We pride ourselves on our unbiased reviews of nutritional supplements, and we strive to bring you the best-researched information on the company, its ownership, key personnel, practices, and marketing tactics. That’s before we critically review the formulation and key ingredients, provide dosage information, identify potential side effects, review pricing structure, and suggest where you buy the product. And yes, we tell you if the product performs up to its marketing claims and provide a rating in terms of efficacy and cost-value relationship.
So, we were pleased when we visited the JustThrive® Probiotics web page and saw a robust About Us section. The company was co-founded by a husband and wife team, Tina and Billy Anderson. Billy worked in the pharmaceutical space, and Tina, an attorney, worked in the nutritional supplement industry. The site mentions a relationship with Dr. Simon Cutting, a world-renowned probiotic expert at London University Royal Holloway, and a Microbiologist, Kiran Krishnan, involved in formulation development. More to come about Mr. Krishnan and spore-based probiotics.
Unfortunately, other than their desire to lead a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle, with a primary focus on gut health, and their relationship with Mr. Krishnan, there is little other information about the company.
What Are Spore Based Probiotics – HSOs
HSOs refer to soil-based beneficial microorganisms, Homeostatic soil organisms. The concept is that these probiotics, such as Bacillus subtilus, replace the microorganisms we historically acquired from consuming foods cultivated in healthy soil. They are touted as being a “super” probiotic that will provide the body with beneficial bacteria.
Among the first to bring an HSO product to market was Garden of Life with their Primal Defense Formula. Being among the most ethical and respected brands in the natural industry, we assume their research and product development to be sound.
Microbiome Labs – MegaSporeBiotic™
We promised there would be more about Kiran Krishnan in this review. He is also the co-founder of a privately held company, Microbiome Labs, which started in 2012, located in St. Augustine, FL. One of the products that put Microbiome on the map is MegaSporeBiotic™.
MegaSporeBiotic™ is a 100% spore-based, broad-spectrum probiotic clinically shown to maintain healthy gut barrier function. This unique all-spore formula contains four types of Bacillus probiotics with a dosage of 4 Billion CFUs:
- Bacillus indicus, HU36™
- Bacillus subtilis, HU58™
- Bacillus coagulans (SC-208)
- Bacillus licheniformis (SL-307)
- Bacillus clausii (SC-109)
Microbiome cites MegaSporeBiotic™ as the only all spore probiotic on the market. Note, the Garden of Life product includes additional ingredients, so this appears valid. An important note, a practitioners’ license is required to purchase MegaSporeBiotic™ from the company’s website.
Here is where things get interesting. The JustThrive® Probiotic & Antioxidant product is remarkably similar to MegaSporeBiotic™:
- Bacillus indicus HU36™
- Bacillus coagulans (SC-208)
- Bacillus clausii (SC-109)
- Bacillus subtilis HU58™
The only difference is the number of cells, 3 billion in JustThrive® Probiotic & Antioxidant versus 4 billion in Megaspore. And, the omission of Bacillus licheniformis (SL-307), an ingredient MegaSpore defines as a “thermostable antibiotic that is also resistant to enzymatic degradation, which makes it very effective in the gut.”
Another significant difference between the two products is that JustThrive® Probiotic does not require a license to purchase on their site; in fact, the product is available at other e-commerce retailers as well as in brick and mortar outlets. Perhaps the exclusion of Bacillus licheniformis (SL-307) simplifies the product in some way or makes it more palatable to larger retailers such as Amazon and the Vitamin Shoppe.
Some of the strains here are also found in other gut health supplements like Unify Health Multi-GI 5.
The JustThrive® Probiotic & Antioxidant
The JustThrive® Probiotic & Antioxidant is a dietary supplement in the veggie capsule form. The product is Vegan, Paleo, and Keto friendly. Formulations are all-natural, non-GMO, and made without soy, dairy, sugar, salt, corn, tree nuts, or gluten. Products are made in a U.S. GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) facility. The company claims their spore-based probiotics have 1000 times better survivability than yogurt, Greek yogurt, and other leading probiotics. It contains a patented strain called in its marketing, Bacillus Indicus HU36®, which produces antioxidants in the digestive system. Note, on the label, the ingredient is identified with a “®,” whereas in the advertising, the “™” is used. This could be a timing issue or a bit of misuse of the symbols. Do we also notice that the product advertised on the company’s website seems to have a different label than the product in brick and mortar or on other e-commerce sites?
Key Ingredients In JustThrive® Probiotics & Antioxidant
Beyond the four strains of Bacillus, there are no other ingredients in the product, besides those used in manufacturing the veggie cap. The company uses a proprietary blend, so there is no way to determine how much of each strain is in the product.
Benefits Of Probiotics
At their most basic, probiotics help relieve digestive discomfort. They are crucial for good gut health, which is essential for digestive and immune health. The beneficial bacteria in our gut are responsible for as much as 80% of our immune health. Probiotics can lower the “bad” bacteria in your gut, the germs that cause illness or inflammation, and replace them with good or helpful bacteria. They have also been proven beneficial to address certain stomach conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea, Crohn’s Disease, urinary tract infections, ulcerative colitis, and the cause of stomach ulcers.
JustThrive® expands on the benefits of their product highlighting:
- Stronger Immune System.
- Increased Energy
- Enhanced Moods
- Weight Loss
- Healthier Skin
Recommended Dosage For JustThrive
There are thirty vegetable capsules in each bottle of Just Thrive® Probiotics. The recommended dosage is one capsule daily, suggested being taken with your largest meal.
How Does The Probiotic & Antioxidant Perform
The product seems to deliver on the most basic premise of taking a probiotic, improving the digestive and immune systems. We remain a bit skeptical regarding the additional benefits cited in the company’s reviews.
Potential Side Effects Of JustThrive® Probiotic & Antioxidant
The Mayo Clinic tells us that probiotics side effects are rare, and most healthy adults can safely add foods that contain prebiotics and probiotics to their diets.
It should be noted, however, that probiotic supplements can trigger an allergic reaction. Other reported issues include mild stomach problems, gas, diarrhea, or bloating. These issues typically present in the first few days after you start taking them and usually go away after your body gets used to them.
As with any new supplement regimen, we recommend you first consult with your medical professional.
On the company website, the product costs $49.99, plus shipping for the purchase of one or two bottles. With the purchase of three or more bottles, the price drops to $44.99, and shipping is free. JustThrive® offers an auto-ship program that mirrors the $44.99 price, and shipping is free.
The company highlights its “Bottom of the Bottle” money-back guarantee, stating, you can return an even an empty bottle for a full refund. The policy refers to a product purchased directly from the company and excludes shipping costs.
Amazon has the same offer for a single bottle purchase, thirty capsules, at $49.99, and a ninety-count bottle at $129.99, equivalent to $43.33 per bottle. All other e-tailers and Vitamin Shoppe charge $49.99 per bottle.
Best Places to Buy JustThrive® Probiotics
Given the tight reigns JustThrive® has on its retail partners’ pricing policies, we assume the best place to buy the product is on the company website – just in case you need to exercise your “Bottom of the Bottle” money-back guarantee.
JustThrive® is an aggressive marketing company. Google searches will lead to frequent product reviews, typically written by JustThrive© affiliates. To their credit, most affiliates disclose their relationship within the context of the review.
The most off-putting issue with this company is our inability to discover when the products were introduced, information relative to corporate structure or ownership, even where the company is located.
We virtually never recommend an alternative product in our reviews. However, in this instance, we suggest you consider a Garden of Life alternative. At least with Garden of Life, we know who owns the company, who is the CEO, and where they are located.