I just had an analysis run to count the number of bacteria in a sample of L. reuteri yogurt: 28 BILLION.

Recall that, by crushing 10 tablets of the BioGaia Gastrus tablets to begin fermentation, we start with—at best, assuming 100% viability—2 billion CFUs (colony-forming units or bacteria) of L. reuteri microbes (two strains). Given a L. reuteri doubling time (the time required for one bacteria to reproduce and become two bacteria) of 3 hours, it means that our prolonged fermentation time of 36 hours permits 12 doublings. We could do the math, but this value would only apply to the first batch. Since we make subsequent batches from a couple tablespoons of a prior batch, we rapidly lose track of how many bacteria are contained in the yogurt. It’s therefore helpful to perform an actual count.

The analysis yielded 220 million microbes per gram. By consuming one-half cup per serving of L. reuteri yogurt, we obtain:

220,000,000 x 127.7 grams/half-cup serving = 28,000,000,000

or 28 billion microbes.

This is the magic of bacterial doubling time. Just as the graph above shows how one penny on day 1, doubled every day for 30 days, yields $5.5 million, with big numbers showing only after day 25, so it goes with our L. reuteri fermentation: Big microbial numbers don’t appear until 10 doublings have occurred, i.e., around hour 30, with huge jumps in numbers with two subsequent doublings to 36 hours. You can appreciate that the 4-hour fermentation that most commercial yogurt makers use, or the 8-hours used by commercial kefir makers, yields trivial bacterial counts. They cut the process short by a huge amount of time, thereby yielding products that have almost no bacteria.

But this is part of the reason why, I believe, we are achieving such over-the-top results for most people such as thicker skin, smoothing of wrinkles, accelerated healing, restoration of youthful muscle and strength, deeper sleep. These effects are occurring due to consumption of large numbers of microbes, far more than obtain from conventional yogurt or from a commercial probiotic.

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