9 Lactobacillus Reuteri Health Benefits: Digestive, Testicular, 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. Improves 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 2019 study authored by C Petruzziello, found that compared to the placebo group, acute uncomplicated diverticulitis patients who took Lactobacillus Reuteri ATCC PTA 4659 experienced significant reductions in abdominal pain and inflammatory markers and required shorter hospitalization.
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 authored by S Karimi, explored the benefits of Lactobacillus Reuteri, specifically through its effect on the mucosal barrier. Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) bacteria is one common cause of intestinal permeability that leads to leaky gut, and the study showed that L. Reuteri DSM 17938 could protect the mucosal barrier from ETEC.
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.
A 2013 study authored by T Levkovich, tested the effects of Lactobacillus Reuteri probiotic yogurt on mice in separate gastrointestinal studies. It found that mice taking the L. Reuteri yogurt exhibited shinier fur compared to the other mice observed in the study.
This graphic below, clearly shows the difference that Lactobacillus Reuteri made.
4. Bigger Balls 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 showed that lactobacillus reuteri can increase testical size in mice but not in humans.
This graphic below, plainly shows the difference in mouse testical size.
6. Lowers Cholesterol Levels
Cholesterol levels refer to the measurement of cholesterol in the bloodstream, which is an essential parameter in assessing an individual's risk for cardiovascular disease and determining the appropriate preventive and treatment strategies to maintain heart health.
A 2012 study authored by ML Jones, trialed L. Reuteri NCIMB 30242 yogurt in 114 participants with hypercholesterolemia (elevated cholesterol levels).
At the end of the 6 weeks, those who had consumed the Lactobacillus reuteri NCIMB 30242 yogurt showed a significant decrease in LDL-cholesterol, Total Cholesterol, and non-HDL-cholesterol levels compared to the placebo group showing that Lactobacillus reuteri lowers cholesterol levels in humans.
7. 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 study authored by C Holz, investigated the effect of Lactobacillus reuteri DSM17648 on the overgrowth of H. pylori in the stomach. Lactobacillus reuteri DSM17648 had the ability to co-aggregate with H. pylori cells and significantly reduce their load in infected individuals. This finding suggests that selective bacterial-bacterial cell interaction could be a promising and novel approach for combating H. pylori, potentially offering an antibiotic-free therapy option.
8. Manages Oral Candida
Vulvovaginal candidiasis is a common fungal infection characterized by itching, burning, and abnormal discharge in the vulva and vagina.
A 2017 study authored by MR Jørgensen, tested the anti-fungal oral effects of Lactobacillus Reuteri DSM 17938 and ATCC PTA 5289 in humans. It found that Lactobacillus reuteri has antifungal effects on five out of the six most common oral Candida species.
This shows that L. reuteri can be used as a therapeutic option for managing Candida infections in the oral cavity. The antifungal properties of L. reuteri were strain-specific, as there were statistically significant differences in co-aggregation and growth inhibition capacities between the two L. reuteri strains tested in the study.
9. Protects Gum Health
Plaque buildup and gum bleeding are common signs of poor oral hygiene and potential gum disease.
A 2021 study authored by Dr. Sahal Alforaidi (BDS, NSBO, Ph.D.) tested the effect Lactobacillus Reuteri probiotic bacteria for Plaque acidogenicity which refers to the ability of dental plaque to produce acids that can demineralize tooth enamel and contribute to the development of dental caries (cavities).
It found, the main oral health benefit observed in the study was the ability of a mixture of Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 and ATCC PTA 5289 strains to reduce the pH fall in plaque at the three-week follow-up. This indicates that the drops containing the probiotics had a positive effect on the acidogenicity of the dental plaque.
Maintaining a higher pH in plaque is beneficial for oral health because it helps prevent demineralization of tooth enamel and the development of dental caries (cavities). By reducing the acidity in the oral environment, the probiotics may contribute to the prevention of tooth decay in orthodontic patients.
is lactobacillus reuteri safe?
Lactobacillus reuteri is safe to take for most people sine there were no adverse evens reported in any of the 9 studies shared earlier in this guide. Some people may experience side effects like gas, bloating, abdominal pain or diarrhea when taking L. Reuteri for the first time but this usually subsides.
Is Lactobacillus Reuteri Safe During Pregnancy?
Lactobacillus Reuteri is safe during pregnancy according to a 2011 study authored by J Elias who found no safety concerns for breast feeding or pregnant women. Probiotics during pregnancy when consumed, support a healthy gut microbiota and potentially offer specific health benefits for the mother and fetus.
What Yogurts Contain Lactobacillus Reuteri?
When looking for yogurts that contain Lactobacillus reuteri, it is important to check the ingredient label. The label provides information about the specific strains of bacteria present in the yogurt. Some yogurts may list the strains by their full scientific names, while others may use abbreviated names or simply indicate the presence of probiotics without specifying the strains. Here are 4 yogurt brands that contain Lactobacillus Reuteri.
Incorporating organic yogurt into your diet can be a convenient and enjoyable way to introduce Lactobacillus reuteri and other beneficial bacteria into your gut. Yogurt was used in the fur luster and cholesterol studies shared earlier in this guide.
What Is Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14?
Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14® is a probiotic strain that is extensively studied and recognized for its benefits to women's health. Originally isolated from the vagina of a healthy woman, it is now classified as Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14®. It is often used in combination with Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1® in clinical trials, as both strains have shown the ability to colonize the vaginal mucosa and positively influence the vaginal microbiota.
Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14® adheres to the urogenital and intestinal epithelial surfaces, replacing pathogenic bacteria and inhibiting their growth through the production of lactic acid. It also produces signaling factors that downregulate toxin production and may have immune modulatory activity. The strain has been well-documented for its effectiveness in addressing conditions such as thrush, bacterial vaginosis, and cystitis.
Is Lactobacillus Reuteri Good For SIBO?
There are no clinical studies that prove Lactobacillus reuteri is good for SIBO but a 2017 study by V Ojetti, did suggest that supplementation with Lactobacillus reuteri (DSM 17938) may have a beneficial effect on chronic constipation by reducing methane production.
SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) refers to an abnormal increase in the number or types of bacteria in the small intestine, while methane production is the generation of methane gas by certain microorganisms in the gut, which can be associated with SIBO.
The study analyzed data from 20 adults with functional constipation who were treated with L. reuteri for four weeks. These patients had a high methane production (higher than 5 ppm) as measured by a lactulose breath test which is common with SIBO infection.
The results showed that after four weeks of L. reuteri administration, there was a significant decrease in mean methane production and area under the curve (AUC) values. Eleven patients in the study experienced a complete disappearance of methane production.
Dr. Sara Mesilhy has a Master’s degree in Gastroenterology and holds a membership with the Royal College of Physicians of the United Kingdom. She completed her Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) at Cairo University and is currently part of the ProbioticReviewGirl medical team.