L. Reuteri: Can This Bacteria Protect Against Hair Loss?
Every month, new evidence emerges that our microbiome — or the trillions of microbes crawling inside and around us — affects every aspect of our health — from our immunity to our nutrient metabolism and maybe even our predisposition to hair loss.
But which microorganisms inside our microbiome influence which functions? And more importantly, are there any bacterial strains that might help us prevent or even reverse pattern hair loss?
While the research is still in its infancy, we’re getting closer to answers… and at least one bacterial strain is showing promise. It’s called Lactobacillus reuteri (l. reuteri), and studies now demonstrate that l. reuteri colonization may help prevent hair thinning, promote faster hair growth, encourage hair follicle development, and even increase the number of our hairs in the anagen (growth) stage of the hair cycle.
This article uncovers why. We’ll start with what l. reuteri is, and then uncover how l. reuteri is connected to hair loss. Then we’ll reveal how l. reuteri‘s absence in our modern guts may help explain why men’s testosterone levels are 22% lower today than they were thirty years ago. Finally, we’ll dive into the research associating l. reuteri with decreased systemic inflammation, improved T cell migration, increased serum vitamin D, and even better hair quality.
We’ll also uncover why we should exercise caution about reintroducing l. reuteri into our guts — at least through supplementation. While there’s compelling evidence that l. reuteri may improve hair quality and decrease inflammation… this is a bacteria with a lot of different strains, and unfortunately, not all strains are created equal…
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Our Microbiome & Our Health
Right now, thousands of different microorganism species – bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites — are crawling your skin and your digestive tract. In fact, we harbor at least as many non-human cells as we do human cells. And these non-human cells that live inside and on us are what’s known as our microbiome — the collection of billions of microorganisms feeding off our cellular debris, undigested foods, and even our living tissues.
We can break down these organisms into one of two categories:
- Pathogenic — microorganisms that harm our bodies. For example — the bacteria streptococcus pyogenes — which causes strep throat.
- Commensal — the microorganisms that neither cause infection nor harm our bodies… and might even be helpful.
For long-term readers, this isn’t new information. I’ve written extensively about the microbiome-hair loss connection — and most recently, how a bacteria known as p. acnes – which is both commensal and pathogenic depending on which part of our bodies it colonizes – may be implicated in the development of both acne and hair loss.
But this article’s focus isn’t on p. acnes, it’s on l. reuteri. And here’s the good news: unlike p. acnes, research shows that l. reuteri is only commensal (meaning harmless), and that it may benefit our health and our hair in several different ways.
What Is L. Reuteri?
Lactobacillus Reuteri (L. Reuteri) is a bacteria found primarily in the digestive tracts of mammals — including humans. L. reuteri can also colonize certain fermented foods — like sourdough. And in normal circumstances, l. reuteri is passed from mothers to infants during breastfeeding — where it colonizes our intestines while we’re young and then remains in our guts throughout adulthood… so long as a disease or antibiotics don’t wipe them out.
The research on l. reuteri is overwhelmingly positive. And before we get to the specifics on hair health, here are just a few highlights:
- L. reuteri produces antimicrobial chemicals that help stave off pathogenic bacterial overgrowths in our guts
- Rats fed L. reuteri through drinking water experience increased healing from wounds (healing in half the time versus controls)
- In humans, L. reuteri supplementation reduces breath test measurements of H. Pylori — a bacteria associated with stomach ulcers and cancer — by ~20%.
- In rats, L. reuteri supplementation reduces insulin resistance, decreases oxidative stress, and helps reverse fatty liver disease.
So what about hair health? Can supplementing with lactobacillus reuteri improve our predisposition to pattern hair loss — or improve our speed of hair growth or even hair quality? In 2013, researcher set out to answer these questions.
L. Reuteri‘s Effects On Hair Growth And Hair Quality
A 2013 research team wanted to test whether supplementing with commensal bacteria — like l. reuteri — might improve someone’s physical appearance — ie: the quality of their skin and hair. So they conducted a series of tests on rats.
Test #1: Probiotics & Their Impact On Skin Thickness, Subcutaneous Fat, Hair Follicle Development, And Hair Quality
The first test compared young rats (20-24 weeks old) fed a standard diet to young rats fed a probiotic-rich diet through yogurt supplementation. Note: this test didn’t control for lactobacillus reuteri. Rather, the test catered more toward several lactobacillus species’ effects on fertility benchmarks — specifically, hair and skin quality.
Even still, the results were impressive.
After 20-24 weeks, the rats fed a probiotic-rich diet saw a 50% increase in skin thickness — with much of that increase coming from subcutaneous fat. And within that subcutaneous fat, the probiotic-fed male rats expressed an average of 12 hair follicles to every control group rat’s hair follicle (a 1,200% increase).
And interestingly, 74% of the hairs in probiotic-fed rats were found to be in an anagen (growth) phase. And the control group? Quite the opposite. In fact, 64% of rats in the control group were found to have telogen dominance — a condition where at least 50% of the hair follicles on the rats were in a “resting” (read: no growth) stage of the hair cycle.
Unsurprisingly, these micro-level results carried over into hair quality. Rats fed the probiotics had significantly shinier hair — a quality in rats which signals peak health and fertility.
The Problem With The Test: Confounding Variables Inside The Yogurt
The results all sounds promising, but there was a confounding factor inside the test…
The yogurt that was used to feed the probiotic group also contained other vitamins and nutrients — like vitamin D. And just like the pumpkin seed oil-hair loss study, if researchers don’t control for other vitamins and nutrients that might also contribute to hair growth, we’ll never know if the hair-promoting effects of the probiotic group were due to the actual bacterial species inside the yogurt… or the nutrients inside the yogurt itself.
So came a second test, and the selection of l. reuteri for a new test group.
Test #2: L. Reuteri And Its Effects On Skin Thickness, Hair Growth, Anagen (Growth) Follicle Phases, And Hair Quality
The researchers chose to redo the experiment, but this time, instead of using yogurt (which contained other adjunct nutrients and vitamins), they decided to feed both rat groups the exact same food… but for the test group, they would also add a bacterial species into their drinking water. And the selected bacterial species to represent all lactobacillus? L. reuteri.
Here’s the fascinating thing: despite this test version now controlling for the same vitamins and minerals — which undoubtedly affected hair follicle development in the young rats — the test results for the L. reuteri-fed group were nearly identical to the yogurt-fed group.
L. Reuteri Increases Skin Thickness, The Percent Of Anagen Hairs, And Hair Shininess
That’s right. Just by introducing this single bacterial species, male l. reuteri-fed rats experienced a 100% increase in dermal (skin) thickness, a 106% increase in anagen hair follicle counts, increased rates of hair regrowth after shaving, and the same increases to hair shine as the probiotic-fed mice from the previous experiment.
So how can something as simple as a commensal bacteria — like l. reuteri — increase hair shine and hair follicle count so significantly?
There’s no straightforward answer. But these researchers attributed l. reuteri‘s hair-promoting effects to the bacteria’s impacts on certain signaling proteins… Specifically, an anti-inflammatory cytokine called Interleukin-10 (IL-10).
L. Reuteri Improves Hair Quality By Increasing Anti-Inflammatory Cytokines
The Cytokine-Chronic Inflammation-Hair Loss Connection
Cytokines are small signaling proteins released by our immune cells. And once released, these cytokines attach themselves to cell receptors and start to manipulate the behavior of those cells — telling tissues to induce inflammation, stop inflammation, or even begin cell growth.
Cytokines are best-known for their role in the inflammatory process — and we can break most cytokines down into two categories: 1) anti-inflammatory (reducing inflammation), and 2) pro-inflammatory (encouraging inflammation).
Many disease states — and possibly even pattern hair loss — are the result of long-standing, systemic, chronic inflammation. And interestingly, “chronically inflamed” sites of our body tend to have an imbalance of cytokines: too many pro-inflammatory cytokines are active, and too few anti-inflammatory cytokines are active.
Interleukin-10 (IL-10) is one of these anti-inflammatory cytokines that need to be active to help regulate healing processes, improve hair growth, and even prevent chronic systemic inflammation. And unsurprisingly, chronic inflammation of our scalps is a precursor to pattern hair loss.
Long story short: if we want to prevent (or even reverse) pattern hair loss, it’s in our best interest to balance our anti-inflammatory and pro-inflammatory cytokines in our skin, and thereby reduce chronic inflammation and slow (or stop) hair thinning.
L. Reuteri Decreases Skin Inflammation By Increasing Anti-Inflammatory Cytokines (IL-10)
Tor reasons not entirely understood, when the bacteria l. reuteri colonizes our guts, it’s able to increase the expression of IL-10 in the skin. And as a result, l. reuteri is able to downregulate pro-inflammatory skin cytokines — specifically, IL-17.
And as a result, IL-10 helps regulate sebum production, increase the number of hairs in anagen (growth) phases, and possibly even increase the density and thickness of subcutaneous fat — the same fat that act as a cushion for our hair follicles.
The end-result: shinier, healthier, faster growing hair. In fact, it’s the interaction between l. reuteri and IL-10 that researchers attribute to its pro-hair effects — at least in rats.
But What About Humans? Does L. Reuteri Increase Hair Growth In Humans?
We don’t yet know. There aren’t yet enough studies on humans to determine whether l. reuteri will help us slow, stop, or reverse pattern hair loss. And unfortunately — when it comes to reversing pattern hair loss — rat studies rarely (if ever) translate to humans.
But there’s good news! Of all the l. reuteri studies I’ve reviewed, the results for rats and humans shows the same directional results. In other words, in all cases I’ve found, l. reuteri supplementation in humans leads to the same directional results as l. reuteri supplementation in mice (for example, the upregulation of IL-10, changes to skin pH levels, and even the bacteria’s anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial effects).
So at the very least, introducing l. reuteri should have significant positive effect on human health — and potentially our hair health.
And even better — there’s evidence that l. reuteri might improve the conditions that often precede pattern hair loss. In fact, taking all the research into context, l. reuteri supplementation in humans might be critical to promoting longevity, decreasing inflammation, increasing vitamin absorption, balancing our hormones, maintaining our hair health, and even living with less stress and anxiety.
L. Reuteri, Serum Vitamin D, And Hair Loss
When it comes to the causes of pattern hair loss, most people never suspect a vitamin D deficiency. Unfortunately, this assumption — that vitamin D has no impact on hair growth — is wrong. We’ve even seen this with some readers — like Jared — who only saw significant hairline regrowth after discovering he had a severe vitamin D deficiency, and then beginning to mega-dose vitamin D (alongside the mechanical stimulation exercises, and other things):
I’ve also written extensively about the importance of vitamin D levels for hair health, and how 40% of Americans have a severe vitamin D deficiency. The bottom line is this: if we want to improve our hormonal health and decrease our risk of calcification, fibrosis, and the other myriad conditions that precede hair loss — we want to maintain optimum vitamin D levels.
