What is Lactobacillus reuteri?

June 06, 2023 4 min read

What is Lactobacillus reuteri?

Lactobacillus reuteri is a Gram-positive, rod-shaped bacterium that is part of the Lactobacillus genus. It is found in the human gastrointestinal tract, oral cavity, and breast milk. Lactobacillus reuteri is considered a probiotic bacterium due to its ability to promote health in the host. It has been studied extensively for its potential therapeutic applications, including the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders, immune modulation, and prevention of infections.

One of the most well-known strains of Lactobacillus reuteri is DSM 17938, which has been extensively studied in clinical trials. This strain has been shown to have a number of beneficial effects on the gastrointestinal tract, including reducing symptoms of functional gastrointestinal disorders such as colic and irritable bowel syndrome. It has also been shown to have immunomodulatory effects, promoting the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines and enhancing the activity of natural killer cells.

Another strain of Lactobacillus reuteri, ATCC PTA 6475, has been studied for its potential effects on oral health. This strain has been shown to reduce the levels of Streptococcus mutans, a bacteria associated with dental caries, in saliva and dental plaque. It has also been shown to reduce the levels of periodontal pathogens in the oral cavity, leading to a reduction in inflammation and improved periodontal health.

In addition to its potential effects on gastrointestinal and oral health, Lactobacillus reuteri has been studied for its potential immunomodulatory effects. It has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects in animal models of inflammatory bowel disease and to enhance the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines in human cells. These effects may make Lactobacillus reuteri a promising candidate for the prevention and treatment of inflammatory disorders such as arthritis and psoriasis.

The benefits of L. reuteri can be summarized as: 

  • L. reuteri has been shown to promote bone health by increasing bone mineral density and improving bone microstructure in animal studies.
  • Some studies suggest that L. reuteri may have potential as a therapeutic agent for treating acne, as it has been shown to reduce inflammation and improve skin barrier function.
  • L. reuteri has also been studied for its potential to improve oral health by reducing plaque formation and promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria in the mouth.
  • In infants, L. reuteri has been shown to have a protective effect against colic and regurgitation.
  • Preliminary studies have also suggested that L. reuteri may have potential as a therapeutic agent for treating gastrointestinal disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Overall, Lactobacillus reuteri is a promising probiotic bacterium with a wide range of potential health benefits. While more research is needed to fully understand its mechanisms of action and potential therapeutic applications, current evidence suggests that it may be useful in the prevention and treatment of a variety of health conditions.

There are several ways to increase the amount of L. reuteri in your gut, including:

  1. Consuming fermented foods: Foods like kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi contain live cultures of L. reuteri that can help increase its levels in your gut.
  2. Taking probiotic supplements: L. reuteri is available in probiotic supplements, which can be found in health food stores or online.  
  3. Breastfeeding: L. reuteri is present in breast milk, and breastfeeding has been shown to help establish a healthy gut microbiome in infants, including L. reuteri.
  4. Prebiotic foods: Consuming prebiotic-rich foods like asparagus, garlic, onions, and green bananas can also support the growth of L. reuteri in the gut.
  5. Avoiding antibiotics: Antibiotics can disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in the gut and reduce the levels of L. reuteri. If you need to take antibiotics, talk to your healthcare provider about strategies to support your gut health during and after treatment.
  6. Managing stress: Chronic stress can negatively affect the gut microbiome and reduce the levels of beneficial bacteria like L. reuteri. Practicing stress-management techniques like meditation, deep breathing, and yoga may help support the growth of L. reuteri in the gut.


Questions: contact us at support@layerorigin.com

About Layer Origin: At Layer Origin, we are dedicated to unlocking the potential of Human Milk Oligosaccharides (HMOs). We believe that only God's gift could be so perfectly designed to support our gut health. Our goal is to make this super prebiotic available for both children and adults. Check out PureHMO and SuperHMO Prebiotics



  1. Plaza-Díaz, J., Ruiz-Ojeda, F. J., Vilchez-Padial, L. M., Gil, A., & Perez-Navero, J. L. (2018). Evidence of the Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Probiotics and Synbiotics in Intestinal Chronic Diseases. Nutrients, 10(10), 1539. doi: 10.3390/nu10101539
  2. Burton, J. P., Westerik, N., Harris, C. L., van den Beld, M. J. C., Christensen, E. G., & Schuren, F. H. J. (2017). Probiotic applications: 7. Improving oral health. Research in Microbiology, 168(9-10), 934-950. doi: 10.1016/j.resmic.2017.04.001
  3. Vandenplas, Y., Abkari, A., Bellaiche, M., Benninga, M., Chouraqui, J.-P., Çokura, F., . . . Szajewska, H. (2015). Prebiotics, probiotics, and synbiotics: Impact on the gut immune system and allergic reactions. Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, 49(Suppl 1), S20-S26. doi: 10.1097/MCG.0000000000000428
  4. Jones ML, Martoni CJ, Prakash S. Cholesterol lowering and inhibition of sterol absorption by Lactobacillus reuteri NCIMB 30242: a randomized controlled trial. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2012;66(11):1234-1241. doi:10.1038/ejcn.2012.126
  5. Ohlsson C, Englund-Ögge L, Näsman P, et al. Lactobacillus reuteri for the prevention of colic in infants: a randomized controlled trial. Pediatrics. 2020;145(6):e20191235. doi:10.1542/peds.2019-1235
  6. Di Marzio L, Cinque B, Cuppone R, et al. Effects of probiotic bacteria (Lactobacillus reuteri) on immune system responses and intestinal flora in middle-aged rats. J Microbiol Immunol Infect. 2010;43(5):351-359. doi:10.1016/j.jmii.2009.10.009
  7. Rosander A, Connolly E, Roos S. Removal of antibiotic resistance gene-carrying plasmids from Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC 55730 and characterization of the resulting daughter strain, L. reuteri DSM 17938. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2008;74(19):6032-6040. doi:10.1128/AEM.00488-08
  8. Scholz-Ahrens KE, Ade P, Marten B, et al. Prebiotics, probiotics, and synbiotics affect mineral absorption, bone mineral content, and bone structure. J Nutr. 2007;137(3 Suppl 2):838S-846S. doi:10.1093/jn/137.3.838S

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