lactobacillus reuteri in food

Lactobacillus Reuteri In Food - Exploring Food For Gut Health

We all know the old saying "You are what you eat," but did you ever consider how much of an impact certain foods can have on our bodies - particularly when it comes to gut health? One microorganism that is gaining a lot of attention in this area is Lactobacillus reuteri, which has been shown to populate beneficial bacteria in the intestine and support overall digestive health. In this blog post, we'll explore Lactobacillus reuteri's potential role as a probiotic agent, its impact on gut health & digestion, and delicious ways to incorporate it into your daily diet!

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Lactobacillus Reuteri Background And Its Main Benefits

Lactobacillus Reuteri is a probiotic bacteria that is naturally found in the human gut and is also present in some fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut. This beneficial bacterium has gained popularity in recent years due to its potential health benefits.

Main Benefits of Lactobacillus Reuteri

Lactobacillus Reuteri Improves Digestive Health

Improved Digestive Health: Lactobacillus Reuteri helps maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut, which can improve digestion and prevent digestive issues such as bloating, diarrhea, and constipation [1], [2].

Boosted Immune System: As a probiotic strain, Lactobacillus Reuteri can help strengthen the immune system by promoting the production of antibodies and supporting the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut [1] [2].

Reduced Inflammation [1] [2]: Lactobacillus Reuteri has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce inflammation in the body. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals with conditions such as arthritis, eczema, and inflammatory bowel disease.

Improved Mental Health [3] [4] [5]: Research has revealed that Lactobacillus Reuteri may exert a beneficial influence on mental well-being by alleviating symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress. These studies have also established a correlation between the gut microbiome and overall mental health, sleep quality, and emotional well-being in humans, leading to a reduction in stress, depression, and anxiety.

Reduced Risk of Infections [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]: Lactobacillus Reuteri has been found to inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria in the gut, which can help reduce the risk of infections such as pylori Infection, and respiratory infections.

Other Potential Benefits Of Lactobacillus Reuteri

Lactobacillus Reuteri Benefits For Cardiovascular Health

In addition to the main benefits mentioned above, other potential benefits of Lactobacillus Reuteri are currently being studied. These include:

Weight Management [12]: Some studies have suggested that Lactobacillus Reuteri may help with weight management by improving insulin sensitivity and reducing fat storage.

Oral Health [13]: Lactobacillus Reuteri has been found to have anti-bacterial properties against harmful bacteria in the mouth, which can help improve oral health and prevent cavities.

Skin Health [14] [15] [16]: As a probiotic strain, Lactobacillus Reuteri may also have positive effects on skin health by promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria and reducing inflammation. This can help improve conditions such as acne and eczema.

Cardiovascular Health [17] [18]: Preliminary studies have shown that Lactobacillus Reuteri may have a positive impact on cardiovascular health by reducing cholesterol levels and improving blood pressure.

Lactobacillus Reuteri In Food

Yogurt

Yogurt Is One Of The Most Commonly Known Sources Of Lactobacillus Reuteri

Yogurt is one of the most commonly known sources of Lactobacillus Reuteri, a probiotic strain that can promote gut health. It is made by fermenting milk with Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus bacteria, as well as additional probiotic strains such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium lactis, and Lactobacillus casei, depending on the brand.

When purchasing yogurt for its Lactobacillus Reuteri content, it is important to look for specific strains listed in the ingredients, such as Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 or ATCC PTA 6475. These strains have been specifically studied and shown to provide the potential health benefits mentioned earlier.

Kefir

lactobacillus reuteri in food

Kefir is a fermented drink made by adding kefir grains (a combination of lactic acid bacteria and yeasts) to milk. This fermentation process produces Lactobacillus Reuteri, as well as other beneficial strains such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus kefiranofaciens, and Bifidobacterium bifidum. Kefir has a tangy flavor and contains even more probiotics than yogurt.

Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is a fermented cabbage dish that is not only delicious but also full of beneficial bacteria, including Lactobacillus Reuteri. It is made by shredding cabbage and fermenting it with salt, water, and Lactobacillus bacteria for several weeks.

