When you think of probiotics, yogurt is probably the first thing to come to mind.
Probiotics consist of healthy bacteria strains naturally found in the intestines and in some foods.
There are over 500 strains, each with their own benefits for boosting intestinal, immune, and overall health.
Some strains are more beneficial than others. Lactobacillus reuteri is one of the better ones that you want to be sure you’re getting in your diet or through supplementation.
Lacto-what? Its very name is a tongue twister.
Lactobacillus reuteri, or L. reuteri for short, is one of the more extensively studied probiotic strains with numerous health benefits.
In layman’s terms, L. reuteri is a lactic acid strain that lives in the intestine, with smaller traces found in the stomach.
Reuteri itself is categorized into smaller sub-strains.
The L. reuteri strain Primadophilus reuteri, for instance, is known for supporting healthy digestion and strong immune system.
Before we discuss the health wonders of L. reuteri, a general primer of probiotics is in order.
According to the latest studies, there are about 40 trillion bacteria in the human body. Some of the bacteria is good, while others contribute to the common cold, the flu, and other illnesses.
The body naturally maintains a balance of good to bad bacteria. However, factors like a poor diet and stress can increase the ratio of bad to good bacteria.
Increasing probiotics in your body through foods and supplements helps to rebalance the scale and improve digestive function.
For a healthy body, researchers believe your gastrointestinal tract should have a ratio of 85% probiotics to 15% bad bacteria. This enables probiotics to fight off constipation, bloating, reduce toxins, and break down food into usable nutrients.
Probiotics in general are known for digestive health, but what are some of the benefits specific to the L. reuteri strain? Various independent studies suggest this probiotic may hold a multitude of benefits for men and women.
A 2014 study published in the PLoS One journal revealed a link between L. reuteri and testosterone.
Laboratory mice that ingested L. reuteri-fortified water exhibited higher levels of serum testosterone levels as well as an offset in gonadal aging.
More testosterone means a higher sex drive in bed, along with improved body composition and motivation.
Furthermore, the probiotic is also known to increase the hormone oxytocin.
This has been colloquially known as the “feel good” or “love hormone” and has been shown to intensify orgasms. Those – especially men – who took oxytocin before intercourse reported greater pleasure in contentment after sex.
While the bald look can certainly be appealing, most people would prefer the choice to be bald rather than being forced by nature.
Luckily, L. reuteri is known to reduce hair thinning, stimulate follicle development, and accelerate hair growth.
Something women specifically might find appealing is that the probiotic increases hair acidic pH. This improves hair moisture retention and creates that silky hair look you often see in shampoo commercials.
You may have heard stories of celebrity weight gain and some of them attributing the extra pounds to a chemical imbalance in the thyroid.
The thyroid is a section of the brain that regulates various bodily functions, including body weight and most importantly, metabolism.
Because thyroid controls how your cells produce energy, which underlies all areas of your health, thyroid dysfunction has been linked to other aspects of the body going haywire. This includes brain fog, fatigue, anxiety, high stress levels, and poor sleep.
A 2014 study published in the Journal of Obesity & Weight Loss Therapy showed that mice given L. reuteri through their water exhibited healthier thyroid function. Consequently, the mice were also thinner compared to the control mice.
In this sense, the strain may indirectly promote weight loss. This leads us to the next benefit.
No, supplementing with probiotics doesn’t mean you can get sloppy with your diet.
However, when combined with exercise and diet, probiotics may help you trim down.
In laboratory studies, mice given probiotics exhibited less weight gain even when fed a western diet.
Lower fat levels were also observed in the liver. Too much fat in the liver causes scarring in the organ and increase risk of diabetes.
While it’s not a replacement for seeing a dentist, you may partially combat cavities by supplementing with L. reuteri.
There isn’t a whole lot of studies in this area, since most of probiotic research focuses on gut health, but there is one study that suggests some degree of correlation between oral health and certain probiotic strains.
Given all the other benefits of the L. reuteri strain, it makes sense that you might notice improvements in oral health as well.
While many foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha have naturally occurring probiotics in them, these foods don’t necessarily have the specific bacteria strains, like L. reuteri, that you really want.
Not to mention these foods can be a bit strange and uncommon, making them hard to include regularly.
However, there are also probiotic supplements that contain the L. reuteri strain, along with other highly beneficial bacteria.
You must exercise some caution, though, when selecting a probiotic supplement. Purchasing the cheapest supplement at Walmart is not a wise choice. Those contain mostly dead bacteria strains or strains that will die before they reach your guts.
Here is a quick guide when picking out a probiotic supplement:
Remember this: your body isn’t a single functioning unit. It’s comprised of smaller microorganisms numbering in the trillions.Lactobacillus reuteri is just one of the hundreds of strains that work overtime to keep you alive and healthy.
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