Align is a probiotic supplement manufactured by Procter & Gamble that contains one patented and trademarked probiotic strain, Bifantis, scientifically known as Bifidobacterium infantis (B. infantis) 35624. It is the only product in the US that contains this strain at this time.
This probiotic supplement is marketed to:
Marketing materials say it "is the #1 Gastroenterologist recommended probiotic and the most recommended probiotic by doctors as well". This claim is based on a survey performed in 2016 by a human data service company, AlphaImpactRx.
There are 4 different formulations of this probiotic supplement as of April, 2018: regular-strength capsules, banana-strawberry smoothie-flavored chewables for adults, cherry smoothie-flavored junior strength chewables for kids, and extra-strength capsules.
Please always read ingredients before taking any supplement!
As of April, 2018, the regular-strength capsules contain 1 billion CFU of Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 at time of manufacture with a minimum level of 10 million CFU until the “best by” date, which is at least 18 months from the manufacture date based on the package I purchased.
Other ingredients are microcrystalline cellulose, hypromellose, sucrose (sugar) magnesium stearate (flow agent), sodium caseinate (milk allergy alert!), titanium dioxide (color), trisodium citrate dihydrate, propyl gallate (antioxidant preservative), gellan gum (thickener).
The adult chewables (for ages 12 and older) contain sucrose, fructose, microcrystalline cellulose, artificial flavor, corn starch, maltodextrin, magnesium stearate, sodium caseinate, propyl gallate (antioxidant preservative), and trisodium citrate dehydrate. There is less than 1 gram of sugar per chewable. It, also, contains milk. It “provides an effective level of bacteria (10 million CFU) until at least the “best by” date.”
The junior chewables for kids (for ages 6 and older) are said on the website to contain sucrose, fructose, microcrystalline cellulose, artificial flavor, com starch, maltodextrin, magnesium stearate, sodium caseinate, propyl gallate (antioxidant preservative), and trisodium citrate dehydrate. Box labels I have seen have the same ingredients with a slightly different order. There is less than 1 gram of sugar per chewable. It, too, contains milk. The website says there are no artificial sweeteners and no artificial flavors and that it is gluten-free. It provides “provides an effective level of bacteria (10 million CFU) until at least the “best by” date.”
The extra-strength capsules contain 5 billion CFU when manufactured, and “provides an effective level of bacteria (50 million CFU) until at least the “best by” date.” Other ingredients are microcrystalline cellulose, hypromellose, sucrose, magnesium stearate, sodium caseinate, titanium dioxide (color), trisodium citrate dihydrate, propyl gallate (antioxidant preservative), and gellan gum.
The manufacturer's recommended dosage is 1 Unit (capsule or tablet) per day for each age group. The website does caution that you may experience some gas and bloating while your digestive system adjusts to the probiotic.
As of April, 2018, on the aligngi.com website, the regular capsules have a 4.36 out of 5 rating, the adult chewables have a 5 out of 5 rating, the junior chewables have a 4.8 out of 5 rating and the extra-strength capsules have a 4.73 out of 5 rating. Some of these reviewers received incentives for their reviews. Therefore, I looked to other retailers for verified-purchase reviews.
At Vitacost.com, there were 3.6 out of 5 stars for the regular capsules, but the reviews were at least 2 years old.
At Amazon.com, there were 4.4 out of 5 stars for the regular capsules, with recent verified purchases. Some positive and negative reviews were:
“I was hesitant to use Align at first because I’m not sure if it will have bad side effects. I consulted my gastroenterologist and gave it a go after reading the literature. I used to rush to the bathroom after most if my meals so it was really problematic for me when im in restaurants or traveling. This is a godsend. I no longer bloat,and my bathroom problems totally disappeared. I even bought a travel toilet to use when im on the road but fortunately I never got to use it. I am thankful I read the reviews and tried it. I’m reviewing it too so I can help the others who are suffering from IBS like I used to. Thanks Align!” – Ooctober 8, 2017, Top Positive Review
“This was recommended by my gastroenterologist due to persistent issues with heartburn, indigestion, and other undesirable after effects associated with certain foods. It works well, getting rid of all problems related with digestion without causing any side effects. It is pricey but I am going to stick with this because it works and I know I can depend on it.” – June 12, 2017
“i have Ibs , only probio that has help me. . been on it for 5 months bought it first at walmart drug dept, was recommended to me.by drugest. I started buying it on Amazon as the price is less.” – March 13, 2018
“Did nothing for me. Stomach pain, can't digest food, bloat remained the same. Tried VSL#3 and it seems to be helping a little. Whenever a product has a special or secret ingredient I always get worried. Is it really special or is it just a way to hide real ingredients, amounts etc.? Just one pill a day doesn't seem right either. You can take more or less VSL depending on condition or spikes. It might be ok for use after I get things under control but I don't think Aline will get me there.” – March 5, 2018, Top Critical Review
“this gave me really bad gas and upset stomach” – January 10, 2018
“I read in a health newsletter that Align Probiotic was the best for IBS problems so I bought a large box to be used over several weeks. I have now used the entire box and don't notice any improvement. I have now purchased another product and will not be buying any more of this probiotic.” – November 5, 2017
If you want to determine if this probiotic supplement can help you, read my book about what the research shows. Purchasers of the book also have access to the pros and cons of this supplement as I see them. For less than the average cost of ONE box of Align (4-week supply), you can know what the research actually shows and whether or not it may help you.
Note that pictures of the packages may differ as packages experience updates.
Thanks to Gary for mentioning this supplement. Please let me know what you think!
To read about my approach to supplement reviews, and about my reviews of other probiotic supplements, click here.
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