The result is a tangy and crunchy addition to meals that can provide gut health benefits.

Sourdough bread

Lactobacillus Reuteri In Sourdough Bread

Lactobacillus reuteri is a naturally occurring bacterium that plays a critical role in the fermentation process of sourdough bread. It emerges from the mixture of flour and water that is left to ferment, thereby creating a vibrant environment for cultivating yeast and bacteria. As the mixture ferments, Lactobacillus reuteri multiplies and thrives, leading to the characteristic tangy flavor of sourdough. 

The benefits of Lactobacillus reuteri in sourdough bread are multi-faceted. Primarily, it aids in the digestion process by producing lactic acid, which lowers the bread's pH, making it easier for our bodies to absorb nutrients.

This bacterium also acts as a probiotic, promoting a healthy gut microbiome and potentially improving immune function.

Furthermore, Lactobacillus reuteri is known to produce antimicrobial substances that can inhibit the growth of certain pathogenic bacteria, contributing to overall health and wellness.

Kimchi

Lactobacillus Reuteri In Kimchi Works Similarly As It Does In Sourdough Bread

Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish made primarily from fermented cabbage and a blend of chili peppers, garlic, ginger, and salt. It's renowned not only for its spicy, tangy flavor but also for its impressive health benefits.

Key to these benefits is the presence of various lactobacilli, including Lactobacillus reuteri, which contribute significantly to kimchi's fermentation process and health-promoting properties.

Lactobacillus reuteri in kimchi works similarly as it does in sourdough bread. During fermentation, it proliferates, creating lactic acid that lends kimchi its distinctive acidic flavor and helps preserve it for a long duration.

The presence of Lactobacillus reuteri in kimchi also enhances its probiotic profile, fostering a robust gut microbiome, boosting immunity, and inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria. Thus, consuming kimchi can be a tasty and effective way to incorporate this beneficial bacterium into our diets.

Salmon and Other Cold Water Fish

Lactobacillus Reuteri Can Also Be Found In Cold-Water Fish, Such As Salmon

Aside from bread and fermented vegetables, Lactobacillus reuteri can also be found in cold-water fish, such as salmon.

These fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which promote heart health and may have anti-inflammatory effects. However, they also contain high levels of natural bacteria, including Lactobacillus reuteri.

When consumed regularly, Lactobacillus reuteri from salmon and other cold-water fish can contribute to gut health by balancing the microbiome and reducing inflammation.

It may also aid in breaking down food and increasing nutrient absorption, leading to improved overall digestion.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes Also Includes Lactobacillus reuteri

Sweet potatoes are a nutritious and delicious source of carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. They're also a surprising source of Lactobacillus reuteri. These beneficial bacteria live on the skin of sweet potatoes and can be transferred into our digestive tract when we eat them.

The presence of Lactobacillus reuteri in sweet potatoes may help improve digestion, reduce bloating and gas, and promote regular bowel movements. It may also contribute to a healthier gut microbiome, leading to potential benefits for our overall health.

Beans

Beans are another unexpected source of Lactobacillus reuteri. These legumes contain high levels of this bacterium, which contributes to their fermentation process and gives them their characteristic tangy flavor.

Consuming beans regularly may have a positive impact on gut health, as Lactobacillus reuteri can help balance the microbiome and reduce inflammation. It may also aid in the digestion of other foods consumed with beans and promote regular bowel movements.

Other Foods For Gut Health

While Lactobacillus reuteri can be found in various fermented foods, it is just one of many beneficial bacteria and yeasts that contribute to gut health. Consuming a diverse range of probiotic-rich foods is crucial for maintaining a healthy microbiome. Other examples include:

  • Yogurt with live and active cultures
  • Kombucha 
  • Miso 
  • Tempeh 
  • Pickles and other fermented vegetables
  • Apple cider vinegar 

It's also essential to include prebiotic foods in your diet, which feed the beneficial bacteria in our gut. These include:

  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Leeks 
  • Asparagus 
  • Bananas 

By incorporating a variety of probiotic and prebiotic foods into our diets, we can promote a healthy gut microbiome and potentially experience various health benefits. Along with regular exercise and a balanced diet, consuming fermented foods like kefir, sauerkraut, sourdough bread, kimchi, and other probiotic-rich options is an excellent way to support our overall well-being. 

