Lactobacillus reuteri (L. reuteri) is a species of Lactobacillus bacteria that naturally inhabits the digestive tract, the female vaginal and urinary tracts, and breast milk.
It is also commonly found in some cultured vegetables (such as those in the picture above), in the intestinal tracts of animals, in meat and dairy products, and in the natural environment.
Since it is so widespread, it should not be a surprise to know that specific effects of these bacteria are strain-specific and cannot be generalized across the whole species. The research below shows both species-wide and strain-specific information.
L. reuteri was originally thought to be part of the L. fermentum species, but it was classified as its own distinct species. It is named after the German microbiologist, Gerhard Reuter, who isolated the first strain from human samples.
Most people have heard either all good things about this species or all bad things; the truth lies somewhere in between the two.
Because L. reuteri as a species is commonly found in foods, the environment and within us, it is generally regarded as safe. It is on the European QPS (Qualified Presumption of Safety) list. Remember, though, that specific strains have specific actions.
The most well-known strains of L. reuteri are:
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