Fortunately, the bacteria l. reuteri can help us increase serum vitamin D3.
L. Reuteri Supplementation Increases Serum Vitamin D By 25.5% (With Caveats)
One human study showed that over a nine-week period, l. reuteri supplementation in humans increase serum vitamin D levels by 25.5% – and likely due to the bacteria’s ability to improve cholesterol synthesis (which is required for vitamin D absorption). However, it’s also important to note that in this study, the probiotic was consumed alongside an array of micronutrients, and in the control group (micronutrients only), subjects saw a 22.4% increase in vitamin D synthesis. So, it’s unclear if l. reuteri by itself has much of an effect.
In any case, this potential increase in serum vitamin D and improved cholesterol synthesis might explain another benefit to l. reuteri supplementation: it improves the hormone profiles of both men and women, and may have a powerful effect on testosterone levels.
L. Reuteri, Testosterone, And Hair Loss
While conventional dogma preaches that testosterone and DHT are the main causes of pattern hair loss, when we look more granularly at the studies doctors reference to support these claims, they begin to fall apart.
For instance, only some forms of DHT are associated with hair loss. Other forms of DHT are protective against hair loss. And there’s little to no correlation between testosterone levels and pattern hair thinning. In fact, if anything, as testosterone levels decline with age, the incidence of pattern hair loss increases.
And to top it off — in young men, evidence suggests that an imbalance of testosterone:estrogen — specifically, high estrogen levels, are associated with hair thinning rather than high testosterone.
The net: young men who don’t suffer from hair loss have high testosterone and low estrogen. Young men who are balding have low testosterone and high estrogen. And if we want to protect ourselves from pattern thinning, it might be in our best interest to optimize our own hormonal profile, and start increasing testosterone naturally.
Fortunately, l. reuteri can do this for us. And beyond the fact that optimal vitamin D levels are associated with higher testosterone in men, l. reuteri likely works through several different mechanisms to improve our testosterone function — and even our testicular weight.
Lactobacillus Reuteri Increases Testosterone And Testicular Weight
In maturing rats, the ingestion of l. reuteri over one year increased testicular weight nearly 40% versus control groups. In fact, older rats fed l. reuteri also expressed as good (and sometimes better) hormonal profiles than much younger rats!
And all this with just the introduction of one bacterial strain. Seriously. Just look at those testicles.
And what explains how l. reuteri can exert such testosterone-boosting, testicle-boosting effects?
Interestingly, researchers believe — again — that it’s because l. reuteri increases the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10, and in doing so, decreases the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-17 — the same cytokine which has been shown to suppress hair growth.
In fact, researchers observed the same testicular-increasing effects of l. reuteri when they administered an IL-17 antibody. And what does that suggest? A strong relationship between l. reuteri’s effects on skin, hair, and testicular quality… all as a result of increasing IL-10, and decreasing IL-17.
L. Reuteri Is No Longer Prevalent In Most Humans’ Guts… Which May Help Explain Why Men’s Testosterone Levels Today Are Plummeting
Lactobacillus reuteri was once a common human gut bacteria. In the 1960’s, it was estimated that 30-40% of us had l. reuteri crawling around our microbiome. Today, l. reuteri is found in just 10-20% of humans.
Over that same period, studies have shown that men’s serum testosterone levels have declined dramatically. In fact, when controlling for age, men’s testosterone levels today are 22% lower than they were thirty years ago.
A lot of this is driven by changes to diet, lifestyle, and stress levels. But it’s not implausible that our gut bacteria — and specifically, the absence of l. reuteri — might explain part of this decline.
L. Reuteri Increases Anti-Inflammatory T Cells
What Are T Cells?
T cells (Tregs) are immune cells that help regulate our immune functionality. Our immune system normally attacks foreign bacteria, fungi, and viruses to prevent infection and keep us healthy. But Tregs also make us “tolerant” to resident (commensal) microorganisms. In other words, they help decide what our immune system should fight, and what it should leave alone.
If our T cells (Tregs) aren’t functioning properly — or if we don’t have enough Tregs — we open up the doors to developing autoimmune diseases — whereby our immune system confuses our own cells as foreign pathogens, and begins to attack them. The end-result: diseases like hypothyroidism or alopecia areata (patchy hair loss of the scalp).
How Are T Cells, L. Reuteri, And Hair Health Connected?
Tregs accumulate in the skin soon after birth, where they then localize to hair follicles. For years, this process was thought to be genetically determined — with the idea that your “genes” are what determine how many T cells localize to hair follicles, and thereby encourage healthy hair growth and hair follicle proliferation.
Then a 2017 breakthrough study revealed that this dogma was wrong. In fact, T cell migration isn’t exclusively genetically determined… it’s largely determined by our microbiome: our gut and skin bacteria. The study showed that our commensal microbes encourage T cell migration to hair follicle sites — and that these microbes might even be critical to hair follicle development.
In the study, newborns who were microbe-free had reduced skin T cells, whereas newborns who were born with commensal microbes had abundant skin T cells in their hair follicles — which correlate with better hair growth.
And are there any independent studies exploring which bacteria species help increase T cell migration? Yes. And unsurprisingly, l. reuteri is one of them.
L. Reuteri Increases Anti-Inflammatory T Cells
In a study on thyroid health and beneficial bacteria, mice fed lactobacillus reuteri showed a significant increase anti-inflammatory T cells.
And what coincided with that increase in T cells? An increase in thyroid size, an increase in serum T4 levels (a hormone used to measure thyroid activity), decreased fatigue, and according to the researchers, a more youthful physical appearance.
It should be no surprise that hypothyroidism is a leading precursor to hair thinning, and is often a confounding factor in most pattern hair loss sufferers. The fact that thyroid function can be improved with simply the addition of a probiotic is remarkable, and deserves further exploration.
Studies are in the works to see if these thyroid results translate to humans. But if I were to guess — based on all the other directionally equivalent studies on rats and humans for l. reuteri — I’m confident there’s a good chance l. reuteri will help.
Should We Supplement With Lactobacillus Reuteri To Improve Hair Loss?
The jury is still out on whether l. reuteri’s hair promoting effects will translate to humans. But the bottom line is this: studies show that this bacteria is nothing short of a miracle in terms of improving hormonal function, sex appeal, vitamin D levels, and anti-inflammatory T cells (among several other benefits). Should we supplement with this bacteria? Considering no toxicology in humans has been reported — even at 10 billion IU’s per day — I think the resounding answer is, yes.
But that doesn’t mean you should grab the first l. reuteri supplement you find. Here’s why.
Most Studies On L. Reuteri Are On Propietary Strains Of The Bacteria. Cross-Comparing Results Of One Study To Another Is Useless Until We Have Species-To-Species Comparisons
Lactobacillus Reuteri comes in many different strains. And unfortunately, most studies testing l. reuteri’s effects on health are actually testing proprietary strains of L. reuteri — and not the same strain over and over again.
For instance — the studies on l. reuteri increasing serum vitamin D and on l. reuteri improving vitamin B12 deficiencies were done on different strains of l. reuteri. And both of these l. reuteri differed from the strains researched in the l. reuteri – hair health / skin health studies.
The Good News
The studies showing the benefits of l. reuteri on hair health, skin health, thyroid functionality, and t-cell migration were all done on the same bacterial strain. And that bacterial strain is L. reuteri ATCC PTA 6475.
And the better news — this strain of l. reuteri is available as a supplement to humans. And you don’t need a lab order or a doctor to get it.
The Bad News
- The l. reuteri studies demonstrating significant improvements to thyroid functionality, skin health, and hair health all fed the mice a dosage of 350,000 IU’s of l. reuteri daily. In humans, if we control for weight, we’d need a dose of several billion IU’s per day to match the same amount that the mice were fed. And unfortunately, most l. reuteri supplements only come in 100 million IU increments. And they’re expensive.
- L. Reuteri can colonize our guts within days to weeks, but if we stop supplementing, the bacteria gets outcompeted and dies within days. Unfortunately if we’re not exposed to this bacteria at a young age — it’s very hard to successfully colonize our guts without continued supplementation into adulthood.
- The studies demonstrating T cell increases were done in maturing mice and newborns. And while l. reuteri supplementation will certainly help adults with a myriad of health benefits (and potentially hair benefits), it’s likely going to be less effective at improving T cell migration since T cell migration takes place soon after birth — and less so late into adulthood.
Even still, the readers who are experimenting with 100 million IU’s of l. reuteri daily have reported to me improvements in their depression, less anxiety, a more youthful “glow”, and better overall energy levels. In fact, one reader said she’s using l. reuteri to help alleviate autism symptoms in her son — and that while it’s not a miracle cure, it’s helping a lot.
Which L. Reuteri Supplement Should You Use For Hair, Skin, And Thyroid Health?
To reiterate (like I always do): I am not affiliated with any supplements or products outside of this site. And in general, I advise against 99% of supplements as I think they’re a waste of money, energy, and time.
With that said, I’ve done enough research to feel confident in recommending an l. reuteri supplement that checks all of the boxes (the right strain for skin and hair benefits, and the highest number of IU’s that I could find available to humans).
The company is called BioGaia — and they sell a 100 million IU chewable probiotic of l. reuteri in the correct strains — l. reuteri ATC PTA 6475. You can check out their site (and their products) here.
Again, I am not affiliated with this company. And if any readers have found a higher dosage l. reuteri probiotic for humans and of the same strain, please post it in the comments section!
Summary: Lactobacillus Reuteri For Hair Health
Lactobacillus Reuteri is a commensal gut bacteria that’s been shown to improve testosterone levels, increase serum vitamin D, improve vitamin B12 deficiencies, and increase anti-inflammatory T cells. In addition, research in rats shows that l. reuteri may improve skin and hair health by increasing the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 and downregulating the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-17.
While there’s significantly less research in humans for the benefits of l. reuteri — the good news is that at least so far, studies show the same directional results in humans as they do in rats in mice. As a result, it’s suspected that in humans, l. reuteri supplementation may improve skin health, decrease inflammation, improve thyroid size and functionality, improve symptoms of depression and anxiety, and possibly even increase the percent of our hairs in an anagen (growth) phase — thereby giving the appearance of thicker, shinier hair. (Again, we need more human research to confirm the research on thyroid and hair health).
We’re not yet sure how these results translate to pattern hair loss. If I were to guess, l. reuteri won’t regrow lost hair, but it’ll certainly help prevent the conditions that precede hair loss (certain nutrient deficiencies, hypothyroidism, chronic inflammation, and hormonal imbalances). And for that reason, this bacteria is something we should look into (and even test ourselves) for future research.