Conclusion

Incorporating a variety of fermented and probiotic-rich foods into our diets, such as sourdough bread, kimchi, salmon, sweet potatoes, beans, yogurt, and pickles, can have significant benefits for our gut health. These foods contain Lactobacillus reuteri and other beneficial bacteria that contribute to a healthy microbiome and may improve digestion, boost immunity, and promote overall wellness. So why not try adding some of these delicious foods to your next meal and nourish your gut for better health? 

FAQs

What Probiotics Include Lactobacillus Reuteri?

Several over-the-counter probiotic supplements include Lactobacillus reuteri. Additionally, some brands of yogurt may include this bacteria. It's important to read product labels to confirm the presence of Lactobacillus reuteri.

Is Lactobacillus Reuteri Present In Kombucha?

Kombucha, a fermented tea beverage, typically contains a variety of probiotic bacteria, but Lactobacillus reuteri is not commonly found in it. The specific probiotic content can vary depending on the fermentation process and the specific strains of bacteria and yeast used.

References:

[1] Yu, Z., Chen, J., Liu, Y., Meng, Q.-H., Liu, H., Yao, Q., Song, W., Ren, X., & Chen, X. (2023). The role of potential probiotic strains Lactobacillus reuteri in various intestinal diseases: New roles for an old player. Frontiers in Microbiology, 14. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2023.1095555
[2] Mu, Q., Tavella, V. J., & Luo, X. (2018). Role of Lactobacillus reuteri in Human Health and Diseases. Frontiers in Microbiology, 9. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2018.00757
[3] Hyuk Joo Lee, Jung Kyung Hong, Kim, J.-K., Kim, D.-H., Seok Won Jang, Han, S.-W., & Yoon, I.-Y. (2021). Effects of Probiotic NVP-1704 on Mental Health and Sleep in Healthy Adults: An 8-Week Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Nutrients, 13(8), 2660–2660. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13082660
[4] Bhagavathi Sundaram Sivamaruthi, Mani Iyer Prasanth, Periyanaina Kesika, & Chaiyavat Chaiyasut. (2021). Probiotics in human mental health and diseases - A minireview. Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, 18(4), 889–895. https://doi.org/10.4314/tjpr.v18i4.29
[5] Zhou, H., Wang, R., Zhang, S., Zhang, X., Zhou, H., Wen, T., & Wang, J. (2022). Depression-like symptoms due to Dcf1 deficiency are alleviated by intestinal transplantation of Lactobacillus murine and Lactobacillus reuteri. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 593, 137–143. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc.2022.01.026
[6] Francavilla, R., Lionetti, E., Castellaneta, S., Anna Maria Magistà, Maurogiovanni, G., Bucci, N., A. De Canio, Indrio, F., Cavallo, L., Ierardi, E., & Vito Leonardo Miniello. (2008). Inhibition of Helicobacter pylori Infection in Humans by Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC 55730 and Effect on Eradication Therapy: A Pilot Study. Helicobacter, 13(2), 127–134. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1523-5378.2008.00593.x
[7] Maria Pina Dore, Cuccu, M., Giovanni Mario Pes, Manca, A., & Graham, D. Y. (2013). Lactobacillus reuteri in the treatment of Helicobacter pylori infection. Internal and Emergency Medicine, 9(6), 649–654. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11739-013-1013-z
[8] Emara, M. H. (2014). Lactobacillus reuteri in management of Helicobacter pylori infection in dyspeptic patients: a double-blind placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial - Mohamed H. Emara, Salem Y. Mohamed, Hesham R. Abdel-Aziz, 2014. Therapeutic Advances in Gastroenterology. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1756283X13503514
[9] Francavilla, R., Polimeno, L., Antonella Demichina, Maurogiovanni, G., Principi, M., Scaccianoce, G., Ierardi, E., Russo, F., Riezzo, G., Alfredo Di Leo, Cavallo, L., Francavilla, A., & Versalovic, J. (2014). Lactobacillus reuteri Strain Combination In Helicobacter pylori Infection. Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, 48(5), 407–413. https://doi.org/10.1097/mcg.0000000000000007
