10 Lactobacillus Reuteri Health Benefits: Digestive, Dermis and Oral
Lactobacillus Reuteri is a widely studied probiotic strain, shaped like a gram-positive bacillus, that can be found naturally in various parts of the body including the gastrointestinal and urinary tracts, skin, and breast milk.
It is a non-spore forming strain with the unique ability to survive in low-pH and enzyme-rich environments, allowing it to multiply and effectively colonize the intestines.
Initially thought to be a strain of Lactobacillus Fermentum, L. Reuteri was later discovered and named by Gerhard Reuter after himself.
In this article, I will evaluate the 10 health benefits of Lactobacillus Reuteri.
1. Reduces Diverticulitis Inflammation and Pain
Diverticulitis is a condition characterized by inflammation and pain in the diverticula, which are small pouches that can form along the walls of the colon. The inflammation can lead to symptoms such as abdominal pain, particularly in the lower left side.
A study found that compared to the placebo group, diverticulitis paitents who took Lactobacillus Reuteri experienced significant reductions in abdominal pain and inflammatory markers and required shorter hospitalization.
As of November 2022, there are few high-quality studies on Diverticulitis, but a recent meta-analysis points to promising results for Lactobacillus Reuteri. The study in question was a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial published in the International Journal of Colorectal Disease in 2019. It investigated the effects of L. Reuteri ATCC PTA 4659 on 88 patients diagnosed with Acute Uncomplicated Diverticulitis.
Participants were divided into two groups: Group A took ciprofloxacin and metronidazole for one week, followed by L. Reuteri for 10 days; Group B took the same antibiotics but received a placebo instead of L. Reuteri.
The beneficial effects of L. Reuteri are believed to be due to its anti-inflammatory properties, which have been documented in other Lactobacillus probiotic strains. The results of this study suggest that L. Reuteri could be a promising option for treating Diverticulitis, but further research is needed to confirm its efficacy and safety.
2. Protects Against Leaky Gut
Leaky gut syndrome, also known as increased intestinal permeability, is a condition characterized by a compromised intestinal barrier that allows substances like toxins, bacteria, and undigested food particles to pass through the intestinal wall into the bloodstream
A 2018 study aimed to explore the potential benefits of Lactobacillus Reuteri, specifically through its effect on the mucosal barrier, which is important for protection against leaky gut syndrome. While the precise effects of this probiotic strain are not fully understood, the researchers suggested that it could help protect against bacteria-induced leaky gut.
Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) bacteria is one common cause of intestinal permeability that leads to leaky gut, and the study hypothesized that L. Reuteri DSM 17938 could protect the mucosal barrier from this strain.
While the study used a vitro setting and not human trials, it found that the probiotic strain was able to decrease intestinal permeability and slow down damage to the intestinal barrier caused by ETEC bacteria. Further research is needed to confirm the effectiveness of L. Reuteri DSM 17938 in humans with leaky gut.
3. Improves Fur Luster in Mice
Fur luster in mice can be indicative of their overall health and well-being. A glossy and shiny coat is often associated with good nutrition, proper grooming habits, and a healthy immune system.
In 2013, researchers conducted a study on the effects of Lactobacillus Reuteri ATCC 6475 probiotic strain on mice in separate gastrointestinal studies. Interestingly, the researchers found that mice taking the probiotic strain exhibited more lustrous fur compared to the other mice observed in the study.
Initially, the researchers planned to feed a group of mice L. Reuteri starting at 20-24 weeks of age, and then planned to examine fur luster, pH readings, and histology. However, to their surprise, after just seven days of eating the yogurt, the control group of mice showed differences in fur luster.
The mice that consumed a normal, bland diet were reported to have dull fur luster and even suffered from alopecia and dermatitis. The hair benefits were more prominent in female mice, and they had more acidic pH.
The study suggests that the reason for the hair benefits was due to the L. Reuteri probiotic strain blocking high IL-17 inflammation. Other Lactobacillus bacteria, such as L. Salivarius, have also been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects. However, it is important to note that this study has only been carried out on mice and has not been clinically tested on humans yet.
