Lactobacillus reuteri is a probiotic with a great reputation, especially with diarrhea. One strain is also highly rated against uti, bv and urogenital health.
L reuteri is a species of probiotic bacteria that naturally lives in the human gut as well as the gut of many mammals and birds. And because it occurs naturally in the human intestine it is one of the few Lactobacillus species that is specifically adapted to survive in the gastrointestinal tract. This probiotic bacteria laughs at acidic gastric juice and bile salts.
No really, it does!
In a study of 18 major species of gut flora in a variety of animals, this was the ONLY bacteria that formed a "major component" of the Lactobacillus present in the gut of each of the animals tested.1
Rats have a rat strain and pigs have a pig strain - each animal appears to have its own host-specific strain of L reuteri, and of course, humans have a human strain.
This fact that each animal has adapted L reuteri to their own needs shows what an important bacteria for gut microflora this probiotic is.
Not everyone has this gutsy little bacteria in their gastrointestinal tract but oral intake with supplements will rapidly colonise our insides although the level will fall again after several months of not taking it.2
The probiotic L reuteri has a great track record against diarrhea.BioGaia Probiotic Chewable Tablets, 30 Count Box - contains 100 million cfu of L reuteri Protectis.
If you live in the UK you can get this probiotic locally here: BioGaia Probiotic Chewable Tablets - 30 ea
No reviews on the chewable tablets here in the UK but plenty of 5 star reviews for the identical product in the USA where it has been sold for longer.
Comments such as "cannot live without it" and an IBS sufferer said "I can not live without it". Check the USA site for reviews and then buy locally.
Now that Stonyfield have stopped adding L reuteri to their yogurt I don't think there is any yogurt in the USA that has it added. Hopefully, they might reconsider and put it back.
Unfortunately many websites with outdated information still tell their readers that Lactobacillus reuteri is in Stonyfield yogurt - it isn't.
It is found naturally in many foods, particularly milk and meat products but, of course, unless these good bacteria start waving little flags above their heads, it is impossible to know when you're eating them and when you're not, or indeed which strain you're eating! In one Canadian experiment L reuteri was added to dry fermented sausages to see if it was possible to formulate "fermented meat products with viable health-promoting bacteria". The probiotic bacteria were still viable at the end of the processing3 so all you Canadians can start searching your delicatessen for these probiotic bangers!
Lactobacillus reuteri produces an antibiotic type substance called Reuterin that is capable of destroying pathogenic bacteria, yeasts, fungi and protozoas.4 No wonder it's such hot stuff on women's urogential complaints! Scientist say that it isn't clear whether it is the effect of Reuterin that makes L reuteri so useful or not, although it seems obvious to me that all that pathogen destroying ability must be having some impact.
1. Mitsuoka T. The human gastrointestinal tract. In: Wood BJB, ed. The lactic acid bacteria. v 1 The lactic acid bacteria in health and disease. New York. Elsevier Applied Science, 1992: 69-114
2. Wolf BW, Garleb KA, Ataya DG, Casas IA. Safety and tolerance of Lactobacillus reuteri in healthy adult male subjects. Microbial Ecol health Dis 1995; 8: 41-50
3. Muthukumarasamy P, Holley RA. Microbiological and sensory quality of dry fermented sausages containing alginate-microencapsulated Lactobacillus reuteri. International Journal of Food Microbiology. volume 111, issue 2, 1 Sept 2006 pages 164-169
4. Talarico TL, Dobrogosz WJ. Chemical characterization of an antimicrobial substance produced by Lactobacillus reuteri. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1989 May;33(5):674-9
Measures pH in the correct range for women's health