When you hear the term ‘bacteria,’ what do you think of? Do you think of something positive and good for the body? Or do you think of something that we must avoid if we want to steer free of germs, sickness, and disease?
If you’re someone who immediately thinks of bacteria as a bad thing, you’re like a majority of the population. It’s one of those terms that exclusively gets a bad rep, despite it being both good and bad for the body.
It’s like cholesterol or fat. Both of these terms have such negative implications in today’s society, but there are actually healthy forms of cholesterol and healthy fats that we must consume on a daily basis.
It might be a strange concept to grab a hold of at first, but there is such a thing as good bacteria. In fact, our bodies are made up of over 100 trillion bacteria, and a strong majority of that bacteria actually helps the body perform and feel its best at all times.
These ‘good bacteria cells’ found in the body are called probiotics, and they’ve received a lot of attention in the science and medical community. They’ve actually received so much attention that there is an entire line of probiotic supplements on the market today for public consumption.
We’re going to talk about one of those probiotic supplements today — Align Probiotic. We’ll dive into this probiotic supplement’s ingredients, its benefits, and whether or not it is worth the price in this review of Align Probiotic.
What Is Align Probiotic?
Align Probiotic is one of the many –, and we mean MANY — probiotic supplements available to consumers today. It’s created by Align, a company that’s owned by Procter & Gamble.
For those wondering why that name sounds so familiar, they also own Gillette, Crest, Aussie, Tampax, Dawn, Head & Shoulders, Oral-B, Scope, Febreze, Tide, and so much more. They own nearly 100 companies.
Align Probiotic can be found in most grocery and department stores, including CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, and more. It’s a nationally-recognized brand that is much more mainstream than others on the market.
In fact, Align has been featured in over 50 publications and abstracts, won the 2010 Gold Edison Award for innovation in the health industry, has been the No. 1 rated probiotic supplement for over 10 years, and has received a lot of positive reviews from customers.
Don’t worry if you’re new to probiotics or need assistance figuring out what they are and how they work. We’re going to break down everything you need to know below, that way you can make an informed decision when shopping for a probiotic supplement suited for you.
What do probiotics do for the body?
Probiotics are the good bacteria found in your body that largely play a role in the digestive system. They’re live microorganisms that help contribute to a healthy gut. That’s right; you have trillions of live microorganisms inside your body that are helping you function every day.
There’s still a lot to learn about how the probiotics work in the body, but scientists and researchers have discovered two main functions they provide:
- Probiotics help keep a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria in your body.
- Probiotics help increase the amount of good bacteria in the body after losing some due to antibiotics.
Our guts are made up of about 85% good bacteria and 15% bad bacteria — when healthy. Certain factors, such as the environment, the food we eat, and bad habits we obtain, cause these numbers to fluctuate. When the bad bacteria start to increase, and good bacteria decreases, health concerns are sure to follow.
Are there different species of probiotics?
There are hundreds of different species of probiotics found inside your gut, and some scientists estimate that nearly 1,000 species of bacteria, in general, are found in the body. Despite being true, probiotic supplements generally only focus on the few most popular ones.
There are two major Genera of probiotics, which both contain some of the most-studied and used species of probiotics. Those two Genera are called Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus. Let’s take a closer look at those two:
- Lactobacillus – produces lactase and lactic acid, which helps control the population of bad bacteria; they also help provide muscle fuel and improve the body’s mineral absorption process.
- Bifidobacteria – supports the immune system, can help decrease the amount of bad bacteria in the intestines, and helps break down lactose for use by the body.
As you can see, different types of probiotics have different effects on the body. Some supplements today use a combination of both — as well as a combination of species. On the other hand, some supplements stick to just one type for a more targeted benefit.
What’s the difference between probiotics, prebiotics, and antibiotics?
Probiotics are often confused with two other terms used when talking about bacteria in the body — prebiotics and antibiotics. I think it’s important to understand the difference because they are all related to each other, despite being completely different.
