Probiotic supplements have gained more popularity than ever in recent years. But do we really need them? And if so, with ingredient names like L. acidophilus and L. reuteri, how do you know which one to pick?
That’s where we come in. In this article, we’re going to be reviewing IN.FORM Probiotic by Nature’s Sunshine, a probiotic supplement that claims to support digestive and immune health, while optimizing and replenishing good bacteria in the gut.
Can it live up to the claims? Let’s find out as we dive into this IN.FORM Probiotic review!
IN.FORM Probiotic Benefits
Before we dive in, what are Probiotics, and why are they beneficial? Probiotics are live, health-promoting bacteria that are naturally found in the gut, along with some foods and supplements. These live cultures (bacteria) balance our gut flora by repopulating and interacting with our gut & immune cells.
Having a happy gut full of good bacteria can help to improve:
- Diarrhea (including antibiotic-induced diarrhea)
- Immune Function
In addition to digestive health, there have been studies indicating probiotics may help with inflammation and prevent some chronic diseases.
IN.FORM Probiotic Ingredients
Chances are, you’ve been down the supplement aisle at your local grocery or health foods store and been stunned by row after row of probiotic supplements claiming to be the most effective product. That’s where we come in! Let’s chat about some of the key factors you should be looking for when choosing a probiotic to eliminate confusion and then see if IN.FORM Probiotic stacks up.
Probiotic Strains & CFUs
It’s important to note that when choosing a probiotic, you need to take into consideration which strains (bacteria) are proven to help your specific needs or health concern, so it can be beneficial to discuss this with your doctor or Registered Dietitian.
The two most common strains include Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. For general health, choosing a probiotic which a variety of each of these strains has been studied to be most beneficial, with at least 10 billion CFUs. It’s important to note that higher amounts of CFUs doesn’t always mean it’s more effective, and it’s most important to focus on getting a variety of strains for overall health.
IN.FORM Probiotic provides 18 billion CFUs with a variety of Lactobacillus & Bifidobacterium (11 strains in total) and a prebiotic blend. Prebiotics can promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut and improve the effectiveness of probiotics as they work together.
Third-party testing for supplements helps to ensure the quality of the supplement as well as the conditions it’s made in. It also tests for product purity and potency, which is especially important when looking at supplements because of sneaky marketing tactics and the number of false claims out there.
Some popular third-party testing companies include USP, Consumer Labs, and NSF International. Some companies have a USP-approved seal on their packaging, indicating the product has been third-party tested and approved. Just because a probiotic doesn’t have this seal on their packaging, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not a quality product, but it does provide a level of assurance when shopping.
The IN.FORM packaging states that the product has been clinically studied; however, there is no seal or stamp of third-party testing by a major company such as USP, NSF International, or Consumer Labs. On their website, Nature’s Sunshine (the brand that produces IN.FORM Probiotics) states that they use analytical equipment to conduct over 600 quality & purity tests and have on-site vendor inspections for quality assurance.
While most probiotics can be stored at room temperature, some require refrigeration. There has been questioning on whether refrigerated probiotics are more effective, but there has been no proven benefit to taking refrigerated probiotics over shelf-stable probiotics. Choose which option works best for you. For instance, if you travel frequently, you will probably choose a probiotic that does not require refrigeration. Most importantly, make sure you use them before the expiration date to ensure you’re getting live bacteria.
IN.FORM product needs to be refrigerated.
Does IN.FORM Live Up to Its Claims?
IN.FORM Probiotic was clinically studied as part of the IN.FORM Program (I will link the study below), that “supports balance of the microbiome.” Nature’s Sunshine states the probiotic is “an essential component of the patent-pending, clinically studied IN.FORM system that utilizes the power of the gut microbiome to support cardiometabolic health and a healthy metabolic age.” The company recommends using the probiotic with its other products in the IN.FORM line to “improve key health indicators including metabolic age, healthy body composition, weight management, and cardiovascular health by supporting gut health.”
While these claims sound nice, and the one trial looks promising, there is not enough evidence to say that this probiotic alone would be better than another similar probiotic at your local grocery or health store. They also encourage you to purchase the other products in the IN.FORM program for best results, which drives up cost. With that said, this product can still be beneficial as a probiotic supplement to support digestive health.
Who is IN.FORM Probiotic Best for?
If you’re looking to improve your digestive health and support your immune system, a probiotic supplement may be beneficial. We can consume probiotics directly from foods like yogurt, kefir, or kimchee, but for people who don’t particularly enjoy these foods or don’t consume these foods often, a supplement can help.
Like I mentioned earlier, it’s best to speak with your doctor or Registered Dietitian to determine which strains of bacteria best suit your specific needs. IN.FORM Probiotic appears to be suitable for general health.
Who is it NOT for?
As we’ve discussed today, probiotic supplements can be beneficial for our gastrointestinal health, but they aren’t for everyone. Those with compromised immune systems, including those in cancer treatment, with autoimmune disease, or anyone at high risk of infections, should consult with their doctor before starting a probiotic.
Some probiotics may contain lactose, so if you are lactose intolerant, make sure to thoroughly read the label.
Where to Buy IN.FORM Probiotic
You can purchase IN.FORM Probiotic on the Nature’s Sunshine website here.
IN.FORM Probiotic retails for $36.15 for a 30-day supply (90 capsules, taking 3 capsules per day). They offer a discount if you are a “Premium Member” for $28.90, and an additional deal of 25% if you subscribe, totaling $27.10 per month.