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Align Probiotic Supplement 42 count
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1,052 of 1,092 people found the following review helpful
on September 2, 2011
Ok, so here's a real review. Not a review that was written a couple days after the trying this product either. I waited 2 whole months to write this review because I know how important these reviews can be for a person (like myself) struggling with intestinal problems. Sometimes you try everything and start to give up and totally abandon any idea of relief.

So, does it work? Yes. It started working for me almost instantly. By the next day I was going regularly. I have struggled tremendously for years with abdominal pain, cramping and bathroom irregularities. I saw every doctor in the world and was prescribed all types of pills. Then one day I just so happen to see the commercial for Align and decided to give it a shot. I was thrilled to see that it had worked. This is perfect for anyone who suffers from intestinal problems such as IBS.

I would never recommend any product that didn't work to any one who suffered as much as I did with these problems. Try it, trust me, it works.

Though the earlier review I wrote is still completely true, there seems to to be a stipulation. When I wrote this review I had initially done so after trying it for a couple months. I bought this order from my local drug store. Soon after writing this review I ordered Align on Amazon. After trying it for a few days I noticed that I was not getting the same all. It had suddenly stopped working all together. WELL, turns out there was a good explanation. I called my local drug store and told them I had ordered these pills online. I was informed that since I lived in Texas ordering pills through the mail was a very bad idea, and the post office agreed. Turns out the these pills along with other capsule pills are quickly deactivated by a hot mail box. So the pills I ordered were completely useless with in one hour. If you can, do not order these during the summer months, especially if you live in a hot state. I learned the hard way. But this in no way effects my initial review of Align. Align is an excellent product. I've just learned to spare the few dollars and get it at the drugstore. Oh, and for those of you who are wondering if the heat effects shipments to drugstores, it doesn't....usually. There is a big difference between these being transported in hot conditions such as truck trailers and cargo and sitting in a 160 degree mailbox. Even trailers won't soar to those temperatures. Just a friendly heads up.
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811 of 885 people found the following review helpful
on August 18, 2010
I am 26 and have been dealing with IBS-D since I was 18. I have seen many different doctors & tried many different approaches to help in reducing my symptoms. As there is no real cure for IBS, I obviously hadn't had much luck with many of these approaches such as antispasmodics, increased fiber, etc. My only quick fix relief would come from taking Immodium. As many IBS sufferers experience, it has significantly altered my quality of life over the years from avoiding certain social functions to even avoiding food altogether. The hardest part was having to watch other people, such as my boyfriend, also constantly having to deal with "my stomach issues" as a result of needing to flee from different places once an episode set in. There didn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to when an episode would occur...sometimes just thinking about having to eat while outside the comfort of my home would bring one on. Yet, certain foods such as coffee, dairy, and alcohol would almost always trigger an episode. As a teacher, I'm not able to use the bathroom whenever needed, so I tried Align after reading the positive reviews here. (I did try Digestive Advantage first, but with little success.) I am currently on week four & I am feeling better then I have ever felt before. I started having one, normal BM a day within four days of taking align & the urgency to constantly have to go within seconds of eating has subsided. I have progressively been getting better with each day-with only some bloating the first several days. In the past 4 weeks, I only had one flare up & many of my trigger foods have caused me no trouble. I know that IBS is some how affected by our body's response to our nervous system, so it can not necessarily "cure" that mental aspect of'll need to build confidence in the product and what it does. I would absolutely tell you to try this product if you are an IBS-D sufferer. It just may work in reducing your symptoms and giving you back a better quality of life like it has done for me. I wouldn't normally go out of my way to write something like this...but I feel it is important for people to see this because I know just how debilitating IBS can be for many.
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928 of 1,071 people found the following review helpful
Recently, a representative of Procter & Gamble (PG) offered to me FREE samples (plus a purchase discount) of Align probiotic for my patients and blog readers.
Here is the quote from the e-mail I received:
"...Procter & Gamble is offering a deal where you can get $10 dollars back when you buy
$30 worth of any two or more of our GI (Gastrointestinal) brands...", and later "...include in your post/review that Procter & Gamble is providing you with free samples of Align".