While probiotics are the live microorganisms that improve your digestive system, you can think of prebiotics as food for the live microorganisms. Just like we need food to function and just like your car needs gas, probiotics need fuel too. Prebiotics give them that fuel so they can function their best.
On the other hand, antibiotics are a type of drug that fight and kill bacteria in the body. They are largely prescribed to patients with a higher-than-normal level of bad bacteria in the body. Since antibiotics also kill some of the good bacteria, patients generally take probiotics to increase the level of good bacteria and bring back that healthy balance we all need.
To summarize, antibiotics kill bacteria — both good and bad. Probiotics increase good bacteria. Prebiotics make probiotics more effective.
What Does Align Probiotic Claim To Do?
Align Probiotic, as we mentioned above, is a supplement designed to increase the amount of good bacteria in your body. Right on the front of the box, you see in large letters “24/7 Digestive Support,” which gives you a good idea of what this supplement claims to do.
Not only does it claim to be the “#1 Doctor and Gastroenterologist recommended probiotic,” but it also claims to be the only supplement that contains Bifidobacterium 35624™ — a specific strain of probiotics.
Here are some of the other claims found throughout their website and packaging:
- Can help reduce abdominal discomfort, gas, and bloating in the stomach area.
- Improves your digestive system
- Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, and Vegan-Friendly
- No refrigeration needed
- Guaranteed potency and money-back guarantee
- Formula contains more than 20 years of research
It’s clear that Align Probiotic is one of the most-talked-about probiotics out there, and the customer reviews certainly seem to glow. They have a 4.4/5 rating on their website out of 871 reviews. The last review that was 1 star came in 2016, while the last 2-star review came in 2017 — same with their last 3-star review.
Everything since then has been either a 4 or 5 star review, which shows that they continue to improve.
Align Probiotic Ingredients
Now that we’ve had a chance to discover what probiotics are and what they’re supposed to do in the body, we can start to look at the specifics behind Align Probiotic. This is important because every probiotic supplement contains a different formula.
For Align Probiotic, they go with an extremely easy formula with just one probiotic strain — Bifidobacterium longum. Don’t worry; we’ll describe more about what this strain is known for and what you can expect out of it.
Let’s get started!
Bifidobacterium longum is a non-motile, anaerobic bacterium. This means it won’t create spores, can’t travel freely throughout the body, and is most effective in areas of the body that are low in oxygen (like the gastrointestinal tract).
One of the things that makes this strain of bacteria so effective in the gut is that it can withstand stomach acid, bile, and the other harsh conditions found in the gut. It’s known to help improve the immune system and digestive system.
With the digestive system, B. longum can reduce constipation, inflammation, cholesterol levels, and allergies found in the body. It can also help reduce the effects of abdominal pain, gas, bloating, and much more.
Align Probiotic Dosages, Packaging, And Pricing
Align Probiotic comes in capsule form, which makes it easy to use. Each capsule contains 1 billion CFU of live bacteria when packaged, but that number could decrease to as low as 10 million CFU by the time you open the package.
The capsules are packaged in blister packs, with each pack containing seven capsules. One box of Align Probiotic contains two blister packs (14 capsules total). The packaging is very busy with claims and guarantees, as well as a huge logo on the front.
Since this supplement is designed to be taken once per day, one box will last you two weeks when taking as directed. Each box costs about $17, which comes out to a little over $1.00 per day. They also come in boxes of 28 capsules, 42 capsules, 56 capsules, and 63 capsules.
Align Probiotic Pros vs. Cons
If you’re looking for a perfect supplement that’s free of flaws and works for everyone, you’ll never find it. Since everyone’s body is unique and responds differently to certain things, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for anything.
With that being said, supplements can certainly help your situation and give you a boost when needed. The key is finding the right supplement that works for you.
If you’re still on the fence with Align Probiotic, we’re going to discuss the various pros and cons associated with the supplement. This gives you a bird’ s-eye view of what to expect from this probiotic so you can make a more informed decision with your supplement.