L. Reuteri is generally safe for supplementation — with dosages of 10 billion UI’s daily leading to no reported side effects. In fact, of everything I’ve read online and in studies, I haven’t yet found a single negative side effect of supplementing with l. reuteri — only benefits.
If you’re going to try supplementing with l. reuteri, your best bet is the BioGaia product line (I am not affiliated). And if you’re going to test, please keep us posted in the comments section! I love hearing from readers, and the community here appreciates reading your anecdotes as well.
Rob English is a researcher, medical editor, and the founder of perfecthairhealth.com. He acts as a peer reviewer for scholarly journals and has published five peer-reviewed papers on androgenic alopecia. He writes regularly about the science behind hair loss (and hair growth). Feel free to browse his long-form articles and publications throughout this site.
163 thoughts on “L. Reuteri For Hair Loss: A Complete Review”
I’ve been drinking KEFIR twice a week for at least four years. Kefir is a fermented probiotic beverage (looks like cream and smells faintly cheese-like) that is the result of kefir grains interacting with lactose in milk. You make it in your own kitchen and it’s ultra “sustainable.” I’ve been re-using the same grains all this time. Just pour off the kefir-milk, rinse the grains and pour new milk over the grains. Drink the kefir, then wait about three days and repeat the process.
I enjoy exceptional health and a very high energy level. It’s due in part to regular replenishment of intestinal flora via the kefir.
There’s a wide variety of kefir types, each containing a unique set of probiotic strains. I just did a quick Google search on “L. Reuteri Kefir” but didn’t see anything (yet).
I’m not sure which strains are contained is the Kefir I’ve been drinking, but I assume L. Ruterie is either not represented or there’s not enough to save my hair. I’ve been losing hair from the entire top of my head in a disperse pattern (and receding front hairline) for at least as long as I’ve been drinking the kefir.
It would be GREAT if you (or we as a group) can determine which kefir actually contains L. Reuteri, and how much of it.
Thanks for reaching out. Of the research I’ve read, the species l. reuteri isn’t often found in kefir:
With that said, kefir typically contains several different lactobacillus species — many of which may provide benefit to intestinal health — and possibly even similar benefits to l. reuteri. That research paper reviews the most common bacterial species in kefir — though I’m sure since your own kefir is grown at home, it’ll have a different composition.
If I find anything else, I’ll let you know!
Thanks for your reply, Rob, and for the link.
I mention Kefir because its probiotic benefits REMAIN in the intestines indefinitely. As opposed to Yogurt where the benefits are expelled daily when…er…you expel solid waste from the bowel.
If L. Reuteri can be administered via KEFIR that might overcome the apparently high dosage necessary. The RESIDUAL flora might *BUILD UP* to the necessary level and REMAIN in the intestines over time. And drinking Kefir twice a week would continually replenish it.
If you think it worthwhile, I hope you’ll focus your exceptional research skills on finding a Kefir that contains L. Reuteri or a similarly beneficial strain.
We all appreciate your efforts and your willingness to share information. I’m hopeful that exchanging information online as we’re doing will lead to “a breakthrough” soon. Keep up the good work.
Tom — thank you for the kind words. And I agree with your sentiments — the fastest pathway toward a universal breakthrough will be through sharing research and having people speak up about what’s working for them, and what isn’t. One of the biggest pieces of buried information was that case study on a 78-year old bald man (it’s inside the book) — a photo-montage of a man who accidentally smacked his head on a fire pit, and then inadvertently regrew his entire juvenile hair line over the proceeding six months.
Imagine if that case study gained more attention from hair loss researchers when it was first published (over twenty years ago). We might’ve already had a universal solution.
I’ll continue researching and sharing. And in the meantime, thank you for your comments!
One last thing: I’m not sure bacteria from kefir stay in the gut any longer than bacteria from yogurt. While the strains between the two vary, I think in general, both yogurt and kefir have generally a very hard time permanently colonizing the gut.
Is your research and methods regarding hair loss based on research done on men only? What, if any refers to women and hair loss/thinning?
Hey Tiffany — the research cited in this article applies to both men and women. In fact, most of the studies referenced were performed on both males and females. In addition, the methods covered inside the book and throughout my other articles are all geared towards men and women.
While there’s overlapping etiologies between male and female pattern hair loss, if you’re suffering from diffuse thinning as a woman, I typically suggest testing for the following:
-SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth)
In almost all of the women with whom I work, at least one of those conditions (and in most cases, multiple) are typically part of the etiology for their thinning hair.
They sell it here for 14 euros
Thanks Joe! Nice find. Looks like it’s the right strain as well.
This link leads to 11 different products that contain the specified probiotic, which one should I buy?
im confused because the only strains this product contains is
Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938
Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC PTA 5289
but the one we need is ATCC PTA 6475
I doubt any of those contain the right strain, they’re italian brand names for other BioGaia products – whereas they do sell Gastrus too: https://farmacialoreto.it/biogaia-gastrus-integratore-alimentare-18-compresse-masticabili
Please note that’s only 18 tablets, as opposed to the usual 30… I hate the fact that the 30 tablet Gastrus is available in Sweden for only 14 euros but you can only order it within Sweden. And elsewhere it’s over twice that price… So, any better deals welcome…
This one has 5 billion viable reuteri organisms;
Thanks, I’ll check this out…
I’m not sure that the Swansons brand of l. reuteri contains the right species. They don’t specify on the packaging or on the site which strain of l. reuteri you’re buying, so I’d opt for either the BioGaia brand or any other brand that specifies the ATCC PTA 6475 strain.
great info here as always.
So, if I understand correctly, consuming sourdough bread could help with colonizing L. Reuteri?
Pardon my ignorance on the matter, is that kind of bread “good” in terms of gluten and inflammation. The word bread has become evil in my mind now…
Anyway, thanks for your articles,
Thanks for your comment. To answer your question — L. reuteri is very effective at colonizing sourdough — though the bacteria’s actual presence inside store brand sourdoughs is still relatively unknown. It wouldn’t surprise me to find l. reuteri in most sourdough breads, and depending on how the bread was made and which kinds of wheat grains were used — I’m sure there are some sourdoughs that wouldn’t hurt to include in your diet. With that said, I think the better route for getting l. reuteri into your system is supplementation — at least until more research is done on which foods contain ample l. reuteri, and why.
Hi Rob I would also like to echo Davids comment.
Is their a dietary alternative ?
Thanks for the article, Rob.
I’m considering to experiment with probiotics, anyway, so I might give this a try. Any advice on how much of the lactobactillus reuteri should be taken daily?
Thanks Manuel. It’s a tough question to answer! If we’re going to match the rat studies, several billion IU’s daily would be the amount required. However, most l. reuteri supplements with the right strains come in 100 million IU increments. According to the manufacturers, they say that this amount likely elicits the same therapeutic effects — with marginal increasing utility from 100 million IU up through the billions. So, I’d say your best bet is to start with 100 million IU, and then continue from there.
Hi Rob, excellent article one’s again.
Am I right to assume that Raw cow’s milk has L. Reuteri? Since this is naturally passed from mother to child through breastfeeding so I am assuming it has.
Hey Ray — it’s certainly possible that many raw cow milk varieties have L. reuteri. In fact, some researchers have even dug into this and found l. reuteri present in the raw cow milks they tested:
In addition, those researchers also found that l. reuteri species became particularly dominant in fermented raw cheeses.
Rob, great article. I can’t wait to experiment with this strain of probiotics!
Thanks for reading Sierra!
I’ve just ordered the Swanson product with l reuteri. It’s currently half price with buy one get one free and an extra 25 percent off.
Rob do you not think it’s a good product though? I’m wondering why you picked the biogaia one other lots of options
Hey Joe – the issue with the Swanson product is that it doesn’t specify the strain of l. reuteri, and as a result, I can’t in good conscience recommend it — since I could be inadvertently recommending a strain of l. reuteri that possesses little to no health benefits.
With that said, if you try it and experience any health benefit, please let us know! I’m curious to hear how your experiment goes.
Rob, once again, very interesting writeup. A recent GI test interestingly highlighted that I have no outstanding issues with parasites, yeast, or bad bacteria, but, more importantly had very scant amounts of good bacteria, and not even a mention of commensal bacteria! This aligns fairly well with my low white blood count. Generally speaking it seems my immunity is low, coupled with below average testosterone levels. I can’t help but think there’s a lot of connection there.
Chris — thanks for sharing this. And based off what you’ve shared, I agree with your sentiments — that your low white blood count and below average testosterone might be the result of some form of gut dysbiosis — or even missing commensal/beneficial bacteria.
The good news is that testosterone levels and low white blood cell counts can bounce back fast when the underlying causes are addressed. So it’s all a matter of testing, creating an action plan, executing it, and then reevaluating your symptoms (and going back to the drawing board if necessary).
I’ve recently undergone a battery of tests for parasite analysis, gluten sensitivity, hormone readings, hormone metabolites, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, etc. I’ll be sharing the results on the site soon, and an action plan for treatment if anything is off.
I’m also going through the same level of thoroughness with my self analysis, let me know if any of my measurements could be useful to your ongoing research. I wouldn’t mind some of my self discovery going to good use.
Chris — thank you! I’d love to take you up on the offer. Email me any time. Maybe we can try an experiment with before-after test results from certain dietary/lifestyle/treatment interventions. That’s what I plan on doing for my tests as well.
Chris! My situation is nearly identical. I’d love to connect and share info with you, let me know if you’re interested!
Chris! My situation is nearly identical. I’d love to connect and share info with you, let me know if you’re interested!
This one contains 2 billion L. Reuteri, among other bacteria’s. I do not know anything about the company which makes and sells it though. Anyone tried this product?
Thanks Vick. Unfortunately the company doesn’t specify the strain of l. reuteri, so I don’t know if it’s the right type. With that said, if you have success trying this, keep us posted!
Rob is the man. Drilling down to the minutae for us all. Thanks Rob! Reuteri for All!
Thanks for reading Chris! I really appreciate it.
Very interesting as usual, indeed! Now, I found L. Reuteri supplement in 3.5 billion cfu, but I am not sure if it is the right supplement! I would love to know what you think about it. Here is the link:
I appreciate you for all the research you do on the subject!
That sales page mentions that specific strain of l. reuteri (NCIMB 30242) as the strain studied that improves cholesterol synthesis (and thereby potentially serum vitamin D levels). So that strain of l. reuteri should help with at least some of the things discussed in the article! Thought it’s not the same as the strains studied in the mice and rats that improved hair quality and testosterone levels, so we can’t be certain it’ll have any hair effects.
You mention SIBO as a possible cause for hairloss which I think I might have. What would be a good way to treat bacterial overgrowth in the stomach/intestines?
