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The company owns several commercially important strains and a large number of different patents for commercial usage of Lactobacillus reuteri. BioGaia gut and immune health products contain L. reuteri Protectis (DSM 17938), one of the human L. reuteri strains. BioGaia Probiotics for oral health contain L. reuteri Prodentis, which is a blend of two L. reuteri strains DSM 17938 and ATCC PTA 5289.
Products containing L. reuteri have been proven to be both effective and safe in several areas;[dubious ] infant colic, diarrhoea prevention and mitigation in children, eradication of H. pylori infection and reduction of side effects from standard H. pylori treatment, amelioration of gingivitis, and general illness prevention in children and adults.
BioGaia was founded in 1990. In laboratories all over the world, different strains of L. reuteri already existed. However, the research director of BioGaia Dr. Ivan Casas was looking for a strain for commercial use that could somehow bring proof to “the Circle of Life” that he believed in so strongly.
He believed that there were more than one reason why newborn chickens were picking up and eating the faeces from their mothers and that this had to do with transfer of important microorganisms, from the mother to the sterile newborn bird. He was sure that the same situation was true for humans. It is generally accepted that newborn babies are sterile at birth and very sensitive to bad bacteria before they establish a microbial flora of their own. This flora should preferably come from their mother. Ivan was quite sure about that Lactobacillus reuteri was one of these bacteria that the mother should transfer to her offspring, whether a chicken, a human baby or any other mammal.
Ivan analysed breast milk from many mothers in the USA where he lived and also from South American mothers in Lima, Peru, without finding any L. reuteri. However, he was still convinced that L. reuteri should be found in breast milk if Mother Nature was to decide.
Ivan had family in Peru and whilst he was there for vacation, he took some days to travel to the Andes and visit several Indian villages. He then went to the university laboratory in Lima and presented some samples of breast milk. They all contained numerous strains of L. reuteri, which were subsequently isolated.
One of these strains is still used in BioGaia’s probiotic products all over the world.
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