L. reuteri: A Review of Its Many Known Benefits

A very happy New Year to you all. I hope your holidays were wonderful.

First, an update on me.  You may have noticed that I have been writing posts less regularly. My new business has really taken off, and I am working insane hours.  I have a lot less free time to indulge my hobbies, which includes this blog.  I had thought about closing the site down, in fact, but for the moment, I’ll keep it up.  I really do enjoy staying on top of the literature and sharing the biome buzz with you all.

My resolution for the year:  to feel a hell of a lot better than I currently do. My son, Alex, has been suffering from horrific OCD these past two years and it’s taken a toll on me, in terms of my autoimmune issues.  We Buzzers are only too well aware of how stress affecting our biomes!  And, how many times over the years have I written about the concept of biome depletion and its effects on human health? So, like we all didn’t have enough to worry about these days, there is now worry among many experts that the excessive “sterilization” caused by COVID fears is only making a bad situation worse.  Probiotic species, like Lacotbacillus reuteri, which is well known to be highly beneficial, is found more and more frequently at reduced levels, and this is highly linked to inflammatory diseases.  In fact, L. reuteri holds great promise at reducing autoimmunity.

On that note: a few weeks ago I spotted an interesting piece in Discover Magazine that I have been wanting to share with you.[i]  According to this article, a specific strain called L. reuteri NCIMB 30242 has undergone multiple human trials.  It has been shown to be beneficial for gut dysbiosis and poor microbiome diversity as well as poor bile acid metabolism.  It also appears to help balance the ratio of Firmicutes versus Bacteroidetes species, which together comprise about 80-90% of all gut bacteria.  A decreased ratio, as well as gut dysbiosis, are strongly linked now with: inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, type 1 diabetes, lupus, chronic fatigue, aging and depression. However, a excessively high ratio is also bad, and is associated too with obesity, irritable bowel syndrome (especially the diarrhea- and bloating- predominant types), fatty liver disease and heart disease.

While L. reuteri NCIMB 30242 is in the Firmicutes phylum, there is no evidence that high levels of any Lactobacilli contribute to any disease:  “On the contrary, research associates their unhealthy [i.e. low] levels with various conditions and diseases.”

There are several conditions which L. reuteri NCIMB 30242 has been definitively proven to remediate:  it lowers LDL and improves cholesterol status.  In those with something called cholesterol hyperabsorbtion, who respond poorly to statin drugs, it normalizes total cholesterol level.  L. reuteri NCIMB 30242 also has been proven to lower inflammatory markers in the blood like CRP (C-reactive protein) and other markers of heart disease.

Over the last 5+ years, I have written about L. reuteri many times.  Just a few examples for you:  providing immune protection for babies, improving immune tolerance (i.e. calming down allergies and autoimmunity) , several times about it potentially proving beneficial in autism (here’s just one example) and also, potentially helping with PTSD.   I was, therefore, especially pleased that at the end of the article, Discover provided a link to a high quality source of this particular strain of L. reuteri.  I have ordered it and am keeping my fingers crossed that it helps!

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[i] https://www.discovermagazine.com/lifestyle/is-your-modern-lifestyle-destroying-your-gut-microbiome

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