Lactobacillus Reuteri Benefits: Oxytocin, Testosterone, Immune Health and More!

April 21, 2020

Written by

Lucas Aoun

Founder @ Ergogenic Health

Evidence suggests that physical isolation may reduce brain oxytocin levels, increasing the risk of mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. (1,2) Conversely, increased oxytocin has been found to protect against the psychological and physiological impact of social isolation. (2,3)

Oxytocin is best known for its roles in human bonding, being called the “connection” or “empathy” hormone, however it has many other vital functions in the human body. (4,5)

Further to oxytocin’s involvement in supporting maternal/infant bonding, recent studies have expanded the view of oxytocin to include a wide array of health benefits, such as: (4,5)
•    Improving HPA axis function and stress buffering response
•    Optimising metabolic health and reducing the risk of obesity
•    Preserving muscle mass and strength
•    Balancing inflammatory processes and immune system function
•    Reducing social anxiety and increasing feelings of connection
•    Modulating craving and addictive behaviours

Under normal circumstances oxytocin production is stimulated by physical contact including hugs, massage, affection and social interaction. (2,4)

It’s now widely understood that gut microbiota exerts powerful effects beyond the local boundaries of the gastrointestinal tract. Distinct pathways in the gut-brains axis influence neuronal signalling molecules such as oxytocin. (4,5)

Ground-breaking new evidence has shown that Lactobacillus reuteri increases oxytocin production in the hypothalamus. (4)

In fact, researcher Erdman (2016) proposes that supplementing with Lactobacillus reuteri may provide a more effective way to optimise oxytocin levels than the exogenous hormonal drug. This is due to L. reuteri’s ability to stimulate more complex homeostatic pathways involving the inter-related and self-modulating systems of the gut-brain-immune-axis. (4)

Microbial restoration of oxytocin and other important mood supporting neuro-signalling molecules may offer far-reaching benefits supporting physical, mental, and social health. (4,5)

References available on request.

Sign up to the Ergogenic Health newsletter