4. Increases Testosterone and Weight in Mice
Testosterone is a hormone that plays a vital role in the development and maintenance of male sexual characteristics in mice. It is primarily produced in the testes and is responsible for promoting the growth and function of the male reproductive organs, as well as influencing behaviors such as territorial marking, aggression, and mating.
Researchers fed a control group of mice L. Reuteri from as young as 2 months old and over the course of 10 months, the L. Reuteri group had larger and heavier testes compared to a group following the same diet without L. Reuteri.
This study, published in 2014 in Massachusetts, United States of America, was inspired by chance observations made during previous studies on mice. These mice were noted to have larger testes and more dominant social behaviors after being fed probiotic yogurts and pure lactic acid bacteria. The study aimed to investigate whether supplementation of Lactobacillus Reuteri in mice could increase testosterone levels, and the results were promising.
While the study provides interesting insights into the potential benefits of L. Reuteri in increasing testosterone levels, it is important to note that this study was conducted on mice and has not been clinically carried out on humans. The researchers suggest that L. Reuteri may offer a natural approach to preventing late-onset male hypogonadism, or low libido, but further studies are needed to validate these findings.
5. Helps against IBD Inflammation
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) involves chronic inflammation of the digestive tract, leading to symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, rectal bleeding, weight loss, fatigue, and reduced appetite.
A complex study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology in 2014, tested Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 in patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. The study found that these probiotic strains increased T-cell count and reduced inflammation in the patients. Scientists theorized that L. Reuteri may have converted sugar to tryptophan, which is known to help with serotonin production in the gut. However, further research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits of L. Reuteri for IBS and IBD.
6. Lowers Cholesterol Levels
In 2012, a double-blind placebo study was conducted on 114 participants with hypercholesterolemia. The group was randomly divided into two, with half of the participants receiving yogurt containing 5 Billion CFU of Lactobacillus Reuteri NCIMB 30242 probiotic bacteria, and the other half receiving a placebo with a similar taste. Half of the subjects were instructed to consume the L. Reuteri yogurt twice a day for 6 weeks, while the other half ate the placebo yogurt.
At the end of the 6 weeks, those who had consumed the L. Reuteri yogurt showed a significant decrease in LDL-cholesterol, Total Cholesterol, and non-HDL-cholesterol levels compared to the placebo group. The Lactobacillus Reuteri was microencapsulated, ensuring its survival through the digestive tract.
7. Improves Allergic Eczema
Allergic eczema, also known as allergic contact dermatitis, manifests as a red, itchy rash when the skin comes into contact with specific allergens.
After 6 weeks, 56% of the children who were given the L. Reuteri probiotic bacteria had improvements in their eczema compared to just 15% in the placebo group. The study concluded that children who had eczema from allergies, confirmed by a skin prick test experienced more pronounced improvements.
This clinical trial published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology investigated the effects of probiotics on children aged 1 to 13 years old suffering from Atopic Dermatitis. The study used two strains, Freeze Dried Lactobacillus rhamnosus 19070-2 and Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 122460 at 1 Billion CFU each, which were freeze-dried to ensure maximum potency.
The study was a double-blind placebo-controlled study, where some of the children were given the probiotic bacteria strains, and others were given a placebo. Markers related to pro-inflammatory cytokines were recorded, as well as the atopic dermatitis scoring system. Eosinophil cationic protein in serum and cytokine production by PBMCs were the inflammatory markers measured.
8. Protects against H. pylori
H. pylori colonization occurs when the bacterium Helicobacter pylori establishes itself in the stomach lining, potentially leading to gastric conditions such as gastritis and ulcers.
A 2015 pilot study conducted in Berlin, Germany investigated the effect of Lactobacillus reuteri DSM17648 on the overgrowth of H. pylori in the stomach. The study included 20 individuals with confirmed H. pylori infection, who were randomly divided into two groups.