Well, so far so good, right? I respect Procter & Gamble, a huge 170-years old company with tremendous resources. Plus, so heavily advertized Align probiotic has already caught my attention earlier.
Probitiotics are live, naturally-occurring microorganisms that promote healthy digestion, boost the immune system & contribute to general health & well-being. However, for people with impaired digestion choosing a right probiotic can be a confusing, choosing a wrong one can be dangerous.
Therefore, before jumping with both feet on such lucrative proposition, my professional reflex of clinically trained Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist has taken control. And, as I've been doing for the last 25 years with ALL the products I recommend to my patients and use myself, I've decided to go through a routine "nutritional ingredient analysis" of the product.

I have been somewhat surprised with the results of the analysis. Read for yourself.
Align Ingredients: Probiotic strain: Bifantis (Bifidobacterium infantis 35624), 1 x 109 colony-forming units (1 billion) (4 mg), microcrystalline cellulose (for even dispersal of cultures), hypromellose (vegetarian capsule shell),sugar, magnesium stearate (for even dispersal of cultures), milk protein, titanium dioxide, sodium citrate dihydrate, propyl gallate (antioxidant stabilizer), FD&C blue #1, riboflavin (colorant)

The Good News: Bifidobacterium infantis 35624
Align probiotic was developed by Procter & Gamble, a huge company with tremendous resources. They have been around for over 170 years.
Align was formulated with the Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 bacteria strain. In a 2009 review of scientific studies on IBS probiotic treatment, Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 showed significant improvement in the composite score for abdominal pain/discomfort, bloating/distention, and/or bowel movement difficulty. Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 has been shown to prevent invasion of the gut lining by one of the bacteria thought to be responsible for inflammatory bowel conditions such as IBS and reduced inflammation in the gut.

The Bad News:
A properly designed probiotic is supposed to work with your body, not against it. For people with impaired digestion and sensitive gut even small doses of potentially dangerous additives and fillers can diminish positive effect of a good bacteria in any probiotic. Here is what have been added to the good bacteria in Align:
1) Sugar
This is public enemy #1. Sugar suppresses the immune system and can cause gas and bloating in people with chronic yeast infections, IBS/IBD and Celiac disease. Marketing a `breakthrough' probiotic containing sugar is backwards logic!
2) Magnesium Stearate
I learned during my visits to few supplement manufacturing facilities that magnesium stearate is used as a lubricating agent for equipment used in manufacturing capsules and other dietary supplements. Magnesium stearate ensures supplement production at a faster rate, and prevents the ingredients in capsules sticking to various parts of the machines used in manufacturing. Can supplement be manufactured without magnesium stearate? The answer is YES. But it will take longer time to manufacture the same product thereby making it more expensive. In addition, individuals with sensitive digestive system might have a problem with absorption of supplements containing magnesium stearate.
Czap, AL. Townsend Letter For Doctors and Patients, July 1999, Vol.192;Pg. 117-119.
3) Titanium Dioxide
Over the years I have consumed a lot of nutritional supplements; therefore, after reading numerous nutritional labels I have realized that titanium dioxide powder is a popular ingredient used in supplement manufacturing. So, I wondered: " What is Titanium Dioxide? Am I eating a metal"? According to European Commission Environment "titanium dioxide pigment is a white powder with high opacity and brilliant whiteness. These properties have made it a valuable pigment for a broad range of applications in paints, plastic good, inks and paper. Titanium dioxide is also used in many white products including food, cosmetics, UV skin protection". So, vitamin manufacturing companies use this titanium dioxide powder to make our supplements to look white and pretty. There is no added health benefit for ingesting titanium dioxide except if you want to admire your supplement pill on your dinner plate. Furthermore, titanium dioxide has recently been classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as an IARC Group 2B carcinogen "possibly carcinogen to humans'' when inhaled. I think, we can do just fine without eating titanium dioxide.
4) Propyl Gallate
This is a preservative used to prevent fats and oils from spoiling. It has been classified as a "xenoestrogen" -- a substance with estrogen-like effects that is stirring international health concerns. "Xenoestrogens have been linked to a range of human health effects, including reduced sperm counts in men and increased risk of breast cancer in women".
5) Artificial Color FD&C Blue #1
FD &C Blue #1 is so toxic that FDA (Food and Drug Administration) have issued a warning to healthcare professionals about its toxicity including death in patients receiving enteral feeding (introduction of liquid food through a tube inserted into intestine.
Why would P&G add such a toxic coloring to its probiotic remains a mystery to me.

