Lactobacillus reuteri

Bacteria from the Lactobacillus reuteri species are gram-positive, rod-shaped, and anaerobic microorganisms which form chain arrangements, and do not produce endospores. The Lactobacillus reuteri species typically produces carbon dioxide, ethanol, acetate, and lactic acid from glucose fermentation, and these bacteria are also particularly good at producing the nutrients folate and vitamin B12; however, this species is most noted for producing a compound called reuterin via the fermentation of glycerol. Reuterin is a potent antimicrobial affecting both gram positive and gram negative bacteria, which helps to aid the survival of L. reuteri bacteria by discouraging other species in their environment. It appears to be so effective as an antimicrobial due to the fact that it has been shown to inhibit ribonucleotide reductase, an enzyme crucial for DNA synthesis, which plays an essential role in the growth and multiplication of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells and viruses. The Lactobacillus reuteri species is therefore known to help inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria, fungi and protozoa in its host, and due to these properties, it is believed to be a promising therapy for helping to alleviate or reduce certain illnesses related to gastrointestinal, urogenital and oral health.

As the properties & benefits of probiotics are strain-specific, this database provides even more detailed information at the level of the strain.

Read more about the strains we've included from this species: L. reuteri Protectis® and L. reuteri RC-14®.


Jones, S.E. & Versalovic, J., (2009), ‘Probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri biofilms produce antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory factors.’ BMC Microbiology, 9:35.
Lee Y. and Salminen S., (2009), Handbook of Probiotic and Prebiotics. 2nd edition, Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.
Morita H. et al., (2008), ‘Comparative Genome Analysis of Lactobacillus reuteri and Lactobacillus fermentum Reveal a Genomic Island for Reuterin and Cobalamin Producion’ DNA Research, 15:151-161.
Santos F. et al., (2008), ‘High-Level Folate Production in Fermented Foods by the B12 Producer Lactobacillus reuteri JCM1112’. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 74:10.
Talarico T.L. & Dobrogosz W.J., (1989), ‘Chemical characterization of an antimicrobial substance produced by Lactobacillus reuteri’. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother., 33(5):674-9.

Information on this species was gathered by Joanna Scott-Lutyens BA (hons), DipION, Nutritional Therapist; and Kerry Beeson, BSc (Nut.Med) Nutritional Therapist.