It all depends on whether your SIBO is methane dominant, hydrogen dominant, or both. Here’s a great resource for determining which treatments best suit you:
Otherwise, there’s also a product called Atrantil — which has gained recent attention for its ability to help treat methane-dominant SIBO (the harder-to-treat form of SIBO).
I’ll be writing more about this in the future. But in the meantime, that site is a good place to start.
How do I know if I my SIBO is methane dominant or hydrogen dominant?
It’s tough to tell based on symptoms alone — so the only real way to know is to test. A few readers have gotten tested through http://www.sibocenter.com.
Rob do you know why coq10 seems to stop my hair shedding?
Hey Joe — I’d be really surprised if CoQ10 alone helped stop your hair shedding. It has some anti-inflammatory effects, but just doesn’t seem enough on its own to really move the needle. In any case, congrats on your progress!
Did you check Danny Roddy’s new Patreon post? it is interesting:
“What does every Baldness therapy have in common?
In the The Baldness Field chapter, November 1942, I’m making the case that every major baldness therapy had one thing in common: they increased the anti-inflammatory hormone, progesterone.
I imagine that castrates are somewhat immune to these degenerative changes affecting hair growth due their higher production of progesterone and deficiency of estrogen, which puts a cap on cortisol, prolactin, and aldosterone.”
Hey Michael — I edited most of your quoted material since it wis Danny Roddy’s paid content, and keeping the full quoted text would be unethical to allow on my site. I don’t subscribe to Danny Roddy, but I did read your full comment and found it interesting. Based on what is provided in the text you quoted, it seems more research is required to actually pin down low progesterone as a precursor to pattern hair thinning. But the evidence of an associate between lowered progesterone and androgenic alopecia seems to be there. Whether this is more than associative (as in, whether low progesterone actually causes pattern hair loss) — we don’t yet know. I’ll dig into this more in the coming months.
Hi Rob, Michael,
I only noticed the *edited comment that Rob allowed and while I appreciate Danny’s research, the comment I saw seemed a bit contradictory. Reason is the since most of the steroids are produced in the gonads, wouldn’t castration (physical ) reduce the whole chain of steroids including progesterone ?
One might say it’s the cellular/tissue progestrone levels that matter but then one can say if the cells steroid status depend on its redox State ( nad+/nadh ratio and nadph/nadp+ ratio) then it becomes tough to know whether castration causes such state at least locally in the scalp. Also, afaik, both T and DHT has a negative effect on cortisol release or a calming effect on HPA axis, wouldn’t castration cause more cortisol signaling because of the lack of protective androgens ?
The connection Roddy made between progesterone levels and castration had to do with castration’s effects on leutenizing hormone, and thereby progesterone:
I haven’t looked into the research enough to say with certainty whether I agree with Roddy’s claims. However, with my current understanding, I agree with you.
I purchased your standard package about a week ago and have been doing the massages since. I also started taking mk-7, magnesium, and vitamin d3. I am kind of in the same boat as Peter (Germany), who’s photos is referenced in your book, where I’m thinning a lot in the vertex and I get a little hesitant about applying all 3 of the massage techniques, in my vertex area. With hairline I lose about 20-30 hairs, sides maybe 10, but with vertex I lose around 60. Would regrowth be possible with just pinching? I feel like pressing and stretching where theres still tiny hairs is basically ripping them out since they’re thin and small. I’m not so sure they were going to fall out if I did not do the latter 2 massage techniques.
Hey Will — thanks for your support. You can absolutely ease into the massaging. In fact, I recommend it. Especially in the beginning, try capping your massage intensity to limit the amount of hairs shed per session to 15-20. If you shed that hair ten minutes in, that’s okay. End your session, and the next time, taper your intensity to make it the full twenty minutes while still shedding the same (or preferably fewer) hairs.
In terms of not pressing / stretching — that’s okay too. Just start putting the work in, and in a few months time, your scalp will feel more elastic and you can slowly begin increasing your intensity while shedding fewer and fewer hairs.
I’m taking colloidal silver to protect against pathogens and “bad” bacteria. Would it interfere with supplementation of the l.reuteri (Gaia product)?
I’m thinking maybe I should separate the time I’m taking them by as much as possible.
Colloidal silver is a broad-spectrum antibiotic, which leads me to suggest that it would interfere with several species (including l. reuteri). If you’re going to take both, I think it’s best to spread out your supplementation timings. But if you’re only taking colloidal silver as a preventive to pathogens and aren’t experience any ill-effects of a compromised gut (SIBO, IBS, autoimmunity, skin irritation, chronic fatigue, depression, etc.) — then I’d drop the colloidal silver and focus more on rebuilding the gut rather than killing off any potential pathogenic microorganisms. The reality is that if things are balanced correctly, both the good and the bad can live side-by-side and without issue.
I just wanted to give a quick update on taking the biogaia product for about 1 1/2 months. Within a couple of days I noticed a better sense of relaxation and deeper sleep. I’ve starting waking up more refreshed and find that I can last longer between meals without feeling any crash symptoms.
I would approximate that my testicle size increased at least 20% and that my sperm count increased by 30%. I’m being moderate with the percentages because I don’t want to exaggerate… but the difference is very noticeable.
I really love the changes from one simple product. Thanks for continuing to research and update us on these things.
Wow! Thanks for the update Aram. And congrats! Sounds like some incredible effects. I’m curious if any other readers have experienced similar benefits. Hopefully a few will chime in.
I ordered some biogaia gastrus. I contacted the company and I only need to take it every other day. So 30 tablets should last two months. I also wondered if it would be possible to ferment food with this strain. It won’t work with vegetables but might work with milk but only in conjunction with other yoghurt strains. Some attempts have been made with probiotic cheese. However they could give no guarantee if the amount of l. Reuteri would increase and there would be no way to measure it.
Hey Nick I’ve also brought the same tablets, which are 200 mil per capsule. I plan to take everyday. Why did they suggest every other day out of curiosity??
Hi paz! For me they are a bit expensive. So I wondered if cultivation was possible. This seems to be a bit tricky.
So I wondered if I could take them every other day to reduce the cost. She said if I eat them continously, every other day is fine. If I go on vacation or need antibiotics, she suggested one every day. So there is a difference. I just hope I won’t miss out on the hair benefits by being cheap.
Thanks for sharing these updates Nick! I really appreciate it.
so cultivation isnt possible then nick?
She suggested milk at 37C(body temperature) but was worried about other harmful pathogens growing in this setting. So my idea was making yoghurt and adding this gastrus tablet as well. She said the yoghurt culture would protect against pathogens but again could give no guarantee about l. Reuteri increase. I havn’t tried it. I’m making kefir since sunday. I wonder if adding gastrus would just be waste of a tablet. I tolerate the gastrus well. I’m not sure about the kefir yet.
There is another blog that has several posts about making yogurt from that product: https://blog.undoctored.com/l-reuteri-yogurt/
Guys, custom probiotic do 2-3 strains of l-reut in powder. It’s not cheap but seems working for me. It’s 100 bln! In 1 gr. I have to agree that from all the supp I ever took ( and it’s ….a lot) there is only few I notice do something for me. Probiotic one of them, not all brands and strains. I feel like most brands do not do anything. Ultimate flora 50 bln it’s first time I felt something good and then I shifted to separate strains which seems to work better
I can also mention that it is safe to take this supplement on long term basis. There are numerous studies. Most of the biogaia products are marketed for kids. As you know the strains can populate and survive in kids since they have not fully developed their microbiom until age of seven. For us it is much harder, I’m not sure it is possible. This of course is good for all the companies selling probiotics. Better than being hooked on cigarettes though. I will report if I feel better from this. I think natto has given me some positive effects. I will also make kefir in a week or two. Gastrus start on Monday.
Hey Nick, was it worth to take Gastrus? What effects you have experienced?
Rob why do you recommend mk7
Hey Joe — there are a few sections in the book about the benefits of vitamin K2 and its relationship to calcification. MK-7 happens to be a form of K2 that stays activated much longer than most animal forms of K2. Plus, it’s relatively inexpensive, and I don’t always get enough K2 through diet alone. That’s why I occasionally take it.
what about this one rob
According to the packaging, that probiotic doesn’t contain the right strain of l. reuteri — at least for our goals. That’s not to say it won’t work, it’s just not a product I can recommend since the effects of l. reuteri might vary depending on the strain.
There’s one here, but doesn’t seem to be the correct strain:
Somebody else basically posted the same thing. So never mind this comment.
I’ve discovered a product called Floraphage. Basically, it increases the population of friendly bacteria, so it could potentially be very beneficial for this strain of L.Reuteri. Unfortunately, L.Reuteri wasn’t tested, so I don’t know off the bat whether it will work. I’ve sent an email to the company enquiring about other strains that they didn’t test. I will report back once they reply.
Regardless of whether it works for L.Reuteri, it may interest some of you, as it increases the population of common, but important, strains such as L. Acidophilus, b.bididum, l.casei etc by 24 fold.
Unfortunately for me, I’m in the UK and the product is extremely expensive to get shipped over, so I want to know for sure it’s a good product before purchasing. Here is the site:
The customer advisor got back to me regarding this product. He said that although non of the L.Reuteri strains were tested, every family of Lactobacillus that were tested showed significant growth when taken with Floraphage. So, this means that it definitely has potential to grow more than the 100million cfu of L.Reuteri atcc pta 6475 that’s provided with each serving of BioGaia.
I will purchase both products when I’m next paid.
please do let us know how you get on?
Thanks for the updates Luke! I’m looking forward to reading more.
I wanna ask you something totally unrelated to this topic. Have you watched the documentary named: “What The Food”? What’s been told there have a huge impact on me right now. And I’d like to figure out if this documentary is made by some vegan activists or the only aim is to preserve human health? (If you haven’t watched I think you should)
Sorry, the name of the documentary is “What The Health”.
Hey Mert — you’re the second person who’s recommended What The Health to me. I’ll check it out this week and get back to you! Thanks again.
All my best,
Definitely worth watching. The doctors appearing in the documentary are definitely not vegan activists by the way. Michael Greger, Neal Barnard, Garth Davis, Michelle McMacken and others are highly renowned physicians with a prestigious educational background.
*academic background is what I wanted to say 😉
Hey Manuel, Michael Greger uses cherry-picked evidence. Not compatable information, more like ideological claims.
rob do you think it would be worth creating a closed facebook group so that we could discuss all of your articles and hear feedback from each other etc. i think it would really help
hmm a FB group or maybe a forum on this site? Whatever is easier for separating topics as I feel the comments under each article aren’t always directly related to the article, but it’s the only way to communicate.