In my opinion, Align is somewhat missing the mark, and especially so for people with impaired digestion and GI problems. The potentially harmful additives and fillers included in the product could produce negative effect. That is probably why there are over twenty comments/posts on the Amazon site talk about negative effects of Align for some people.
On a positive note, the good bacteria of Align does work in your gut, provided you are not sensitive to the coloring and the fillers. Also, P&G have done a really good job in manufacturing their products from 100% recyclable materials.

As always, I am just delivering the message. To take or not to take Align is ultimately YOUR choice.
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62 of 69 people found the following review helpful
on February 3, 2014
I had heard for years about "probiotics" and "digestion balance" and usually ignored the entire idea that probiotics (ingesting bacteria) would have any effect at all. I have had digestive issues my entire life and recently it developed into Ulcerated Colitis / IBS, a truly debilitating condition. I tried to manage the condition with laxatives and Imodium, as necessary, but this only helped after problems arose and I never knew when an "attack" might come.

Then I read an article on the Mayo clinic web site about probiotics which explained the scientific basis for the different strains of bacteria used in various probiotic products. I was looking for some clinical proof that probiotics worked. Most probiotic supplements did not score very high at the Mayo web site but one stood out. It was work that was carried out last year in Ireland at University College Cork and Cork University Hospital on a new strain of bacteria, B. Infantis 35624, that showed amazing results in colon related conditions like IBS and UC. In fact, last year they conducted a clinical trial with B. Infantis 35624 that showed amazing results in reducing inflammation and auto-immune reactions in colon diseases. The peer reviewed paper on the results appeared in the July/August 2013 issue of the Landes Bioscience journal "Gut Microbes". Honestly I was amazed with the results they achieved. The B Infantis microbes had reduced inflammation levels in the colon to normal levels with a corresponding reduction in symptoms. As the paper stated:

"Chronic inflammatory diseases such as UC ... are characterized by an over-production of pro-inflammatory cytokines." and "In conclusion, oral administration of a single microbial agent, B. infantis 35624, was sufficient to reduce systemic inflammatory
biomarkers in both gastrointestinal and extra-intestinal inflammatory disorders... to normal levels"

This was a well designed, peer reviewed clinical study done by a university hospital that essentially showed IBS and UC patients being functionally cured by B. Infantis 35624.

Further research led me to the Align supplement (which was actually used in the clinical study) and I purchased a box of 28 capsules. I have to say that part of me still believed that an over-the-counter supplement could not work as well as the FDA approved medications (which have some really horrible side effects). Well, within a few days of starting on Align the bloating seemed to disappear and, by the end of the first week (7 capsules) my diarrhea, constipation and bloating were gone. I could eat normally again without worrying about an IBS "attack". I am now on my second week and feel great, especially without the worry about when I would need to run to the bathroom.

So is this a miracle cure for IBS/UC? For me it definitely is. I have my life back again. The paper did indicate that I will have to take one capsule every day from now on to maintain the active levels of the B. Infantis bacteria but it sure beats the other medicines I had to take almost every day. Will it work for you? Well, given that it has really been clinically tested and the results are out there in the medical literature, if you suffer from IBS or UC or just cramping and bloating, spend the $21 to try Align for 4 weeks. The chances are you will be more than happy with the results.

