What Is Align Probiotic
Align Probiotic is a health supplement that offers 24/7 digestive support. The product helps relieve abdominal discomfort, reduce stomach bloating and gas, and maintain a healthy digestive system.
International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics describes probiotics as microorganisms beneficial to the host when given in the right amount.
Microorganisms play a crucial role in the body to support a healthy digestive system and gut microbiome.
You can get Align Probiotic as chewable gummies, extra strength capsules, or regular capsules. Each form contains Bifidobacterium longum infantis 35624, the probiotic bacteria that the company uses to manufacture Align.
Probiotics May Help With The Immune System
Many people dont realize that the majority of the bodys immune cells live within the gut. Up to 70% of these cells are located there. A poorly balanced gut microbiota can seriously compromise these cells, and therefore the bodys immune function.
The immune system and the digestive tract have a mutually beneficial relationship. When the gut is in a state of homeostasis, it takes some work off of the liver and the rest of the immune system. In turn, the immune system works more efficiently.
Probiotics serve as a line of defense for the immune system in many ways. First, they produce short-chain fatty acids , which regulate the pH in the intestines and make them less inhabitable for harmful pathogens. Probiotics also communicate with immune cells to eliminate pathogens. Both mechanisms prevent pathogens from entering the bloodstream and straining the immune system. They also prevent bacterial overgrowth in the gut.
The intestinal wall is another crucial line of defense for our immune system. When probiotics work to establish a balance of microbiota in the gut, the immune cells that make up this barrier can flourish. A stronger intestinal wall and improved mucus layer keep toxins and pathogens out of the bloodstream.
All of these beneficial actions at a cellular level bring major benefits to you and your immune system. Taking a probiotic will help you stay healthy and fight infection more quickly when you come down with something.
Is It Ok To Take Probiotics Every Day
A common question about probiotics is whether it is ok to take probiotic supplements every day. Whilst there may be a few exceptions to this rule, the general answer is yes, it’s safe, and usually recommended, to take them daily.
It’s important to understand that probiotics are a natural supplement and not a medicine. They are best used at breakfast time as part of a daily health regime, rather than as a ‘quick fix’ option. There are also some situations where certain strains can be taken for a short time, such as alongside antibiotics. Fermented foods containing live cultures have been part of traditional diets in many different ethnic groups for centuries. Learn more by reading about our 5 favourite fermented foods. People have been consuming probiotics for generations in foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir and kombucha , but it has only been more recently that we have been able to consume specific strains for specific purposes, in easy-to-take capsules, powders, or kids’ gummies.
Also Check: Do Probiotics Help With Nausea
Align Probiotic Ingredients Are They Safe & Effective
Align Probiotic Supplement Facts
*All individuals are unique. Your results can and will vary.
Bifidobacterium longum infantis 35624 Bifidobacterium is a strain of bacterium that naturally occurs and is beneficial to your body. The bacterium helps support and healthy digestion. Stress and change in diet may disrupt the natural balance of this probiotic Bifidobacterium. A randomized study in the journal of Gastroenterology was conducted where 77 individuals were given doses of Bifidobacterium infantis for 8 weeks.
The individuals saw a reduction in stomach discomfort, bowel movement difficulty, bloating, and gas. In another research appearing in The , American Journal of Gastroenterology 362 IBS patients was given Bifidobacterium for two weeks. Results showed a reduction in bowel dysfunction, bloating, and gas.
Not All Probiotics Are The Same
Heres the thing: we have a diverse range of probiotics in our gut, mostly in the large intestine, because we need them for different reasons. Some probiotics support gut motility and healthy bowel movements. Some probiotics support an appropriate immune response and a healthy inflammatory response. Some support balanced blood sugar or healthy blood pressure. And thats just the tip of the iceberg.
You should always pay attention to what probiotic strains youre taking because of their different effects. Its a red flag when a probiotic supplement doesnt list the strains and CFU counts included per serving.
