The results of my recent survey on the effects of consuming L. reuteri yogurt are in.
There were 7 questions with responses ranging from 0 to 10. Of the 84 people who provided responses, here is what they said:
My sleep is deeper and/or it is easier to fall asleep or stay asleep: 5.1
62% reported moderate improvement in sleep or better, while 13.25% reported dramatic improvement, 23% reported no improvement.
My appetite has diminished: 4.9
57.8% reported moderate reduction in appetite or more.
My skin is smoother, wrinkles less prominent: 5.3
60.7% reported moderate skin improvement or better, 13% reported dramatic improvement, 19% reported little to no change.
My strength has increased and/or I’ve gained muscle: 4.5
50% reported moderate increase in strength/muscle, with 26% reporting no change.
My libido has increased: 3.7
39.7% reported moderate increase in libido or greater.
I feel more empathetic towards other people: 4.7
54.8% reported moderate increase in empathy or greater. The final score of 4.7 was weighted down by the 29.8% who experienced no increase in empathy.
Among the comments posted:
“My hair has gotten thicker and color seems to be slowly coming back darker.”
“While I have not lost a lot of weight many friends have commented on my weight loss. We have put this down to muscle gain and toning.”
“I find it easier to concentrate at work, for example, when I am writing.”
“I feel much calmer.”
“Feeling happier. Skin softer.”
“Muscle strength is so much greater. I’m a golfer and my drives and fairway hits are much better. Now if it could only help my putting.”
“Stomach problems gone.”
“Great compliments regarding skin.”
“Overall health feels better, feeling of well being, calm.”
“Less muscular/joint pain, no more acid reflux, much better skin condition.”
Clearly, there is variation in results experienced among different people. One thing I cannot judge from these results is whether, for instance, someone who experiences reduction in appetite also experiences reduction in skin wrinkles, i.e., does one response correlate with another? While this is an informal survey, not a clinical study, it is interesting that the most prominent benefit observed appears to be in skin health, least in libido. While gastrointestinal effects were not among the queries, the comments on improved gastrointestinal health likely reflect the upper GI tract-colonizing and bacteriocin-producing effects unique to L. reuteri, effects that, I believe, reflect a partial reduction in small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, SIBO.
In the meantime, we shall be working towards discovering ways to increase responsiveness: increase the number of people experiencing effects and increase the magnitude of benefits in those who respond. Should we increase the quantity of bacteria, the quantity of yogurt, combine with a strategy that further augments oxytocin responsiveness, combine with one or more bacterial species/strains that amplifies the effects? Can we increase specific benefits by, say, combining L. reuteri and its oxytocin-boosting effects with collagen hydrolysates? What happens when someone specifically interested in restoring youthful muscle and strength combines L. reuteri with strength training and low-dose creatine?