- Bifidobacterium longum can help improve the immune system and digestive system
- Bifidobacterium longum can also help reduce inflammation, cholesterol, allergies, and constipation
- Align Probiotic has been the #1 probiotic for ten years
- Align is owned by Procter & Gamble, so you already use a wide variety of their household, hygiene, and supplement products
- Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, and Vegan-Friendly
- No refrigeration needed
- Guaranteed potency and money-back guarantee
- Very cheap to maintain on a daily basis
- Only contains one strain of probiotic
- No Lactobacillus strains
- Can contain anywhere from 1 billion to 10 million CFU; you never truly know what you’re getting
- Can find better formulas for just as cheap
Claims vs. Reality
There are hundreds of strains of probiotics. When shopping for a probiotic supplement, you’ll find just as many different formulas. Anyone who’s not a doctor will likely struggle to find the ones that are worth your purchase.
When it comes to Align Probiotic, it’s not that it’s a bad supplement. In fact, most probiotics you’ll find on the market are generally regarded as safe. The two main things you want to pay attention to are the amount of bacteria in each capsule and the strains used.
Align Probiotic only contains one billion CFU, which is usually the minimum you want to take when supplementing with probiotics. In addition to that, it only contains one strain of probiotics, which limits the benefits.
Some supplements contain as much as 10 billion CFU, but that’s largely due to the various different strains they use. With Align Probiotic, you aren’t even guaranteed to receive all 1 billion CFU when you consume it.
It’s safe, and it will certainly deliver some probiotics to your gut, but there are definitely better options out there.
Align Probiotic Alternatives
If you were interested in shopping around for another probiotic supplement, we’ve got you covered with two that we believe are much more effective than Align Probiotic.
The two we’ll discuss — Daily Care Probiotic and Seed Probiotic Subscription — give you much more complex and versatile formulas. Still, they’re completely different from each other and appeal to two different people, so let’s take a closer look at them.
Daily Care Probiotic
Daily Care Probiotic is another formula you can find at most grocery stores and department stores. The reason I wanted to bring this formula up is because it contains a much wider variety of strains — and therefore a higher CFU content.
It contains both a Lactobacillus blend and Bifidobacteria blend. Altogether, there are 12 different strains included, and one of those is B. longum. It also contains Inulin, which is one of the most popular prebiotics found in supplements.
Not only do you get nearly 7 million CFU of Bifidobacteria strains, but you get 3 million CFU of Lactobacillus and prebiotics to help fuel those strains. Even more surprising, each package comes with 30 capsules and costs under $30 — making it cheaper than Align Probiotic.
Seed Synbiotic Subscription
Seed Synbiotic Subscription is a completely unique probiotic supplement on the market today. It’s a subscription service that costs $50 per month. You receive 60 capsules per month and take 2 capsules per day.
Each capsule contains a wide variety of strains that come categorized in five different blends — one for digestive health, skin health, heart health, micronutrient synthesis, and a prebiotic blend. This gives you nearly 54 billion AFU per serving.
The capsules are also made special to act as a 2-in-1 capsule. The outer capsule is fit with the prebiotics, while the inner capsule is fit with the probiotics. It’s definitely worth a try if you want an enhanced experience with prebiotics and probiotics — or as they call it, synbiotics.
Final Verdict: Align Probiotic
If you have some sort of addiction to products that come from Procter & Gamble, this is an excellent product for you. It’s safe and will definitely increase the amount of good bacteria in your stomach.
On the other hand, I would suggest a different formula if you want a more effective experience. Even something like Seed Synbiotic isn’t that expensive compared to Align Probiotic. If you want to go with a mainstream probiotic blend, try Daily Care Probiotic.
Align Probiotic isn’t a bad product, there are just better ones out there, and for that reason, it might be best to look elsewhere. If, however, you’re interested in a simple formula that gives you a minimum supply of probiotics (or if you’re new to probiotics and want to try something small), then give Align Probiotic a go.