Fortunately, this also means that we can look for certain probiotic strains based on what health outcome we are trying to achieve. For example, research shows that supplementing Bifidobacterium lactis may support faster intestinal transit time . Another study found that a combination of B. lactis, B. longum, and L. casei had the greatest efficacy in treating pediatric atopic dermatitis .
We can even trace different neurotransmitters to their probiotic producers. Members of the Bacillus family produce norepinephrine and dopamine, Bifidobacteria produce GABA, Enterococcus and Streptococcus produce serotonin, just to name a few . This is great news for those who want to try probiotics to address different mental health conditions like anxiety and depression, since research has connected deficiencies in different neurotransmitters to these outcomes .
Recommended Reading: Probiotic Drops For Breastfed Baby
Benefits Of Taking Probiotics
Not all probiotics are the same. Different strains of the bacteria have different effects. For example, one strain may fight against cavity-causing organisms in our mouths and don’t need to survive a trip through our guts.
Research has been promising for these friendly critters. Potential benefits of probiotics have been seen in the treatment or prevention of
- H. pylori
- vaginal infections
- infection of the digestive tract caused by
- eczema in children.
Learn To Make Fermented Vegetables At Home
While you certainly can find good sources of fermented foods in your local health food store, its a lot more rewarding to make them at home.
All my clients learn about the health benefits of fermented foods. Want to learn? Its so easy! Pick up a copy of Wild Fermentation or Katz new more expansive book on the subject, The Art of Fermentation.
You can also check out two of my videos on YouTube:
Fearless Eating may receive commissions from purchases made through links in this article. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. More info here.
Recommended Reading: Probiotics For Yeast Infection Treatment
Should We All Take Probiotics Then
Every coin has 2 sides probiotic supplements are not necessarily a cure-all! A probiotic supplement that helps one person might not help someone else. In particular, there is only limited evidence for persistent health benefits of probiotics in healthy individuals . Once you stop taking them, gut bacteria are likely return to their pre-supplementation condition within one to three weeks.
Also we want diversity of different species of bacteria, rather than billions of just a few species provided by the probiotics we take, which may even lead to an imbalance of gut bacteria. What is worse is probiotics may add fuel to the fire for individuals who suffer from small intestinal bacterial overgrowth , a serious condition characterised by too many bacteria in the gut .
Can We Overdose Or Become Dependent On Probiotics If We Use Them In The Long Term
One concern people often have is whether their digestive system will become lazy if they take probiotics every day. But, rest assured, probiotics are not thought to be like laxatives which can cause the gut to become ‘lazy’ and reliant on them in order to function. There is no current research to suggest the body becomes dependent on probiotics.
Healthcare practitioners can read more on the subject of long-term use of probiotics, and whether that can lead to dependency, in the following FAQ: Is there a risk of dependency when taking probiotics?
In regards to overdosing, even when taken on a daily basis and at high doses it is extremely difficult to overdose on probiotics. For more on this subject you may like to read our FAQ Is it possible to overdose on probiotics? and Can I take two probiotic supplements at the same time?
You May Like: Best Probiotic Strain After Antibiotics
Ranking The Best Probiotics Of 2021
Some of the best probiotic supplements are listed below with indications, uses and their reviews.
Elm & Rye overall best for quality, value and immunity
Provitalize Best weight natural weight management probiotic
Culturelle Daily Probiotic, Digestive Health Capsules
Probiotics 60 billion CFU
Renew Life #1 Womens Probiotic
Dr Mercola Complete Probiotics
Dr Ohhira’s Probiotics Original Formula 60 capsules
Mason Natural, Probiotic Acidophilus with Pectin
Flora Childrens Probiotic, 60 capsules
Physiological Differences In Men And Women
Men and women differ greatly in their reproductive systems, but how does that affect their digestive tracts?
