reduction of LDL by 8.92% and total cholesterol 4.81% over the course of the study (R).
The Lactobacillus reuteri in that form and delivery method was found to work better than probiotics traditionally used and comparable to other cholesterol-lowering methods (R).
9) Lactobacillus reuteri Speeds Wound Healing
Supplementing the rat microbiome with Lactobacillus reuteri in drinking water cuts wound-healing time in half compared to control animals (R).
10) Lactobacillus reuteri Protects Against Infections
Lactobacillus reuteri potently protects against Salmonella, cutting mortality rates in mice, chickens, and turkeys in half (R).
In chickens, Lactobacillus reuteri was as potent as the antibiotic gentamicin in preventing E. coli-related deaths (R).
An antibiotic produced by Lactobacillus reuteri, called reutericyclin, can kill C. difficile infections (R).
A 2-week treatment with Lactobacillus reuteri DSM17648 significantly reduced H. pylori overgrowth in otherwise healthy adults (R).
11) Lactobacillus reuteri Promotes Oral Health
Lactobacillus reuteri fights major cavity-producing bacteria (R).
Chewing gum containing Lactobacillus reuteri decreased plaque and bleeding from the gums in two weeks (R).
Lactobacillus reuteri lozenges were shown to fight oral candida in a study of older patients (R).
12) Lactobacillus reuteri Produces Vitamin B12
13) Lactobacillus reuteri May Help in Autism
In an animal model of social deficits in offspring, Lactobacillus reuteri was found to be 9X lower. Supplementing with it significantly improved sociability and preference for social novelty in these offspring (R).
The main mechanism is by l reuteri increasing oxytocin, including in the hypothalamus (R).
Lactobacillus reuteri is Controversial When it Comes to Obesity
Lactobacillus reuteri GMNL-263 has proved to be effective in reducing both insulin resistance and fatty liver in rats (R).
An animal study showed Lactobacillus reuteri strain ATCC PTA 4659 to partly prevent weight gain caused by an unhealthy Western diet (R).
In a study of both humans and mice, a Western ‘fast food’ diet caused changes in gut bacteria, accumulation of belly fat and Th17 dominance. The addition of Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC 6475 with no change in diet prevented age-associated weight gain by reducing the Th17 inflammation (R).
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