And for you folks who think I may be a shill for the manufacturer, look at my other reviews on Amazon and you will see that I call it as I see it, sometimes the good and usually the bad. This time, thankfully, I can write a good review and maybe help other IBS and UC sufferers out there.
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85 of 100 people found the following review helpful
on August 5, 2008
This was recommended to me by my GI since I can no longer (obviously) take Zelnorm which worked wonders for me and Amitiza made me miserable enough to stop taking it and just try to deal with my symptoms. This OTC really works. I have IBS-C, not sure how it would work if anyone out there has IBS-D but it worked for me.
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38 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on July 17, 2012
For the past year or so, I have had a sharp increase in what I would call IBS symptoms. I have had various things like gallbladder, appendix, etc ruled out. I've discovered through trial and error that I can't take NSAIDS (ibuprophen, etc)and I'm definitely lactose intolerant and I don't eat wheat (because it makes my skin awful). But even after eliminating trigger foods, I was still not blessed with my iron-stomach of just a few years ago. And I'm only 25 years old!

I have suffered constant rounds of constipation followed by diarrhea, even with a (80%) healthy diet and regular exercise. And the stomach bloat is horrendous. I've been pretty fed up with my sudden onset of digestive issues that originate approximately a year ago. It has been affecting my mood, my libido (because I feel so awful so often), and my love for food. I then remembered that about a year ago, I took a Z-pac which immediately led to a nasty yeast infection. I can't eat dairy, so I'm not really sure if I ever really repopulated my stomach with the good bacteria. My mom was a microbiolgist back in the day, so I'm familiar with the concept of probiotics. I don't know why it took me a year to think about it. I decided to bite the bullet and try Align since it has such good reviews. I figured if it didn't work, I'd only be down $30 bucks. But if it worked... priceless, ya know?

Well, I have been taking align before bed for one week right now. I had a "gurgly" stomach and some gas the first couple of days. Nothing that disrupted my day. From the very first day, I have been having daily bowel movements. And they are NORMAL. I have freedom in what I can eat. I ate chips and salsa and margaritas for dinner one night and my body just moved it right along! Anybody who doesn't suffer from serious irregularity just don't know how AMAZING that feels. I am no longer afraid to eat. I'm also no longer feel so full or nauseated that I can't be intimate with my husband. It's really incredible. And this is just after one week! I'm excited to see how things are going at the end of a month!

I am going to try out a few other probiotics over the next few months to see if I can get the same relief with a cheaper product (Phillips Colon Health, etc). But align has definitely been a great thing, and if it's the only thing that works, I'll keep buying it.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on December 18, 2011
I tried Align at my doctor's suggestion. I expected discomfort the first few days, but the problem continued into the third week. Bloating, gas, constipation. Even sitting in a chair was painful because of the lower back pain.

The pain lessened the day I stopped taking Align, and but it took a week of discomfort for normal life (or what passes for it) to return.

So, if Align works for you, lucky you and good for Align. And if the discomfort persists beyond week two, it may just not be for you.
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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2012
After years of searching for the right routine (foods, sleep, exercise, drugs, etc.) a new gastroenterologist recommeneded this product to me, and -- it works! This is the only supplement I've tried (including lots of things over the years at my local health store) that really made a happy and continuing improvement in my digestive system. I love the product and use it every day. Why only four stars? I have a hard time believing it needs to be this expensive. I think they feel they have us over a barrel. Maybe they do. Excellent product. High price for daily use.
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72 of 88 people found the following review helpful
on September 25, 2009
I started taking align from the suggestion of a friend who suffered from similar IBS. She had great success with the product. I did not. Align just brought me from one extreme to another. I dealt with the bloating and constipation the 1st week because you're warned this side effect is a possibility in the beginning. But the second week was worse, the 3rd week worse than that and after a month I would have given anything to suffer from IBS again. I looked six months pregnant from the bloat. I've stopped taking it and am anxiously awaiting the cessation of these terribly uncomfortable side effects.
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89 of 111 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2008
I purchase this product for my 86 year old Mother who was hospitalized with chronic diarrhea and this product has certainly helped her. I recommend it highly. I would like to see the price drop some but it is an excellent product for anyone with digestive/bowel problems.
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