Can L. Reuteri Gut Bacteria Really Increase Hair Growth by 1200%?

The Murine Model used in research (based on mouse and rat subjects) has been both disparaged and lauded by many. The naysayers have seen (unrelated) results that don’t transfer well to humans; the supporters point to other (unrelated) studies where the results integrated perfectly. The Murine Model is extremely useful in research or else it wouldn’t be so ubiquitous — found in nearly every bio-laboratory.
This polarization in studies really serves no one. “Mouse-cures are not human cures” is based on biases caused by disappointment. “Mice save lives” may be true, but rat and mouse results are not universally applicable because, though they share some important factors, we do not have identical biology.
This is why these results are called preliminary. They don’t mark the end of research, but rather the beginning. Each study must be looked at based on its own merits. When someone believes they have found something worthwhile to study, they must begin somewhere, and the Murine Model is cost-effective, and shows quick results.

Lactobacillus Reuteri

Evidence showed up to a 1200% increase in hair growth over the study period.

This particular study, of lactobacillus reuteri ATCC PTA 6475 (L. reuteri) showed murine results that would be astonishing if they transferred. Evidence showed up to a 1,200% increase in hair growth over the study period.
Humans have an average of 130 hair follicles per square centimeter of scalp (scalp total lows of 80,000 for redheads, and peaks of 140,000 for blondes, as well as everything in between). Generally follicles are 90% active, and 10% shedding or quiescent (resting). Now if a person only has 10 hairs growing per square centimeter, a 1200% increase would add 120 hairs (total 130) making them completely average. That is an exciting result though, so far, no human testing has been officially attempted.
The interesting thing about this study is that there is no esoteric or complicated equipment or procedures involved. It uses nothing that is toxic to humans. Best of all, you can obtain all the materials easily and perform your own testing at home. It is highly unusual for research like this to be so accessible!

Preliminary Results

Now, of course, it is always sensible to wait on the results of research, with all the modern strictures on proper testing and evaluation. All you have to do is look back to the Thalidomide disaster of the early 1960s. An apparently harmless drug intended as a mild sleeping pill for pregnant women, which also prevented morning sickness, ended up causing 10,000 babies to be born without arms and legs.
Every time you jump ahead of the research you are taking a risk. In this case the risk seems to be minimal, and some people have already been experimenting though it is still too early for their individual results to have much meaning.

The Mechanism

When L. reuteri (specifically the ATCC PTA 6475 strain) is introduced into the digestive tract of test subjects, they experienced hair regeneration of 1200% (males only, and 100% for females) along with thickening of the supporting skin structure (100% for males; 33% for females).
This was done in the presence of other nutrients, and later, alone, with precisely the same effect, therefore pointing to L. reuteri as the cause. The mechanism under investigation is the up-regulation of various proteins, such as the interleukins and lymphokines, spawned by immune system cells. They act in intercellular communication, especially in regulating inflammation and the immune response, and are generally known as cytokines.


BioGaia L. Reuteri ATCC PTA 6475
The difficulty is accessing a sufficiently large dose to work on a full-grown human. Since these are bacteria, which are easy to grow, all you need is a form of starter, and then make a batch of natural yogurt where they can live. You can breed as many as you desire.
You are looking for a source with a large number of Colony Forming Units (CFUs). One such (Gastrus, from BioGaia) is found on Amazon here, as an example. Of course it only contains one hundred million CFUs per tablet, which is small in bacterial terms, but if you make yogurt, including a fuel supply for L. reuteri, such as sugar, you can have trillions of CFUs, which is sufficient to be effective.
Yogurt recipes are a dime-a-dozen on the internet, but if you take a quart of half-and-half, add a tablespoon of sugar (or potato starch, if you prefer) and then 10 crushed tablets of the Gastrus pills, you should be away to the races. If you have a yogurt maker, great! Set it to 100º F and let it culture until it is yogurt!
You’re done.

The Takeaway

Now, of course, you have 20 of your 30 pills left. There’s little advantage to adding more to any one batch. Save them for if you need to start from scratch again, because all you really have to do for a new batch is put a couple of tablespoons of the previous batch in the new (sweetened) cream to achieve the same result again.
It’s just like the old days of bread-making, before we knew what yeast was. We just saved a bit of the last batch of dough that worked, and put it in the next batch. The yeast cells would grow and multiply in the new dough and everyone thought it was magic. Now we know better, of course. Biochemistry is our friend, and just maybe this technique will put some hair on your head!
For $25 (pills) $2 (cream) and a bit of time, you create 8 ½-cup servings, or more than a week’s supply. Buying a quart of half-and-half every week to keep it going is pretty trivial. It sounds like a worthy experiment. If you decide to try it out on your own, report back here on your results, and share with everyone!