An alternative to L. reuteri yogurt?

We make our Lactobacillus reuteri yogurt for the numerous benefits this microorganism provides that include:

  • Reduction in appetite—that can be profound
  • Increased dermal collagen that results in less wrinkle depth
  • Accelerated healing
  • Improved immune response
  • Increased libido
  • Unique probiotic benefits due to L. reuteri’s capacity to colonize the upper gastrointestinal tract and produce bacteriocins

Despite the easy and unique fermentation process we use that yields a rich, thick, and delicious end-product, some people still find making the yogurt a hassle or simply are unable to get it right.

There is now an alternative: the BioGaia Osfortis probiotic. While the original Gastrus product used to make the yogurt provided 100 million CFUs each of the two L. reuteri strains, a number I felt was too little for really meaningful biological effects, Osfortis provides 10 BILLION CFUs of the PTA 6475 strain (minus the DSM 17938) strain.

Is 10 billion enough? It’s not clear, as we have not yet had a chance to perform dose-response studies in humans, i.e., what are the oxytocin and other effects of 10 billion CFUs, 50 billion, 100 billion, etc.? Although we have not yet formally performed a bacterial count, simple arithmetic of bacterial doubling-time suggests that a one-half cup serving of the L. reuteri yogurt using my modified fermentation methods likely provides around 50-100 billion CFUS. Is the 10 billion of Osfortis therefore enough? I think it is, but I don’t yet know that for a fact.

Why “Osfortis,” by the way, and why is the product targeted for bone health? This is based on a recent clinical study in elderly women who, upon receiving 10 billion CFUs of the PTA 6475 strain of L. reuteri, experienced about half as much bone loss as women receiving placebo. (Note that these women were not taking vitamin D, K2, or any other efforts to preserve or increase bone density; this reflects the potential effects of L. reuteri alone, an insightful revelation: the composition of bowel flora markedly influences bone health.)

And is the PTA 6475 alone, less well-studied than the DSM 17938 strain, sufficient by itself? It likely is, given the experimental evidence and the overlap in similarities between the strains. But there may be limited or subtle differences that we are not yet aware of in supplementing the one strain alone.

Because I believe that this may be a viable alternative to our yogurt, I have added it to our Wheat Belly Marketplace for ease of availability. It’s not cheap, consistent with most other probiotic products. So our L. reuteri yogurt also remains a way to economize on the probiotic, since you make subsequent batches from prior batches, with no ongoing need for probiotic tablets.

Should you take the leap on the Osfortis, please return and report your experiences. Even better, if just starting out, perform a before/after selfie over some time period, e.g., 4 weeks, in addition to telling us about the other perceived effects.

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