Thanks for the suggestion. As the community here has grown, it seems like a forum or FB group would be a natural step forward toward connecting more people and helping expedite information-sharing. My concerns with forums /FB groups are just how much time it takes to moderate them — and how it might create an expectation for me to be even more available for people. I have a hard time keeping up with emails / article comments in addition to researching / writing new articles each week (or at least trying!). But I will absolutely consider this, and maybe try to pilot the idea in the next couple of months.
All my best,
Hey guys, have you created a FB group or forum, for better comunication between likeminded? If yes, where I could find it? :))
What are your thoughts on applying magnesium oil hair spray to the scalp in addition to ingesting it? I’m curious if it’s safe in attacking decalcification topically and orally. And if it is safe, do you have any recommendation as to how to look for a good one? I see alot of homemade and branded ones, but weary of the labels as I look at all labels with a grain of salt like I do with shampoos now.
The paradox with magnesium oil is that at a molecular level, it should help with calcium clearance / calcification removal. But in practice, I’ve yet to see anyone using magnesium oil see significant regrowth. This is likely due to calcification being used as an “umbrella term” to describe the blockages observed in balding scalps’ capillary networks. The reality is that these blockages likely also include arterial plaque, cellular debris, and other materials beyond just calcium. The other possibility is that magnesium oil isn’t reaching the targeted areas — even for those dermarolling to increase absorption.
I don’t think it hurts to use magnesium — either topically, orally, or both. Though if you begin to experience a laxative effect, that’s suggestive that you’re probably having too much and should taper back. I don’t have any recommendations for a good brand, but if you find one you enjoy, please share it here!
Hey Will, I had been using magnesium oil for leg hair better growth, and it worked. But, sadly, not so much in scalp hair.
What do you think of this Rob.
How symmetry and hairloss could be connected
Thanks for sharing. There’s been some discussion of this theory in the comments of this article:
There’s reason to believe there’s some sort of causal link between hair loss. Here are the challenges to the theory:
1) Why is the incidence of subluxation higher in men than women?
2) Why does the “pattern” of hair loss vary in both men and women?
Androgens could encourage more bone growth for men and thereby lead to more incidences of subluxation, but the theory is still missing the explanation of the pattern. In any case, there’s no denying that alignment might be connected.
Another challenge: some men with terrible spinal alignment have been able to maintain relatively solid heads of hair, despite decades of suffering. Steven Hawking is an example: see this photo.
Rob, what are your thought on supplementing with collagen peptides? Vital Proteins sells it in powder form to mix in any drink just like the magnesium you recommend.
Hey Joe — you can certainly try it. I typically like ingesting collagen through bone broths. But others find it easier to take a supplement, and I don’t think it makes much of a difference either way (though the bone broths are typically much cheaper).
Ive noticed something interesting in my 9 months of massages.
Ive been monitoring my shedding and quality of hair that is shedding.
Far too many people are worried about shedding, than actually looking at what they are shedding !.
For the first few months I noticed the shedding hair to be weak, light, and almost in semi growth status that didnt grow that long.
Hair shed volumes would increase and decrease, but it all contributes to hair growth in my opinion.
Recently I have noticed that the hair im begining to shed now is thicker, looks more healthier, and slightly longer than before. But still not good enough.
Im glad sometimes that im shedding these hairs because I can tell that more thicker and better nourished hair is comming , which is precisley what has been happening. This only proves that blood circulation is critical for scalp and hair health.
My hairline has now moved forward. But slowly…… Still not a hundred percent, but I dont expect it to be until after month 12.
Im now taking L reuteri to see what it does.
This is awesome news Praz! Please keep us posted. And congratulations on all your regrowth so far!
Thank you for sharing your experience, Praz.
How long did it take until you noticed the first improvements in your hairline region?
I’ve now been doing the massages for 6 months but haven’t seen any hairline improvements yet.
In all honesty expect 9 months.
I experienced regrowth around end of month 8 . With white vellus hair continue to grow. Also it will fill in slowly. You have to be patient.
Always go by month end rather than beginning. So I class August 20th as end of month 9 .
New article at hairlosscure 2020 regarding new microneedling studies.
Thanks Michael! Further validation of microneedling as a synergistic tool alongside current hair loss treatments. Very promising stuff!
I think I found a physical, simple and instantaneous way to pump blood into the scalp! All I have to do is just hold my breath and pressurize myself, where my neck, face and temples’ arteries and veins would pop up. I hold it for a half a minute or as long as I can and release! You will unmistakably feel in your scalp the blood rush immediately!
But somehow, why do I think the problem or the solution is way more than blood supply!–that it is rather what is or is not in the blood which is the problem/solution on hair loss!
I’ve also done this before. However this method can send blood , but will not break down calcification and fibrosis.
Hi Rob. Listened to this podcast from the bulletproof radio the other day and wanted to get your thoughts on it
That was a good listen, and would also like robs opinion.
So using saw palmetto, has benefits as we already know. What’s more interesting is that of liver function process.. could this be why apple cider vinegar might be a good thing to drink.
I don’t know about you, but I haven’t performed this exercise long enough to see what benefit it would yield! Have you? I should tell you that the first time I did it, I couldn’t believe the calming effect I felt allover my scalp!
Also, with calcification, couldn’t it be chipped away with Vitamin K if regular blood supply to the scalp is established? why should the scalp calcification be any different than Coronary Artery Calcification ( except possible blood supply difficulties on high-up scalp), which can be cleaned with Vitamin K?
So far in the studies available, we’ve only seen vitamin K2 reverse Warfarin-induced calcification… but not calcification that forms in the body as a response to inflammation. With that said, the research is strong on vitamin K2’s role in its prevention of calcification. So ingesting more of vitamin K shouldn’t hurt!
Thanks for sharing. I haven’t listened to the full podcast yet, but I agree with much of what Roland Peralta says. His company — Nutrafol — takes a supplemental approach to halting hair loss and targets ROS and mitochondria activity (among other things).
I think where are opinions differ is this: Peralta seems to argue that ROS, mitochondrial dysfunction, nutrient deficiencies, estrogen dominance, and DHT dysregulate the signaling proteins that mediate the hair cycle, and that’s what causes hair loss. I argue that those same factors instead dysregulate the signaling proteins that increase calcification and fibrosis in the scalp — and that this fibrosis and calcification is what leads to hair follicle miniaturization rather than the dysregulation of the hair cycle. That’s the main difference in our opinions.
I stand behind much of the justifications for Nutrafol’s ingredients, and I like what the company is doing. I don’t think taking Nutrafol will lead to major hair loss reversals, but then again, Nutrafol in combination with mechanical stimulation might — especially if we combine it with topicals that encourage autophagy in fibrotic-ridden scalp tissue. I’m still researching that last part.
My biggest qualm with Nutrafol is their before-after photos. Nearly every “after” photo is combed in the exact opposite direction, making it impossible to determine if there’s actual regrowth. With that said, I don’t really have much grounds to stand on here… because a lot of the photos I receive aren’t picture-perfect comparisons either. But the difference is that I receive unsolicited photos from readers, whereas Nutrafol’s photos are professionally done and likely done in-house. And as a result, they show know better.
Rob, I havent heard of topicals inducing autophagy?
Are you still researching the subject and will you be writing an article later about that?
Fasting induces autophgy but does it apply to scalp?
I’m still researching autophagy for months. I’m not yet ready to write an article about it, but it’s on my list.
Based on the research so far, autophagy mediated through fasting is great in many cases — but it doesn’t lead to the autophagy we need in the scalp. Specifically, autophagy that leads to the breakdown of excess collagen fibers.
this article talks in detail about intestinal disbacteriosis:
Very interesting stuff. New danny roddy video about finasteride being composed of mainly progesterone which is possibly the reason as to why it works.
Thanks Michael. The research on finasteride being derived from progesterone was also discussed here:
Finasteride Vs. Natural DHT Reducers: They All Cause Sexual Side Effects
With that said, I don’t know of any evidence supporting the idea that because finasteride is derived from progesterone, that’s why it helps fight hair loss. The reality is that hundreds of different drugs are derived from progesterone, but that the end-products are so unlike progesterone at a molecular level, we can’t make the suggestion that their effects in the body all have to do with the fact that they’re derived from progesterone.
Great read like always. Keep up the phenomenal work!
I know you’re bombarded by an inordinate amount of comments/questions and I hate to ask you long winded questions, but I think they’re important to address since research is sometimes not black or white.
Excuse me for posting irrelevant questions pertaining to this article. I couldn’t find the “Leave A Response” section in the article titled: Men: Stop Thinking Your Hair Loss Is Due To High Testosterone. I also figured, posting my questions in your most recent article will fall under your radar as opposed to some of your archived articles.
There’s no doubt research illuminates one of the primary causes of baldness is due to hormonal volatility, specifically a testosterone:estrogen imbalance. However, in that article of yours, I don’t think there’s a golden standard that baldness in men is due to high estrogen, low testosterone and vice versa for women. Based on the medical literature I found, there may be conflictory findings proving the opposite (i.e. there’s another side of the coin). I am happy to share them below and I would like your intellectual feedback just to make sure I am not misinterpreting any valid points.
1) This study (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14757277) confirms subjects with vertex balding had higher testosterone than the non-balding group. Then again, estrogen wasn’t tested. That could be an important missing link often missed by a newbie. Had it been tested, maybe the estrogen:testosterone ratio for those balding subjects with high testosterone would’ve been more estrogen dominant than their counterparts? I don’t know.
2) Here’s another study confirming the same conclusion as #1 above: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10025745. Then again, estrogen wasn’t tested. If it was, even though on the surface, vertex balding subjects had higher testosterone, that may not have mattered in so much as a abnormally higher estrogen:testosterone ratio. If that’s case, the theories presented in your testosterone article may for the most part be complete.
3) According to this article, estrogen dominance causes hair loss in women due to thyroid inhibition: http://kodjoworkout.com/2012/08/menopause-hair-loss-and-too-much-estrogen/
4) And in vitro, using female occipital hair follicles and 17-β-estradiol (E2), this study confirms significant inhibition to hair shaft elongation: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022202X15306941#bb0075.
(see 4th paragraph, second to the last sentence).
A “high vs. low” ratio is important but I think what’s even more accurate is whether each of these hormones display dominance over the other. So, for example, if men have low estrogen but higher testosterone (i.e. testosterone dominant) the likelihood of developing AGA may increase, even though that ratio is inconsistent with your preaching.
In summary, what’s your take? Do you think hair loss may stem from a significant hormonal change from EITHER SIDE of the equation dependent on which hormone is more DOMINANT than the other? Or in most cases, AGA is common with hormonal disorders resembling that pictorial scale of yours, which as a refresher, entails for men: constant testosterone but higher estrogen leads to hair loss; for women: constant estrogen but higher testosterone leads to hair loss
Thanks Rob for everything you do for this community. You’re a superstar, a likeable person, and an elite researcher/experimenter in this field!
