Lactobacillus reuteri is a Gram-positive bacterium that naturally inhabits the gut of mammals and birds. First described in the early 1980s, some strains of L. reuteri are used as probiotics. BioGaia AB in Sweden owns several commercially important strains and a large number of different patents for commercial usage of L. reuteri.
Several studies report an inhibitory effect of probiotics on Helicobacter pylori. Lactobacillus reuteri appears to decrease dyspeptic symptoms, and affects eradication rates after conventional treatment. [srs]
L. reuteri is one of several bacteria native to the human gut with the ability to produce an enzyme called bile salt hydrolase (BSH). As the name suggests, BSH breaks down bile salts, which are compounds the liver makes from cholesterol.
A study showed that participants with high cholesterol who supplemented their diets with Cardioviva twice daily experienced an average reduction of LDL cholesterol by more than 11 percent (and total cholesterol by 9 percent) in six weeks, compared to a placebo group. (By way of comparison, statin drugs can generally be expected to lower LDL levels by 40 to 60 percent; drugs like WelChol lower LDL levels by 10 to 20 percent.) [srs]
Vitamin D levels
On another study vitamin D levels, increased 25 percent with a nine-week period of taking L. reuteri supplement. [srs]
L. reuteri may also be capable of promoting dental health, as it has been proven to kill Streptococcus mutans, a bacterium responsible for tooth decay. [srs]
Gingivitis also may be ameliorated by consumption of L. reuteri. Patients afflicted with severe gingivitis showed decreased gum bleeding, plaque formation, and other gingivitis-associated symptoms compared with placebo after chewing gum containing L. reuteri. [srs]
By protecting against many common infections, L. reuteri promotes overall wellness in both children and adults. Double-blind, randomized studies in child care centers have foundL. reuteri-fed infants fall sick less often, require fewer doctor visits, and are absent fewer days from the day care center compared to placebo and to the competing probiotic. [srs]