[10] Gutiérrez‐Castrellón, P., López-Velázquez, G., Díaz–García, L., Jiménez-Gutiérrez, C., Mancilla-Ramı́rezJ., Estevez-Jimenéz, J., & Parra, M. (2014). Diarrhea in Preschool Children and Lactobacillus reuteri: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Pediatrics, 133(4), e904–e909. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2013-0652
[11] Giovanni Di Nardo, Oliva, S., A. Menichella, Riccardo Pistelli, Riccardo, F. Patriarchi, Cucchiara, S., & Stronati, L. (2014). Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC55730 in Cystic Fibrosis. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, 58(1), 81–86. https://doi.org/10.1097/mpg.0000000000000187
[12] Million, M., Franck Thuny, Angelakis, E., J-P Casalta, Giorgi, R., Habib, G., & Didier Raoult. (2013). Lactobacillus reuteri and Escherichia coli in the human gut microbiota may predict weight gain associated with vancomycin treatment. Nutrition & Diabetes, 3(9), e87–e87. https://doi.org/10.1038/nutd.2013.28
[13] Fadia Ben Taheur, Bochra Kouidhi, Kais Fdhila, Elabed, H., Rihab Ben Slama, Kacem Mahdouani, Bakhrouf, A., & Kamel Chaieb. (2016). Anti-bacterial and anti-biofilm activity of probiotic bacteria against oral pathogens. Microbial Pathogenesis, 97, 213–220. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.micpath.2016.06.018
[14] Butler, E. I., Christoffer Lundqvist, & Axelsson, J. (2020). Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 as a Novel Topical Cosmetic Ingredient: A Proof of Concept Clinical Study in Adults with Atopic Dermatitis. Microorganisms, 8(7), 1026–1026. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms8071026
[15] Fang, J., You, S., Sun, Q., Wang, Z., Wang, C., Wang, D., & Li, M. (2022). Protection Impacts of Coix lachryma-jobi L. Seed Lactobacillus reuteri Fermentation Broth on Hydrogen Peroxide-Induced Oxidative Stress in Human Skin Fibroblasts. Applied Sciences, 13(1), 540–540. https://doi.org/10.3390/app13010540
[16] Ia Khmaladze, Butler, E. I., Fabre, S., & Gillbro, J. M. (2019). Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938—A comparative study on the effect of probiotics and lysates on human skin. Experimental Dermatology, 28(7), 822–828. https://doi.org/10.1111/exd.13950
[17] Carmen Tenorio Jiménez, M.J. Martínez-Ramírez, Tercero-Lozano, M., Arraiza-Irigoyen, C., Isabel Del Castillo-Codes, Josune Olza, Plaza‐Díaz, J., Fontana, L., Migueles, J. H., Olivares, M., Gil, Á., & Gómez-Llorente, C. (2018). Evaluation of the effect of Lactobacillus reuteri V3401 on biomarkers of inflammation, cardiovascular risk and liver steatosis in obese adults with metabolic syndrome: a randomized clinical trial (PROSIR). BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 18(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12906-018-2371-x
[18] Liu, J., Zhu, R., Song, J., Muhammad Sohaib, Wang, S., Mao, J., Qi, J., Xiong, X., Zhou, W., & Guo, L. (2023). Limosilactobacillus reuteri consumption significantly reduces the total cholesterol concentration without affecting other cardiovascular disease risk factors in adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Nutrition Research, 117, 1–14. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nutres.2023.06.004
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Author

Ralph S. Albert, with over 10 years of expertise in nutrition and research, now heads the Research division at Vinatura Supplements. His dedication and extensive knowledge ensure top-quality articles on nutrition and health, collaborating with a skilled team. He has successfully completed The VINATURA Expertise Research Training Program, underscoring his commitment to Vinatura's mission. Ralph has also published numerous articles and conducted valuable research in the field, making him a trusted resource for individuals on their wellness journey.

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