I know you’ve mentioned in your ebook that nizoral doesn’t address the underlying issue of hairloss. But i was curious what your thoughts were on using this along with a conditioner and ACV rinse? Your thoughts on them together once a week or each one on different days of the week? I ask because I like the hair thickening look it gives but I want to make sure I’m not making my condition worse, by say using other shampoos.
You guys with success, what is you routine after massaging? Do you shower with cold water or luke warm directly after? I have shedded a lot of hair so obviously I’m doing something wrong. I first use luke warm then as cold as the shower permits. I only massage once in the morning. I think I need to reduce my intensity so I can do an evening session as well. Or spread it out during the day like jd moyer. The gastrus tablet seem to be good for my stomach. I’m not sure if kefir is my thing though.
What your doing is fine in my experience.
Once in the morning and then one before bed. I use the same water temp as you.
How far are you in ? This matters a great deal. Shedding isn’t always bad !
Take a look at the quality of shed, is thickness , size , shape.
Yeah I hope the hair I shed will be replaced with new. I started maybe 10 months ago. But I got headaches from the massages so had to reduce intensity. It’s better now but I still only do one 20min session a day. So I’m not the best exemple to show progress. I feel like I have to give this some months more. DR scares me a bit. Thanks for the response and support. 🙂
what is your opinion on a scalp tension relaxer?
It’s interesting! I’m planning on writing an article about this soon. It’s all more evidence in favor of the blood flow theory of hair thinning.
Just found something insteresting about fenugreek,this guy claims that he cures his loss with fenugreek supplementation daily(about 2-3 grams i suppose)and he put some photos,since i have only crown balding,i want to know if fenugreek can do some good to my hair?
I am asking this in this topic because u wrote that high estrogen is bad also,yet fenugreek contains high amount of estrogen inside,maybe you can clarify this more.Should i try this ?
PS. I am doing your massage therapy for 1-2 months
Thank you for any reply.
Thanks for sharing! I’ve looked into this in the past. In general, fenugreek supplementation appears to be relatively safe for women — and even beneficial to breast health and lactation for nursing women. But for men, therapeutic dosages often result in the formation of gynecomastia (“man boobs”). It’s unclear if this reverts after stopping supplementation. In fact, fenugreek’s presence in many “testosterone boosters” is often a driver of why men taking these supplements often experience gyno as a side effect.
For women — I think this is a great option. But I think men should exercise caution with supplementation.
Okay i will stick to your book plan for 10 months,then i’ll consider other options,monk mode on 🙂
I would be happy if you could answer my comment!
I recently discovered theory about calcification and fibrosis associated with hair loss and no wonder why nothing worked in my case before. I have oily scalp and I am suffering from hair loss already for years. I did many analysis and doctors could not find the real reason, but I am sure this is my case as my scalp is shiny, even immediately after washing it, skin is not healthy. I started to massage my scalp, 20 minutes daily. As I know, massage should be harsh in order to have impact on dormant follicules. I perfom squeezing, streching and pinching, mostly. It has been a week since I am doing it and I feel pain afterwards and I am affraid to trigger the inflammation. I remember I had pain in scalp when my problems with hair just occured years ago and no one from dermatologyst didn’t know what was going on, so I am affraid that I will do more harm right now. What do you think about this? Is it good to feel sorred afterwards or not? Also, I do not feel pain equally distributed, some areas, like top of of my head, hurts the most. This is the reason why I am performing in just once per day, to give time to heal until the next session. I am using Mg oil and rosemary oil, separately of course, to address the calcium build up and to stimulate the circulation, but without dermaroller. Also, somewhere I read that calcfication is not connected with the Ca levels in blood, while somewhere, they advice Ca supplements to get rid of calcification. I am confused. I am taking it in order to control my prolactine levels that have tendency to get high and there is a connection among prolactin and sebum production, which is my second problem. Should I stop supplementing calcium? Shouldnt we take vitamin K or D or Mg, to help to resolve it? And the last one, what do you think about protein powders, are they good or bad decision for our hair? Considering that hair itself has been constructed out of protein, it should be beneficial, but do we with MPB have already too much of collagen?
Thank you very much for your time in advance!
All the best!
Thanks for reaching out. To answer your questions–
RE: “As I know, massage should be harsh in order to have impact on dormant follicles.”–
This is true, but be careful and keep an eye on shedding. In general, any shedding induced from the massages should never result in visibly thinner hair. If this does happen, I’d suggest decreasing massage intensity until the shedding ceases. The other option is just to simply ease into the massages and give your scalp time to make the adjustments in softness and elasticity before really beginning to increase the intensity. These changes take time, and there’s no need to start at full-intensity.
RE: rosemary oil–
I’d recommend diluting your rosemary oil to 10% inside a carrier oil (coconut, emu, olive, or castor oil). Start there, and then slowly increase the dilution if you don’t notice any shedding.
RE: supplementing with calcium–
This is person-dependent, and in general, I’d opt to eat more foods with calcium than simply supplement. Have you gotten your serum calcium levels tested? The presence of calcification isn’t necessarily correlated to calcium intake — it’s correlated to an inflammatory response that leads to calcium leeching from bone. But that also doesn’t mean that increasing calcium will decrease calcification. I’m curious where you heard this recommendation.
RE: prolactin and sebum production–
I’m still researching this, but currently I think sebum production is most correlated with androgens and typically the size of the sebaceous gland is determined by androgen circulation during puberty. There are ways to reduce sebaceous gland size later in life — mainly through nutrition (retinol intake is one example).
RE: vitamin K / vitamin D–
You can certainly try supplementing with both. But first, test your serum 25(OH)D levels and determine whether you have a deficiency. Sunlight is always better than supplementation, but for those who can’t achieve optimal vitamin D with sun exposure, cod liver oil + a vitamin D/K liquid supplement are great alternatives.
RE: protein powders–
If your diet is dialed in, I think whey protein is unnecessary. The human body can handle much more protein than most give it credit for — so it’s unlikely that in normal amounts, whey protein will hurt your hair. With that said, I think your money could be better spent on a liquid vitamin D/K2 supplement alongside the tests I mentioned above.
Thank you for answering, Rob!
– I am not shedding during massage but I am not experiencing that much pain afterwards, which I believe should be present in order to be efficient. Some parts I find more sensitive than others and that’s all and I know I wasn’t gentle because when I tried to show the others how detumesence should look, they said it was extremely uncomfortable and painful for them. Does this mean that my folliculles are dead and I won’t benefit from this?
– Rosemary oil that I am using is already a mixture of others, its a famous natural remedy in my country for boosting the circulation, but thank you very much for comment, I am aware that it would be silly and too strong to apply pure oils on scalp or anywhere on the skin.
– I read in several articles that calcium intake can lower the prolactine level, with the underlying mechanism, I am not familiar, unfortunately. Prolactine has some impact in sebum production, so that would be the indirect connection and reason for calcium supplements, not for the calcufication itself. However, I agree that androgens are the one to blame the most.
– I did test my D vitamin and it was significantlly low, I got D3 oral spray, with 5000 units daily. Aferwards, I was informed, probably I read it here, that taking isolated form of D3 could be harmful for liver, so adding K and/or Mg would be smart.
– Definitely, I am leaving my whey powder behind. Only reason why I was taking it was hair, no other needs. Actually, it is really hard to find a good and relatively pure version out on market, they are full of soy, etc, so I am happy to ditch this.
– I was not familiar with methods of restricting sebum production, beside some dietary changes. Can this retinol, or A vitamin If I am not wrong, be applied topically? Is there anything that could be applied directly on scalp? My problem lies in oily scalp, I could wash it literally twice per day. I wonder would be hair loss stopped if I could control the sebum. I already eat too healthy and I have nothing to avoid. Did you write an article about this? Any recommendation, I would really appreciate. Going to google retinol right away!
Hey lily, I recommend you to use 100% essential oils on the scalp, because this helped me for my oily scalp and nose.
I just started taking the BioGagia this week. I have hypothyroid and am taking it because in mouse studies it increased T4 levels and B12. I’m low in both. I want to get off thyroid medication because I’ve had side effects from everyone I’ve tried – both natural and synthetic. I tried going off the thyroid medication (with my doctors approval) but am back on half the dose after experience side effects from the hypothyroidism – including thinning hair. Ugh!
Fingers crossed this works! I’ve done so much research on how to heal the thyroid and increase T4 levels. My thyroid worked at one time and then it didn’t. Just throwing medication at it doesn’t treat the underlying cause. If the probiotics work then I still will have to take them forever, but hopefully they won’t have negative side effects like medication does.
Thanks for sharing your experience Rachel. And please keep us posted. I’ve read of very few side effects (if any) from l. reuteri supplementation — and I think if anything, you’ll only see benefits. If it’s possible, it would be great to get your doctor to sign off on testing serum B12 and T4 before and after two months of supplementation. A lot of readers here would love to see if there was any impact.
In general — I agree with you. Throwing medication at a problem is a bandaid-approach to health, and the real healing has to come from inside.
All my best,
Ahh, here it is. I managed to find it.
Kruse, K., and Kracht, U. Inhibitory effect of calcium on serum prolactin. Acta Endocrinol (Copenh). 1981 Nov;98(3):339-44.
What is your opinion regarding earthing? It is good for chronic inflammation which is one of the main culprits of hair loss. Here I have linked a meta analysis study on earthing in different areas
It’s very interesting, what do you think about that Rob? Is it worth to buy a grounding mat on my bedsheet?
Just read my kefir bottle and it lists lb. reuteri as one of 12 active cultures. The brand of kefir I buy is Lifestyle, from just the normal grocery store. Says contains 15-20 billion active , but does not say how much of each. Not sure if the other strains effect the net reuteri the kefir delivers, but I think the 12 total cultures should be of some kind of overall health benefit.
Came across this page researching L. Reuteri strains.
(I do have diffuse hair loss, been on 5% minidoxil for about a year and a half, overall health, excellent. I’m 71.)
I’m no microbiologist, although fairly scientifically adept. My interest in L.R. came with finding out that I have low T and was looking for alternatives to exogenous T. I stumbled across this peer reviewed paper about how mice consuming a strain of L. R. raised their T, were more aggressive, and their testicle size increased some 50% in mass. Whoa, sign me up.
I found Nature’s Way Primadophilus on Amazon and started in in March or April. I did not measure the boys until May, I use a caliper. Since May, one guy has grown 9% in length, the brother, 23%!
