Strains of Lactobacillus reuteri (L. reuteri) may help treat common digestive diseases. As a probiotic, L reuteri may be used as a prophylactic or acute treatment for several digestive disorders. These results were published in The National Library of Medicine.
Researchers performed a systematic review of clinical research in China to study the underlying mechanism of L. reuteri in gut health. Clinical application of L. reuteri in digestive system diseases was analyzed through randomized controlled trials (RCT’s) between 2010 and 2023. Researchers aimed to investigate the therapeutic effects of L. reuteri on its host and the weighted value of potential future treatment.
Researchers included studies that analyzed infantile colic, diarrhea and constipation, functional abdominal pain, Helicobacter pylori infection, inflammatory bowel disease, colorectal cancer, and liver diseases. Participants included infants, children, teenagers, and adults. Different therapeutic results were considered in the trials, including metabolite production, intestinal microbiome modulation, gut barrier function preservation, and host immune system regulation.
Researchers believe L. reuteri may help alleviate the symptoms of different digestive disorders. L. reuteri may restore gut microbiota balance, produce antimicrobial metabolites, regulate intestinal immunity, and medicate mucosal homeostasis. After supplementing with L. reuteri, there was a reduction in the colicky infants' fecal E. coli count. Of the nine RCTs, L. reuteri reduced the frequency, length of time, and incidence of diarrhea in children and adults. L. reuteri significantly alleviated constipation in children and adults. Improvements were noted in the frequency of defecation, painful defecation, and reduced fecal mass in the rectum.
Six RCT investigations of functional abdominal pain affecting children showed reduced pain intensity, frequency of episodes, and increased days without pain. Two studies revealed L. reuteri may change the gut microbiota composition in H. pylori-positive patients but may not counteract gut dysbiosis associated with antibiotics. There was data in support of L. reuteri as an adjuvant therapy for inflammatory bowel disease and diverticulitis, but not colorectal cancer. L. reuteri inhibited tumor growth by inducing cell apoptosis through upregulated caspase-9 activity in CRC studies. L. reuteri may relieve liver injury in several signaling pathways by reversing gut microbiota dysbiosis. Given this, it may act as a potential probiotic for the prevention or therapeutic strategy for liver diseases.
Limitations of this study include high diversity of the human gut microbiota affected by sex, population, and diet, as well as other factors.
“L. reuteri may serve as a viable candidate for the treatment of digestive system disorders owing to its potent antimicrobial, immunomodulatory, and anti-inflammatory activities with nearly no safety risks.”
Peng Y, Ma Y, Luo Z, Jiang Y, Xu Z, Yu R. Lactobacillus reuteri in digestive system disease: focus on clinical trials and mechanisms. Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology. 2023;13:1254198. doi:https://doi.org/10.3389/fcimb.2023.1254198