The next morning I woke and immediately typed lactobacillus l reuteri into Dr google to see if indeed there was a connection between l reuteri and SIBO. Lo and behold this specific probiotic actually likes to live in the stomach and small intestine and produces antimicrobial compounds such as reuterin that can prevent the overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria that are not meant to thrive in the small intestine or stomach.
L reuteri can be found in the GI tract, urinary tract skin and breast milk in which l reuteri is passed to babies through breast milk. (Never forget the importance of breastfeeding a newborn as nature intended)
In the past few decades, there has been a decrease in the abundance of l reuteri in humans likely due to the modern lifestyle and antibiotic use and improved hygiene where beneficial bacteria are killed off along with the pathogenic bacteria. Recolonizing the GI tract through an l reuteri probiotic or yogurt with l reuteri can help to reverse this problem especially if antibiotics have been used or you were not breastfed.
Some L reuteri benefits include:
- L reuteri is resistant to the low pH of stomach acid and bile salts and can, therefore, colonize the Gi tract, unlike many other probiotics that can’t survive and colonize the Gi tract.
- L reuteri inhibits the colonization of pathogenic bacteria and microbes by producing antimicrobial compounds that are effective against a variety of bacterial GI infections including H pylori, E Coli, clostridium difficile, salmonella as well as viruses and fungi
- l reuteri can produce vitamin B12 and folate which is required by the MTHFR gene to convert folate into methyl folate to then support the production of the very important methyl donor SAMe required for another 200 plus enzymes!
- L reuteri has been shown to improve bowel movements by reducing methane-producing bacteria, as in the case of methane dominant SIBO that is associated with constipation. Administering l. reuteri DSM 179 38 for 4 weeks resulted in a decrease of CH4 which is a gas produced by methane-producing bacteria and concurrently improved bowel movements.
- L reuteri has also been shown to exhibit antifungal properties against 5 out of 6 of the most common oral candida species which is a very problematic and opportunistic yeast that can contribute to a leaky gut and a host of gut health symptoms.
- Contrary to candida breaking down the intestinal lining l reuteri enhances the mucosal barrier function of the intestinal lining to maintain tight junctions to prevent and block the entry of microbial pathogens and toxins from the gut from entering the rest of the body.
- l reuteri can also reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines while inducing anti-inflammatory regulatory T cells that modulate the immune system and maintain tolerance to self-antigens.
Now that is a laundry list of beneficial functions that the l reuteri probiotic provides for improving gut health but the ability of l reuteri to produce antimicrobial compounds such as reuterin that can help to inhibit pathogenic bacteria in the small intestine is a phenomenal quality that has piqued my curiosity and led me to use this probiotic and making my own l reuteri yogurt recipe to enhance the bacterial counts of l reuteri found in BioGaia Gastrus.
How to make l reuteri yogurt with coconut cream and cashews
I like to make a dairy-free l reuteri yogurt with coconut cream and cashews as dairy is often a common food allergen. To make this l reuteri yogurt creamy I added in soaked and blended cashews so that the finished yogurt was nice and thick as I found that when I just used the coconut cream and l reuteri probiotic the yogurt was too runny.
L reuteri yogurt recipe
1 can coconut cream
1 tbsp rice malt syrup
½ cup soaked cashews
2 tablets of BioGaia Gatrus L reuteri probiotic
Start by soaking ½ a cup of cashews in a cup of water for 6 hours (This helps to soften the cashews to blend up really smooth)
When you are ready to make the L reuteri yogurt be sure to clean all the utensils and a glass jar or jug with hot water and soap then rinsing in very hot water or by pouring boiling water over the utensils.
Open a can of coconut cream and pour into a large mason jar, add in the soaked cashews and 2 BioGaia Gustrus L reuteri probiotic tablets.
Use a sterilized immersion blender to blend up the cashews and probiotic into the coconut cream then screw the lid on top of the jar and let the l reuteri yogurt sit out for 24 hours at room temperature. After 24 hours test the yogurt to see if it has the tangy taste to indicate that the bacteria have turned the coconut cashew cream into yogurt.
The L reuteri yogurt may look a bit runny still but once you put the yogurt into the fridge it will thicken up beautifully.
I like to enjoy this L reuteri yogurt with granola and blueberries or in smoothies for a creamy base.
I also turn this into a probiotic-rich cashew coconut milk by adding in an extra 2 cups of water to the l reuteri yogurt and use instead of almond milk to make my smoothies!