The treatment group was given L. reuteri DSM17648 at a dose of 10^8 CFU/day for four weeks, while the control group received a placebo. The results showed that the group receiving L. reuteri DSM17648 had a significant reduction in H. pylori colonization compared to the control group. The study suggested that L. reuteri DSM17648 may have a beneficial effect on the treatment of H. pylori infection.
Another review from 2018 further supported the idea that L. reuteri may help decrease the symptoms of H. pylori infection and bacterial load. The review highlighted that L. reuteri had the ability to compete and win against H. pylori, and that this probiotic bacteria may also help to protect the stomach from further damage caused by H. pylori.
9. Regulates Vulvovaginal Candidiasis
Vulvovaginal candidiasis is a common fungal infection characterized by itching, burning, and abnormal discharge in the vulva and vagina.
Results showed that the combination of L. rhamnosus and L. reuteri together was effective in reducing the yeast population, and the cell-based test indicated that both strains had the potential to inhibit yeast growth. However, further human studies are required to confirm the efficacy of these strains.
In this 2019 study, a simulated Vulvovaginal Candidiasis was conducted in an in vitro model using the epithelial cell line (VK2/E6E7) infected with C. Albicans 3153a. The experiment involved the use of a combination of L. rhamnosus GR-1 and L. reuteri RC-14 either alone, mixed, or combined. Yeast and cytokine levels were measured at various intervals to determine if the probiotic bacteria could eliminate the yeast.
10. Protects Gum Health
Plaque buildup and gum bleeding are common signs of poor oral hygiene and potential gum disease.
Gabriela Sinkiewicz from the Department of Biomedical Laboratory Science, Health and Society, Malmö University, Malmö, Sweden, has conducted extensive research on Lactobacillus Reuteri, according to an article in Science Daily.
One of her studies found that after just two weeks of using L. Reuteri, plaque and bleeding from the gums decreased. However, further information on this study was not available.
While other Lactobacillus strains have been studied for their potential dental health benefits, such as in the treatment of periodontitis, more human studies are needed to determine the potential benefits of L. Reuteri for oral health.
What are The Side Effects of L. Reuteri?
L.actobacillus Reuteri probiotic bacteria is generally considered safe for consumption, but as with any supplement, there may be some side effects to be aware of.
Some people may experience bloating, gas, diarrhea, and other digestive symptoms when taking probiotic supplements for the first time. It's also important to note that immunocompromised individuals should never take probiotic supplements.
In some studies, people have reported weight gain after taking L. Reuteri, although other strains such as L. Gasseri have been shown to be more effective for weight loss.
It's important to note that no long-term human studies have been conducted on the effects of L. Reuteri supplementation.
Overall, the studies reviewed in this blog post did not report any serious side effects associated with L. Reuteri supplementation. However, if you experience any adverse effects, it's always best to discontinue use and consult with a doctor.
Can Lactobacillus Reuteri Probiotic Bacteria Improve Your Gut Health ?
Lactobacillus Reuteri probiotic bacteria has shown potential in improving gut health conditions like diverticulitis, leaky gut, H. pylori and IBD.
While L. Reuteri has been shown to have several gut health benefits, it should never be used as a replacement for prescribed medication. Human studies involving L. Reuteri have often used it in conjunction with other medications, and the participants were closely monitored by medical professionals.
It's worth noting that while L. Reuteri is generally safe for consumption, some people may experience digestive symptoms such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea when taking it for the first time. Additionally, immuno-compromised individuals should avoid taking probiotic supplements. Studies have also suggested that L. Reuteri may contribute to weight gain, although there are other strains that are more effective for weight loss, such as L. Gasseri.
Overall, L. Reuteri appears to be a promising probiotic strain, but more research is needed to fully understand its potential benefits and any potential side effects. If you experience any adverse effects when taking a probiotic supplement, it's best to discontinue use and consult with a healthcare professional.
Can you buy reuteri strain in Australia
Hi Sylvia, I don’t think you can.
I make L. reuteri and yogurt and wondered if I could mix them together or should I eat them separately.
Both are fine