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, L. reuteri is worth checking out.
- Introduction to Lactobacillus reuteri
- L. reuteri Snapshot
- Benefits of L. reuteri
- 1) L. reuteri Promotes Sex Appeal
- 2) L. reuteri is Anti-Inflammatory
- 3) L. reuteri Lowers Stress and Pain Perception
- 4) L. reuteri Increases Vitamin D
- 5) L. reuteri Helps Gut Health
- 6) L. reuteri Fights Candida
- 7) L. reuteri is Good for the Thyroid
- 8) L. reuteri Lowers Cholesterol
- 9) L. reuteri Speeds Wound Healing
- 10) L. reuteri Protects Against Infections
- 11) L. reuteri Promotes Oral Health
- 12) L. reuteri Produces Vitamin B12
- 13) L. reuteri May Help in Autism
- L. reuteri is Controversial When it Comes to Obesity
- Additional Reading
- Where to Buy
- Health Tools I Wish I Had When I Was Sick
Introduction to Lactobacillus reuteri
L. reuteri is a strain of lactic acid bacteria that lives 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 L. reuteri have been shown to have different physiological effects. For example, L. reuteri DSMZ 17648, trademarked “Pylopass” is used for H. pylori (R), while L. reuteri NCIMB 30242, trademarked “Cardioviva” is used to address high cholesterol (R).
L. 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 L. reuteri
1) L. reuteri Promotes Sex Appeal
Animal research on an L. 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 L. reuteri caused females to have a more acidic pH, which was found to correlate with hair luster (R).
Therefore, L. 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).
L. 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 L. reuteri has been shown to suppress IL-17 (R).
L. reuteri‘s additional perk of strengthening sex drive makes the probiotic an attractive supplement for men (R).
2) L. reuteri is Anti-Inflammatory
L. 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: L. reuteri may not be good for histamine intolerance.
3) L. reuteri Lowers Stress and Pain Perception
L. 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) L. 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) L. reuteri Helps Gut Health
Our gut bacteria need to consume tryptophan in order to make serotonin, which is crucial for proper gut function (R).
L. 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).
6) L. reuteri Fights Candida
Of the 8 probiotic strains tested in the lab, L. reuteri ATCC 55730 showed the strongest inhibition of oral Candida albicans (R).
7) L. reuteri is Good for the Thyroid
8) L. 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 L. 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 L. 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) L. reuteri Speeds Wound Healing
Supplementing the rat microbiome with L. reuteri in drinking water cuts wound-healing time in half compared to control animals (R).
10) L. reuteri Protects Against Infections
L. reuteri potently protects against Salmonella, cutting mortality rates in mice, chickens and turkeys in half (R).
In chickens, L. reuteri was as potent as the antibiotic gentamicin in preventing E. coli-related deaths (R).
An antibiotic produced by L. reuteri, called reutericyclin, can kill C. difficile infections (R).
A 2-week treatment with L. reuteri DSM17648 significantly reduced H. pylori overgrowth in otherwise healthy adults (R).
11) L. reuteri Promotes Oral Health
L. reuteri fights major cavity-producing bacteria (R).
Chewing gum containing L. reuteri decreased plaque and bleeding from the gums in two weeks (R).
L. reuteri lozenges were shown to fight oral candida in a study of older patients (R).
12) L. reuteri Produces Vitamin B12
13) L. reuteri May Help in Autism
In an animal model of social deficits in offspring, L. 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).
L. reuteri is Controversial When it Comes to Obesity
L. reuteri GMNL-263 has proved to be effective in reducing both insulin resistance and fatty liver in rats (R).
An animal study showed L. 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).
Where to Buy
Health Tools I Wish I Had When I Was Sick
At SelfHacked, it’s our goal to offer our readers all the tools possible to get optimally healthy. When I was struggling with chronic health issues I felt stuck because I didn’t have any tools to help me get better. I had to spend literally thousands of hours trying to read through studies on pubmed to figure out how the body worked and how to fix it.
That’s why I decided to create tools that will help others cut down the guesswork:
- Lab Test Analyzer – a software tool that will analyze your labs and tell you what the optimal values are for each marker — as well as provide you with actionable tips and personalized health and lifestyle recommendations to help you get there.
- SelfDecode – a software tool that will help you analyze your genetic data from companies such as 23andme and ancestry. You will learn how your health is being impacted by your genes, and how to use this knowledge to your advantage.
- SelfHacked Secrets – an ebook where we examine and explain the biggest overlooked environmental factors that cause disease. This ebook is a great place to start your journey if you want to learn the essential steps to optimizing your health.
- SelfHacked Elimination Diet course – a video course that will help you figure out which diet works best for you
- Selfhacked Inflammation course – a video course on inflammation and how to bring it down
- Biohacking insomnia – an ebook on how to get great sleep
- Lectin Avoidance Cookbook – an e-cookbook for people with food sensitivities
- BrainGauge – a device that detects subtle brain changes and allows you to test what’s working for you
- SelfHacked VIP – an area where you can ask me (Joe) questions about health topics
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