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Supplementation with the – commercially available – beneficial bacteria Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC 6475 boosts testosterone synthesis and sperm production. Medical scientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge came to this conclusion after doing experiments with mice. The probiotic also makes mice slimmer.

Supplementation with the – commercially available – beneficial bacteria Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC 6475 boosts testosterone synthesis and sperm production. Medical scientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge came to this conclusion after doing experiments with mice. The probiotic also makes mice slimmer.
Supplementation with the – commercially available – beneficial bacteria Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC 6475 boosts testosterone synthesis and sperm production. Medical scientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge came to this conclusion after doing experiments with mice. The probiotic also makes mice slimmer.

Researchers came across Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC 6475 once upon a time in the breast milk of a Finnish woman. The bacteria inhibits inflammatory processes in the gut [Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2010 Nov;299(5):G1087-96.], protects against harmful microorganisms such as the ‘hamburger bacteria’ EHEC [Infect Immun. 2011 Jan;79(1):185-91.] and even makes bones stronger – according to animal studies. [J Cell Physiol. 2013 Aug;228(8):1793-8.]

Theofilos Poutahidis, who works at MIT, published the spectacular results of an animal study in PloS One in the summer of 2013. [PLoS One. 2013 Jul 10;8(7):e68596.] In that study Poutahidis fattened mice with calorie-rich food that was an imitation of a junk food diet. When he also gave the mice Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC 6475, the mice stayed strong. The animals that were given standard food also lost weight as a result of the bacteria.

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Poutahidis believes that giving Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC 6475 reduces the chance of overweight because it boosts the production of anti-inflammatory interleukin-10 by immune cells, and reduces the synthesis of pro-inflammatory signal proteins such as interleukin-6 and interleukin-17.

In January 2014 Poutahidis published another animal study in PloS One. [PLoS One. 2013 Jul 10;8(7):e68596.] And this one was even more sensational than the 2013 publication.

During his previous experiments with the probiotic Poutahidis had noticed that when he gave the bacteria to older mice they started to look ‘young’ and that the males, despite their advanced age, remained sexually active. They also had larger testes than the mice of the same age in the control group.

In his most recent study Poutahidis gave a group of male mice standard food for a number of months and another group a diet that consisted partly of junk food. Half of the rats in each group were given Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC 6475 in their food.

The figure below shows that the animals that had been given the probiotic had more testosterone circulating in their body when they were five months old. This was not only because Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC 6475 made the testes larger, but also because the probiotic increased the number of testosterone producing Leydig cells.

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Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC 6475 also boosted the production of sperm cells. In addition, it prevented the animals’ testes from atrophying in old age.

The researchers were also able to induce the same effects by deactivating the inflammatory protein interleukin-17 in the animals. They suspect that Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC 6475 boosts the testosterone level via the deactivation of that signal protein.

“From an evolutionary perspective, we assert that lactic acid bacteria may have co-evolved with mammals exploiting testosterone to optimize mental, physical, and reproductive fitness”, the researchers write. “Higher serum testosterone levels compared to controls in our separate studies correlated with not only leaner physique but also increased muscle mass and higher activity levels in mice (data not shown).”

O.M.G. “Increased muscle mass.” That too. Where can you buy this stuff? What’s it found in?

“Probiotic organisms may offer practical options for management of disorders frequently associated with normal aging”, the researchers conclude. “Reduced circulating testosterone levels have been implicated in many adverse effects including reduced spermatogenesis, libido and sexual function, increased body fat, decreased muscle and bone mass, low energy levels, fatigue, poor physical performance, depressed mood, and impaired cognitive dysfunction. Ultimately, dietary Lactobacillus reuteri or other probiotic supplementation may provide an alternative natural approach to prevention of male hypogonadism, absent the controversy and side-effect risks of testosterone replacement therapy.”

Probiotic microbes sustain youthful serum testosterone levels and testicular size in aging mice.

Poutahidis T1, Springer A2, Levkovich T3, Qi P3, Varian BJ3, Lakritz JR3, Ibrahim YM3, Chatzigiagkos A4, Alm EJ5, Erdman SE3.

Abstract

The decline of circulating testosterone levels in aging men is associated with adverse health effects. During studies of probiotic bacteria and obesity, we discovered that male mice routinely consuming purified lactic acid bacteria originally isolated from human milk had larger testicles and increased serum testosterone levels compared to their age-matched controls. Further investigation using microscopy-assisted histomorphometry of testicular tissue showed that mice consuming Lactobacillus reuteri in their drinking water had significantly increased seminiferous tubule cross-sectional profiles and increased spermatogenesis and Leydig cell numbers per testis when compared with matched diet counterparts This showed that criteria of gonadal aging were reduced after routinely consuming a purified microbe such as L. reuteri. We tested whether these features typical of sustained reproductive fitness may be due to anti-inflammatory properties of L. reuteri, and found that testicular mass and other indicators typical of old age were similarly restored to youthful levels using systemic administration of antibodies blocking pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-17A. This indicated that uncontrolled host inflammatory responses contributed to the testicular atrophy phenotype in aged mice. Reduced circulating testosterone levels have been implicated in many adverse effects; dietary L. reuteri or other probiotic supplementation may provide a viable natural approach to prevention of male hypogonadism, absent the controversy and side-effects of traditional therapies, and yield practical options for management of disorders typically associated with normal aging. These novel findings suggest a potential high impact for microbe therapy in public health by imparting hormonal and gonad features of reproductive fitness typical of much younger healthy individuals.

PMID: 24392159 [PubMed - in process] PMCID: PMC3879365

Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24392159

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