Today I started wondering about the strains. Did research on L.R., what an amazing bacteria. Found in almost all animals, species specific, incredible health benefits in many ways. This gets to where you started about what strains to look for. While there may be differences in this effect, or that effect, I suggest that most strains will give you the benefits you want. After all, the mice were being given a human strain. The identical strains in the probiotics you mention are hideously expensive, about $45/mo vs. $7 for Primadophilus.
FYI, I have been supping with 10,000 IU’s of D3, a high dose K2 and K1 pill for years, later, zinc, boron, Vitamins E and C, magnesium. My lipid panels are off the charts excellent.
Thanks Paul! It’s great to hear you’re seeing an effect with the Nature’s Way product. It’s hard to find supplements with both great quality and price points, and hopefully some other readers chime in about trying your recommended brand to see if it helps them as well.
I’m going to purchase the BioGaia product and try and increase the yield of the tablets by mixing a few with milk and leaving them in a yogurt maker for a day or two. Theoretically this should increase the bacteria count exponentially. Do you know if the L. reuteri 6475 strain in the tablets would be enough to ferment the milk or would I need to add a starter culture with different strains in there too?
L. reuteri is found in some raw milks, so it’s possible that it might help. But before going through the trouble, maybe experiment with some other brands mentioned within this comment thread and see if you get any effect from those. Chances are there’s a cheaper, less hassle-oriented solution.
Thanks for your reply, I’ve just read through the comment thread and someone had mentioned the product “Floracil50” by Truthnutra which contains 2 billion CFU’s of l-reuteri but you weren’t sure which strain. I did a bit of research, and apparently it is indeed the desired 6475 strain according to this video: https://youtu.be/n8Rh7PnJbTA?t=6m54s
I think I’ll do a 3 month experiment taking the Gastrus, Floracil50 and the Nature Way Primadophilus (mentioned a couple of comments up) for a month each to see how they compare.
That’s a great idea, David. And please keep me posted with your experiments — either here or through email. I’m sure a lot of other readers would be curious about your results.
Thanks again! I look forward to hearing from you in the coming months.
Hey David, how was your results after taking Gastrus, Floracil50 and the Nature Way Primadophilus?
A comment was made about Kefir being about to differ from yogurt in that it “stayed in the gut where yogurt did not??? That simply is not the case unless someone can explain how that happens. Both Kefir and yogurt come from the same base prebiotic “milk” Almost all kefir and yogurt uses cows milk ideally raw but still cows milk.
The only difference between yogurt and kefir is the bacteria within in fact you could go so far as to say yogurt as we know it usually has very fixed set of cultures used where most kefir, lets face it people have no idea what bacteria strains and sub strains are in it or may have mutated or been out competed or added to from the environment as most people that are really into the health benefits of kefir make there own from a starter culture as those sold online such as the kefir lady or form some other kefir owner.
Thus you could make a yogurt with the same bacteria strains as are in the kefir and vise-versa. I have in fact done this. Added a small amount of kefir to a starter base and cooled upon reaching a given bitterness and thickness.
In that effect both kefir and yogurt are nothing more than a mixture of probiotic and prebotic. Given this as much as people are cool on kefir its still no different. The issue is not what you are seeding your gut with as long as you are providing a good supply of the bacteria and choice of food (specific prebotic). Many of the probiotics in kefir and custom milk based yogurts such as the cultures if you wanted to use L. Reuteri actually do not digest or use lactose as its food or energy base but many use a byproduct that other bacteria leave from processing lactose.
BTW yogurt made with L. Reuteri and the supporting bacteria according to the research paper had no noticeable difference in taste or consistency so thats a good thing for us humans that may not be into the heavy pungent flavors some cultures are use to from heavily fermented foods but not so much in the West.
The above maybe why the researches had so much trouble with seeding L. Reuteri. Research has shown when you just add it a milk yogurt base its numbers decrease steadily showing it does not use lactose directly. But when a certain other bacteira also L probitoic it then began to multiple significantly allowing seeding of more and more yogurt cultures. The gut is no different. Not to mention you have to provide any bacteria in your gut with constant food source if you ever expect it to seed and stay. Most studies ( a few have) never bothered to keep feeding the prebotics and then come to the conclusion that the gut can not be seeded as no matter how long you supplement when you stop the numbers crash. Well of course they do. If they had regular intake of the prebiotic source and possible other bacteria strains needed to produce that prebitoic food such as breaking down lactose then they likely would have already had at least some of any normally commensal bacteria. The fact they do not means you not only need to reseed and boost and switch the various bacteria you supplement but you must be constantly i.e. daily of not multi per day taking in the prebotic food sources for these strains to survive.
None of this even touches the very complex environment of the gut flora and much like how nature left on its own balances and rebalances constantly never allowing anyone area to over dominate ( ideally).
For those wanting to understand how constantly taking one probotic mix constantly can actually lead to lower numbers and less seeding effect start reading up on bacteriophages. They are basically protein based viruses to each specific strain of bacteria. Mother natures way of controlling this form of life. These phages are proteins that can be taken to basically kill the bacteria strain they are targeted towards. Most all phages are specific to one strain. It can be a great way to target pathogenic opportunistic strains but as been shown even the “good” commensal bacteria can ALL form and become infected with phages. It seems when bacteria reach a certain dominance level it triggers phage activity.
So its not just as simple as bacteria competing with each other and making sure they have good food sources but also natures way of preventing unnatural imbalances even if they may be perceived as positive for the host by use.
Research seems to point to rotating probiotic blends of completely differing strains every couple months as a threshold to preventing phage creation and related die off.
Thus I think this really needs to be taken into consideration when formulating strain mixtures. They should likely be groups to need to same general prebiotic food source and not be too many strains thus allowing 3 or more rotating mixture groups. A very diverse mixture of prebiotic sources to support all commensal bacteria with a increase in the one/s that support the currently supplemental mixture a the time. Thus it may be best to have rotation of both the prebitoic mixture % as well as differing probiotic strain mixture.
Anyways thats my two cents into this level of discussion.
Hey Tim — thanks for your comment, everyone here really appreciates it. I found the reader comment to which you referred (about kefir vs. yogurt) and flagged the mistake — I appreciate your correction.
To add to the discussion — what’s also interesting is the research showing that the bacteria H. Pylori (which is typically incredibly harmful in US populations) does not show the same pathogenic tendencies in certain indigenous populations.
This suggests the possibility that gut microbial population compositions may partially influence which bacteria are commensal and which are pathogenic. There’s so little we know about the gut — and as a result — it’s likely shortsighted for us to take one probiotic, study its effects on rats and humans, and then ascribe those benefits to that probiotic alone, when in fact it could be the synergistic effect of that bacteria + others present during its colonization.
Thanks again for reading and contributing.
Since taking BioGaia I’ve definitely seen a difference in my testicle size. I take 1 pill every other day since about a month ago. It appears as though my testicles are 25% bigger. So YES I’m a believer.
Awesome John! That’s great news. Any other effects worth mentioning regarding hair, skin, etc.?
Hello all. I have been taking BioGaia for 5 weeks now and my testics have grown for sure. I am 100% sure that my sperm count has increased allot .
I have also been doing the massages and am shedding around 20 hairs with each massage. My skin has been allot more elastic in 5 weeks. I only massage once a day and sometimes i take a break for 2 days to make sure i can heal. The hair i lose doesnt have any bulbs.
I looks like i have slightly less hair at the foreclock but thicker. Will report back in a couple months.
You forgot to report, bro… I’m very interested in your progress 🙂
Hey, anyone know where to get this strain in Australia?
I’ve been hesitating to try Biogaia. Are there any more guys who’ve been taking it? Pls comment regarding its effect on your hairloss.
I don’t know whether my last comment is shown or not. Just wonder if there’re any more guys who’ve been taking BioGaia. Let me know its effect on your hairloss so I can make up my mind.
I got wind of this probiotic from Truth Nutra and Christopher Walker. And his aim is to use the strands and chemical strands associated with these kinds of studies to achieve similar effects. This one included. He also has a baldness myth video on his YouTube. Wouldn’t mind getting your take on it.
I’ve watched Christopher Walker’s video and generally agree with his sentiments — though I disagree with some of the evidence he paints against the DHT-hair loss argument (he compares studies of tissue DHT to studies on serum DHT — an apples-to-oranges comparison).
He also buckets all forms of hair loss (female hair loss after childbirth, male pattern hair loss, telogen effluvium, hair loss as infants) — all in the same category, and then uses clues there to determine what could be the root causes behind all of these things.
This leads him to the ideas we often hear from Ray Peat / Danny Roddy fans: that prolactin (the molting hormone), cortisol, elevated estrogen, low thyroid function, polyunsaturated fats, calcification, a drop in “protective” hormones (like progestosterone), all together cause hair loss.
The problem with this is that different forms of hair loss have different morphologies. For example, telogen effluvium, female hair loss after giving birth, and hair loss in infants are all non-scarring forms of hair loss. But pattern hair loss and diffuse thinning are scarring forms of hair loss. So the physiologies are different, and thereby each form of hair loss — and their pathologies and treatments — should be different.
It’s kind of like going out to discover what causes diabetes — and lumping in all the research on type I diabetes with type II diabetes — then recommending that everyone fix their diet because studies demonstrate you can reverse diabetes by fixing metabolic syndrome via healthier food choices. This may be true for type II diabetes… but it’s certainly not true for type I diabetes.
This is why we rarely (if ever) see improvements to pattern hair loss from just dietary changes alone. The evidence suggests that AGA (pattern hair loss) is a localized, chronic, inflammatory-mediated condition. And diet / supplements are going to have very little impact on this if that inflammation is structural.
In the same respects, what is true for something like alopecia areata or telogen effluvium may not also be true for male pattern baldness. And without the distinction, we’re at risk for drawing short-sighted conclusions — which is exactly what’s happening here.
With that said, I think Christopher Walker’s video is much-needed, and at a minimum, is worth a watch for anyone interested in hair loss research. While I disagree with aspects of his analysis, it’s better than 99% of everything else out there.
Dr. William Davis has written an article in April on undoctored.com about making yogurt with the BioGaia Gastrus.
“Problem: There are only 100 million CFUs (live organisms) per tablet. I have not observed any substantial health benefits by ingesting the tablets.
So I have been amplifying bacterial counts by making yogurt. The counts are further increased by performing fermentation in the presence of prebiotic fibers. Just as ingesting prebiotic fibers increases bacterial counts in your intestines, so it goes in making yogurt, as well.
The yogurt is thick, delicious, and contains a marked increase in bacterial counts, though I have not yet performed a formal count. Given the extraordinary thickness of the end-product, it is likely that trillions of CFUs are present…
People who consume 1/2 cup per day of this preparation (mix with blueberries, strawberries, etc.) are reporting the effects listed…”
Full article here: https://blog.undoctored.com/l-reuteri-yogurt/
Thanks Rob for this post. I appreciate what I see as a rigorous and open mind, and also the respectful communication you use.