In women, the reproductive organs are located in the lower abdomen, which can make them vulnerable to abdominal pain.7 Women tend to be more prone to bowel problems than men.8 Women also process stress differently than men producing hormones that can affect digestion.9
Meanwhile, men tend to complain more of acid reflux and ulcers. Emerging research suggests probiotics can help with these types of symptoms for men and women.10
Read Also: Azo Daily Probiotic For Uti
How Probiotics Are Good For You
They might lower the number of “bad” bacteria in your gut that can cause illness or inflammation. They can also replace those problem germs with good or helpful bacteria.
Researchers are studying when and how probiotics might best help. There’s more research for some illnesses than others. They might help people with:
- Diarrhea, especially when it’s linked to specific antibiotics. Probiotics also might help with infectious diarrhea, especially in children.
- Inflammatory bowel diseases including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Some probiotics might keep ulcerative colitis in remission and prevent Crohn’s disease from relapsing and getting worse.
- Irritable bowel syndrome. Probiotics can sometimes help ease symptoms, including stomach pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation.
Probiotics also are being studied for many other conditions. There isnât as much research yet, but some people say that probiotics have helped them with:
- Decreasing inflammation, such as from rheumatoid arthritis
Probiotics: Who Shouldn’t Take Them
Some people find that taking probiotics causes symptoms like gas, bloating, and abdominal discomfort. For most people, these symptoms are temporary however, side effects are more likely in those who are very young or elderly and those who have less robust immune systems or a damaged immune system, such as those with HIV or a terminal illness. Indeed, probiotics might not be good for people who are already extremely ill.
A general concern is that probiotics are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration , Lucak says. Instead, they are classified as a food supplement, so the health claims of the manufacturers are not subject to verification and may not be accurate. As a result, evidence also suggests that the strains and concentration per dose can be inaccurate from company to company and even from bottle to bottle of the same brand.
Keep in mind that the effects of one strain of probiotics do not necessarily hold true for other strains or even for different preparations of the same species or strain. If you do experience gas and bloating from one type of probiotic, you can try switching to a different kind to see whether it agrees more with your digestive system.
Because the quality and quantity of probiotics is not regulated by the FDA, it is difficult to accurately assess the effectiveness of one formulation against another, Lucak says.
You May Like: Is Probiotics Good For Babies
Culturelle Daily Probioticdigestive Health Capsules
The Culturelle probiotic is made up of Lactobacillus GG, Inulin, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, sucrose maltodextrin, sodium ascorbate, magnesium stearate, silicon dioxide and titanium dioxide. The lactobacillus improves your digestive functionality and has been scientifically proven to maintain a balance in your digestive system by preventing diarrhea, bloating the stomach, and gas. The recommended dose is one capsule a day meant for vegetarians, and it is gluten-free.
The Goal Of Womens Probiotics
Anyone, male or female, can take a probiotic to help support digestive health. In turn, the health of the gut is thought to support other systems in the body, including the immune system and reproductive system. When shopping for probiotics for women, look for products that specifically target your issues of concern. Some of the better products contain ingredients that provide support for vaginal health, brain and memory function, metabolism, and other health areas of interest to women.
Also Check: One A Day Women’s Probiotic
Some Strains Can Increase Histamine Levels
Some bacterial strains used in probiotic supplements can produce histamine inside the digestive tract of humans .
Histamine is a molecule that is normally produced by your immune system when it detects a threat.
When histamine levels rise, blood vessels dilate to bring more blood to the affected area. The vessels also become more permeable so that immune cells can easily get into the relevant tissue to combat any pathogens .
This process creates redness and swelling in the affected area, and can also trigger allergy symptoms such as itching, watery eyes, runny nose or trouble breathing.
Normally, histamine that is produced in your digestive tract is naturally degraded by an enzyme called diamine oxidase . This enzyme inhibits histamine levels from rising enough to cause symptoms .
