Obesity, diabetes, SIBO . . . and hate?
Lactobacillus reuteri is an endlessly
fascinating microorganism that can inhabit the
human intestinal tract. This is the bacterial
species we have been cultivating in our L. reuteri
yogurt using the two strains, ATCC PTA 6475
and DSM 17938, that boost hypothalamic
release of oxytocin and thereby smooths skin
wrinkles, accelerates healing, turns off appetite,
builds muscle, preserves bone density, and
yields other spectacularly beneficial effects.
Animals such as pigs, mice, dogs, sheep, cows, and
birds have abundant quantities of L. reuteri
(of various strains) in their guts, but only 4% of modern
humans have it, i.e., less than 1 in
20 people have L. reuteri among
the thousands of species in their intestinal
tracts and have them in small numbers. In other
words, most modern people do not have this
wonderfully beneficial microorganism and, if they
do, have them in relatively small numbers.
Curiously, the discoverer of L. reuteri,
Dr. Gerhard Reuter, observed that this species
was much more common in humans during the mid-twentieth
century, its prevalence in humans having dwindled over
the last 50 years for unclear reasons. (You and
I can easily speculate, however, that the onslaught of microbiome-disrupting
factors in modern life have likely played a role.)
L reuteri must therefore be among the species
more susceptible to the disruptions of modern life.
Recall that, not only is L. reuteri a potent
provocateur of vagal nerve-mediated hypothalamic release
of oxytocin, but it also plays an important probiotic
role in the upper gastrointestinal tract, unlike nearly
all other microorganisms that preferentially colonize
the colon, i.e., the lower gastrointestinal tract.
L. reuteri may therefore play an important
role in preventing or suppressing small intestinal
bacterial overgrowth, as well as H. pylori
that causes stomach and duodenal ulcers along with a
long list of other health conditions. SIBO,
in which unhealthy bacterial species have ascended up
the length of the gastrointestinal tract, a situation
associated with fibromyalgia, restless leg syndrome,
irritable bowel syndrome, and other common conditions, is now an
epidemic on a par with that of obesity and
How much has this and other shifts in microbial populations
played a role in encouraging type 2 diabetes, obesity,
overeating, autoimmune conditions, etc., i.e., health
conditions that are wildly out-of-control in the U.S.?
Given the oxytocin-stimulating effects of
L. reuteri that cultivate empathy and
connectedness to the people around you, now largely
gone in 96% of people, could the disappearance of
L. reuteri underlie some of the
social changes we have witnessed in modern
times such as isolation and gun violence? We can only
speculate, as there is no way to confidently connect
a cause-effect relationship.
Bottom line: Make the L. reuteri yogurt and
enjoy all the age-reversing, health-restoring benefits
it provides. Then share with others, show them how to
make it themselves. Maybe you and I will help make
this world a better, safer place, too.