Concerning the l-reuteri yoghurt, ten days ago I bought a yoghurt maker that allows setting the temperature and duration, since Dr William Davis explains on his site that:
– Too high temperature will kill l-reuteri -> I set 37°C
– The longer the fermentation, the more bacteria -> I set 24 hours
I am not an expert in the matter, so I have no idea whether his recommendations are valid or not, and I cannot even be sure that I get more bacteria with the yoghurt than with taking a Biogaia pill.
What I was surprised is that it works quite well to make a good yoghurt: in each pot, I mixed one Biogaia Gastrus pill with one tea spoon of organic inulin and then fill up with organic whole milk, and after 24h at 37°C, I get a good tasting yoghurt.
I have eaten one to two yoghurts a day in the last week, and I have noticed:
– some bloating / gas, nothing really disturbing;
– my transit is similar (was fast and is still fast);
– my poo is firmer and better formed, which I would interpret as positive.
I am a 52 year-old male, healthy, taking quite a lot of different supplements, practicing sports and meditation, so I do not expect revolutionary effects from these yoghurts. Anyway I enjoy them so far and I may post if I notice any change, especially as far as hair are concerned since this is the primary topic of this site.
Thanks for sharing, Didier! I’m sure a lot of people here will benefit from your directions. Please keep us posted with everything, and I hope you continue to feel better. In the long run, I’m sure it’s much more affordable to make this yogurt than it is to buy the supplements.
Hi David, I see a comment from you on November 1 about you going on a 3 month experiment taking the Gastrus, Floracil50 and the Nature Way Primadophilus for a month each to see how they compare. I am eager to know your experience and feedback. Any information would be appreciated. I am most interested in knowing effects on Skin thickness and hair.
This is indeed a very informative and eye opening blog. However, I am looking some advice for my teenager hair loss. I don’t know if I should call it pattern hair loss or something else since he is just a teenager .He is losing hair mainly in the middle and back of the scalp. He is 14 now. He started losing hair around 3yrs ago. Doctors are unable to find the reason means his hormones and iron are normal. Two years ago he saw a dermatologist who suggested rogaine and Selsun blue. We found rogaine as an aggressive treatment so my son just used Selsun blue but not effective enough.
My question here is biogaia or Floracil 50 supplement safe for this age or I am at the wrong place.
Is there any test recommended before starting the supplement or he can go ahead?
Will appreciate your response
Shan, look into BioGaia Gastrus. It contains L. reuteri DSM 17938 (used in BioGaia’s probiotic made specifically for children) and L. reuteri ATCC PTA 6475 (the one mentioned in this article for hair loss), which I imagine would be safe for child of 14. I’ve been using this BioGaia Gastrus for two months and my hair loss, which started five years ago, has slowed dramatically. In addition to this product, I’m on a very strict gluten-free, dairy-free diet for autoimmune thyroiditis (has your son been tested for autoimmune disease). I’ve had good results with the diet, and taking Vitamins D and B as well as zinc, but it wasn’t until BioGaia that my hair loss slowed even more. It also feels thicker and I’ve started seeing new growth. Also check into Florastor, a Saccharomyces boulardii probiotic, which is essential for rebuilding my intestinal mucosa that has been compromised from years of chronic inflammation. Bottom line, the gut must be addressed to heal inflammation of any kind. Healing begins with a whole-foods diet and proper supplementation. My dedication to this lifestyle choice has served me well. I hope you find answers for you and your son! I’m sending positive thoughts your way : )
Nice article! I saw that Reuteri dramatically increases skin thickness and skin collagen. Then I saw in Robs book this: “Balding regions are ridden with disorganized collagen (i.e., fibrosis) “. Can Reuteri actually increase fibrosis in scalp by actually sending even more collagen?
Apologies for the delayed response! This is a semantics problem, and it’s my fault for the confusion here. Disorganized/excess collagen is representative of scar tissue, whereas the collagen that microneedling (and likely l. reuteri) helps to synthesize is more organized and more perfectly cross-hatched. In other words, the researchers here are likely referring to increasing collagen / skin thickness in terms of increasing healthy skin and maybe subcutaneous fat – two positives for hair growth.
Your site is a very helpful resource
Quick question – does one need to supplement with a probiotic including the lactobacillus reuteri strain or can any high quality probiotic work for hair loss? I’ve supplemented with l.reuteri (Floracil50) for 3 months and didnt notice much difference
I have to say, This group is the most well rounded, informed bunch of people ive ever come across and ive been losing my hair since for about a decade now (im 33) and been researching the hair loss topic ever since!
Id like to share my personal research and experience with you guys to hopefully make a difference…
Im going to try to sum this up and make it as short as sweet as possible without losing any key points.
So, long story short, I grew up eating nothing but carbs and gluten. No fruits, no veggies, just gluten and carbs in between. around 23 Years old, Literally overnight, I started losing my hair. I actually thought I was dying, it was so sudden. Like everyone here, I did everything the mainstream said and obviously nothing worked. Didnt even make a dent.
A few years in and with some more research, I found that gluten might be a thing, so I cut it out and instantly saw a 70% improvement in my inflammatory issues (including hair loss obvi). 70% is great, but im still losing my hair. So I tried the next 100+ remedies to supplement my newfound “diet” and nothing changed.
Fast forward to more recently, I took up doing intermittent and long term fasts. First long term fast I did was 2 days. Might have been good for me on a cellular level, but nothing apparent.
Next fast I did was 3 days, but this time I did daily enemas and something amazing happened… On the second day of the fast w/enema, my hairloss COMPLETELY stopped. I mean, I was messing with it hard and nothing! that lasted for the duration of the fast and maybe a couple days past, but once I went back to eating as I would, the hair-fall started up again.
The next fast I did was 5 days. Same protocol. Enema everyday, no food, just water and again, shed completely came to a halt on the second day and that persisted past the rest of the fast and a couple of days back into being fed.
The most recent fast Ive done was 10 days, but this time I switched it up. I didnt perform any enemas the first 5 days. Lo and behold, my hair continued to fall out. I then started with my salt water enema at the end of the 5th day and wouldnt you know.. the hairloss stopped again COMPLETELY on the 8th day.
I truly believe that all types of hairloss and all other autoimmune problems are based around gut health. If it was a genetic issue, no fast, diet or lifestyle could change it. I think the different types of hair loss are due to the genetic predisposition of that particular person, with some other variable involved, but its all based around the same concept.
I think the enema/fasting is a fantastic way to hit the “reset button” on your overall health, but especially gut health and then theres a chance to repopulate with good bacteria and healthy foods so we have a basis to not only stop hairloss, but to reverse it.
Since the bald shiny spots are like scar tissue, ive done some chemical peels on the scalp and have seen some improvement. Ive yet to do it after an cleanse followed by an ideal diet, but I feel like if the two were combined, there could be some very big improvements.
Also, I found that peppermint oil works better than minoxidil at stopping and regrowing hair. Lavender, tea tree and rosemary seem to have an effect as well.
Ive never tired all of these practices at the same time (i.e the topicals, the fasting, the peels…) but I think if done in the correct order, the correct way, regrowth could be fast and efficient. Probiotics and fermented foods would probably be the best way to maintain gut health after a long term fast and enema sequence. As long as the wrong foods arent re-introduced into the microbiome.
Sorry for the rant! I just know how helpless people can feel in this situation, so I feel obligated to help as best as possible.
BTW this was actually the abridged version lol
Everyone claims that reuteri increases vitamin d by 25.5%. No one reads the actual study or at least they fail to claim that the placebo also increases vitamin d by 22.4%. This is akin to saying zinc increases Testosterone 205% but leaving out that the placebo also gained 200%…turns out in this fictitious study, both groups were also giving steroids. Moral of the story, read the studies before just copying information from other blogs.
Hey Study Reader – you’re right! When summarizing the study’s results, I failed to contextualize these findings in relationship to the control group. This makes the relative increase in vitamin D a lot less biologically significant. While this wasn’t the result of me copying information elsewhere, it was an honest mistake – and one I shouldn’t have made. I’m sorry for missing it, and I appreciate you bringing it to my attention. I’ve updated the article accordingly.
I have been taking BioGaia’s Reuteri with Vitamin D for more than a year now and I am here to tell you it didn’t return my hair. Maybe it helped stave off the progression of my hair loss but it isn’t a miracle cure, or wasn’t for me.
There should be plenty of bacteria in this supplement to do *something* if the research translates to human models. I’ve also read some research that attributed most of the gain from this product to female mice, so there is a chance male hormones mitigate the beneficial effects of the strain somehow.
Background commentary on the pandemic says zinc and vitamin D and iodine on average measure low for the human population. …a nutritional pandemic. These are significant factors for a healthy scalp. We need to look at other pathways too eg PGD, epigenetics and an explanation for hairy men except the scalp, Chinese medicine eg fo-t i. and multi cultural studies not forgetting pueria mi r i. f c a from SE Asia. Japanese men tend to have a great head of hair…check Rice Water. A cure for hair loss also means the death of a billion dollar industry..watch you will be taken down rabbit holes……. Mi
A very interesting article here regarding the Reuteri strain in BioGaia.
There is a very bizarre mystery here. These are some ideas that most of us would agree with:
* Higher tissue levels of DHT result in higher levels of hair loss, for a given individual
* Higher serum levels of estrogen seem to at least partially reverse pattern baldness, as evidenced by male to female transition patients who often report significant or complete reversal of pattern baldness.
With that as our background, how can we make any sense of these two facts that you report:
1) “Young men who don’t suffer from hair loss have high testosterone and low estrogen.”
2) “Young men who are balding have low testosterone and high estrogen.”
Regarding the group in 1), doesn’t higher serum levels of DHT imply higher tissue levels? It would have been more useful for 1) and 2) to document the serum DHT levels between the two groups. How can lower estrogen be the cause of less hair loss?
Regarding the group in 2), this is the one that is stunning. The higher estrogen should be protective. The low serum testosterone implies lower serum DHT. How can that not be resulting in lower tissue DHT?
There is something subtle going on here, and it seems complex.
Hi Rob! About that L.reuteri probiotic I see some problem. Some pharmacologist once said to me that probiotics should be placed in the fridge and also capsule for probiotics should be made with “special” gastro-resistant sheath. Then I looked on the biogaia product and they said that the probiotics can be placed in room temperature and also I dont see any mention about capsule being gastro-resistant, so the bacteria can be destroy by our stomach acid then. Any thoughts on this? Plus while you were reaserching that strain did you find any type of fiber/food that this bacteria like? So maybe that would make probiotic + prebiotics more stronger combination.
Thank you for research/work and for responding in advance 🙂