Lactobacillus reuteri (Limosilactobacillus reuteri)
Lactobacillus reuteri (Limosilactobacillus reuteri) is a species of probiotic bacteria. In this article you will find the answers to the following questions about L. reuteri:
What is 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. In humans, L. reuteri is found in different areas of the body, including the gastrointestinal tract, urinary tract, skin and breast milk (Mu Q. et al., 2018). As of April 2020, L. reuteri has been officially reclassified to Limosilactobacillus reuteri (Zheng J et al., 2020).
What are the benefits of Lactobacillus reuteri?
- Production of antimicrobial molecules - The L. reuteri species typically produces carbon dioxide, ethanol, acetate, and lactic acid from glucose fermentation, therefore, inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria, fungi and protozoa in its host (Jones, S.E. & Versalovic, J., 2009).
- Production of nutrients – This species of bacteria are particularly good at producing the nutrients folate and vitamin B12 (Santos F. et al., 2008).
- Production of reuterin - L. reuteri 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 (Talarico T.L. & Dobrogosz W.J., 1989).
The Lactobacillus reuteri species is believed to be a promising therapy for helping to alleviate or reduce certain illnesses related to gastrointestinal, urogenital and oral health. L. reuteri has been the focus of many research projects and clinical trials, particularly studied in women’s vaginal health and supporting those with bacterial vaginosis (BV). You can find out more about these topics over on our sister site, the Probiotics Learning Lab: Which is the Best Probiotic Supplement for Women? and Probiotics & Bacterial Vaginosis.
Which probiotics contain lactobacillus reuteri?
Due to the extensive research on this species for many areas of human health, you can find L. reuteri strains in many probiotic foods and supplements; among the most widely studied strains are Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14® and Lactobacillus reuteri Protectis®.
L. reuteri RC-14® is one of the most well trialled strains for women’s intimate health; particularly for supporting those with symptoms of thrush, bacterial vaginosis & cystitis.
L. reuteri Protectis® has been trailed in children’s health and has demonstrated its efficacy with helping infantile colic.
You can read more about the research and outcomes on their strain entry pages here: Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14® and Lactobacillus reuteri Protectis®.
Lactobacillus spp. are one of the most widely used probiotics and can be found in a large variety of food products throughout the world, including yoghurts. There are many other species in the Lactobacillus genus – read about these on the Probiotics Database
Key takeaways for Lactobacillus reuteri
- Lactobacillus reuteri is officially known as Limosilactobacillus reuteri; it contains well studied strains within the species shown to be particularly helpful in women’s and children’s health.
- The benefits of L. reuteri include producing antimicrobial substances along with folate, vitamin B12 and reuterin.
- Two of the most well studied strains of L. reuteri are Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14® and Lactobacillus reuteri Protectis®.
For more insights and professional updates on probiotics, please visit the Probiotic Professionals pages.
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.
Qinghui Mu, Vincent J. Tavella and Xin M. Luo*. (2018). Role of Lactobacillus reuteri in Human Health and Diseases. Front. Microbiol.,. 2 (1), 227-3.
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.
Zheng J, Wittouck S. et al., (2020) 'A taxonmonic note on the genus Lactobacillus: Description of 23 novel genera, emended description of the genus Lactobacillus Beijerinck 1901, and union of Lactobacillaceae and Leuconostocaceae'. Int.J.Syst.Evol.Microbiol, 70(4): 2782-2858. DOI: 10.1099/ijsem.0.004107
Information on this species was gathered by Joanna Scott-Lutyens BA (hons), DipION, Nutritional Therapist; and Kerry Beeson, BSc (Nut.Med) Nutritional Therapist.