However, some people with histamine intolerance have trouble properly breaking down the histamine in their bodies, seeing as they do not produce enough DAO .
The excess histamine is then absorbed through the lining of the intestinal tract and into the bloodstream, causing symptoms similar to an allergic reaction (
Theoretically, they may want to select probiotic supplements that do not contain histamine-producing bacteria, but to date, there has been no research on this specific area.
Some histamine-producing probiotic strains include Lactobacillus buchneri, Lactobacillus helveticus, Lactobacillus hilgardii and Streptococcus thermophilus .
Probiotics May Not Work For Everyone And Can Potentially Be Harmful
While many people take a probiotic supplement thinking it will boost their digestive health, new evidence indicates that probiotics may not work for everyone and can potentially be harmful in some situations.
In a new study, researchers first measured gut microbiome levels in participants. Half were given a generic probiotic supplement while the other half were given a placebo. The probiotic strains failed to colonize or live in the gut of many of the patients, meaning the probiotic was useless, researchers reported in the journal Cell. They also noted that they could predict which people would be able to colonize the probiotics and which couldnt based on the individuals microbiome at the outset and gene expression in the gut.
The fact that many people were resistant to probiotics suggests that probiotics should not be universally given as a one-size-fits-all supplement, senior author Eran Elinav, MD, PhD, an immunologist at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, said in a statement. Instead, they could be tailored to the needs of each individual.
Results showed that it took months for the microbiome to return to normal in the probiotics group a surprise finding while it took only days in the third group.
Contrary to the current dogma that probiotics are harmless and benefit everyone, these results reveal a new potential adverse side effect of probiotic use with antibiotics that might even bring long-term consequences, Elinav said.
Read Also: Green Tea With Ginger And Probiotics
Should You Take Probiotics
The “good bacteria” may help healthy people but aren’t formally recommended.
Probiotics are “good” bacteria touted to help maintain digestive health and boost the immune system. You can take them in a dietary supplement or get them from food sources, such as yogurt. But should you? They can be helpful in some cases, but we still need more studies to tell us if and when they are safe and effective for older adults.
Dr Mercola Complete Probiotics
Dr Mercola Complete Probiotics is a probiotic supplement for kids with thirty servings per package. The probiotic product is good quality, GMO-free, gluten-free, and soy-free, safe to use ingredients. These probiotics provide a healthy environment for the growth of useful bacteria in the intestinal tract and boost your child’s immune system. The Dr Mercola products have a 90-day return period with a refund when they are not satisfied with any products purchased. The main ingredient is vinegar, but the flavor is sweet and fruity to encourage kids to consume it. The product has a long shelf life before expiry.
Also Check: Peppermint Delight Probiotic Tea Reviews
Who Should Take A Probiotic
Almost anyone can benefit from taking a probiotic. Many lifestyle factors negatively impact gut health, such as poor diet, stress, medications, and tobacco or alcohol use. Taking a probiotic adds a protective layer to your digestive system, helping it maintain balance and overall health.
Its common for people to take a probiotic supplement for that extra protection. Probiotics balance the gut flora, which can bring additional health benefits such as:
- A stronger immune system
- Less stress and better mood
However, certain probiotic strains directly impact and improve a number of health conditions.
How Are Probiotics Regulated In The United States
Government regulation of probiotics in the United States is complex. Depending on a probiotic productâs intended use, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration might regulate it as a dietary supplement, a food ingredient, or a drug.
Many probiotics are sold as dietary supplements, which donât require FDA approval before they are marketed. Dietary supplement labels may make claims about how the product affects the structure or function of the body without FDA approval, but they arenât allowed to make health claims, such as saying the supplement lowers your risk of getting a disease, without the FDAâs consent.
If a probiotic is going to be marketed as a drug for treatment of a disease or disorder, it has to meet stricter requirements. It must be proven safe and effective for its intended use through clinical trials and be approved by the FDA before it can be sold.