What are Probiotics?
Probiotics are microorganisms that, when consumed, offer health benefits. (1A) They can help your body digest food and produce nutrients, (2A) as well as support the good bacteria in your gut, in addition to other potential benefits. (3A) Probiotics for women are delivered to the digestive system in the same way that they are for men, which is mainly through supplements or foods. Probiotic foods may include fermented foods in which special care has been taken to maintain naturally-occurring probiotics, or other foods and beverages that indicate that they have had probiotics added to them.
How Can Women Benefit from Probiotics?
Every person develops their own unique bacterial ecosystem, also known as the microbiome, based on factors like genetics, diet, age, occupation, and gender (4A). This ecosystem continually shifts based on life events (4B) that can be as simple as added stress or a change in routine, or as major as extended travel, illness, pregnancy, or menopause.
Additionally, women often respond differently to gastro-intestinal (GI) issues than men do. Because of differences in anatomy, women may find their symptoms to be more severe, or they may experience unique symptoms to otherwise common GI issues. (5A)
Because your bacterial ecosystem – including the bacteria in your digestive system – is constantly changing, it can be beneficial to start taking a daily probiotic supplement. Probiotics like Align can help support your digestive system with healthy bacteria so that you’re better able to take on the everyday changes in your life.*
What Should You Look for When Choosing a Women’s Probiotic?
If you’re considering a women’s probiotic, it’s important to remember a few things.
First, even though many probiotic products contain bacteria from Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium genera, (2B) they aren’t all the same. Scientists identify bacteria by their genus, species or subspecies, and strain. For example, the patented strain in Align would be identified as:
Secondly, it’s the bacterial strain which determines the health benefit. (6A) This means that even if two probiotics have the same genus (Bifidobacterium or Lactobacillus), they may have different strains that offer completely different health benefits to women.
Lastly, some probiotic brands offer supplements with multiple bacterial strains based on the thought that multiple strains better represent our normal digestive microbiome. However, clinical studies haven’t shown these multi-strain supplements to be more effective than single strain supplements. (7A) A single strain supplement may be all your body needs to deliver the benefit you’re looking for.
If you’d like to begin taking a digestive probiotic, talk to your doctor about what health benefits you’re looking for and which strain might be the best probiotic for women.
Is Align a Suitable Probiotic for Women?
Absolutely. Both women and men can enjoy the health benefits of Align.
After talking with your doctor about taking a digestive probiotic, you are likely to find that they’ve recommended Align. For one thing, only Align offers Bifidobacterium 35642, which may be exactly the strain you need for the health outcome you want. This strain naturally fortifies your digestive system, so you can enjoy digestive balance despite occasional changes to your routine.*
Align is also the #1 doctor and gastroenterologist recommended probiotic brand‡, so your doctor may recommend Align based on positive results with other patients.
What Else Can You do to Maintain a Healthy Digestive System?
In general, there are a couple steps you can take to help keep your body – including your digestive system – healthy.
Don’t smoke or use tobacco products. And if you do, talk to your doctor about quitting.
Eat a balanced diet that features high-fiber foods like whole-grains, beans, fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy, and less red meat.
Get regular physical activity, no matter what it is – walking, running, biking, dancing, you name it. If you like it, you’re more likely to do it. (8A)
Try to reduce stress. Although this is sometimes easier said than done, it can go a long way to maintaining good health.
Ultimately, you should talk to your doctor if you’re considering a probiotic supplement. He or she can help you identify the health outcome you want and which may be the best probiotic for women like you.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
§Fortifies your digestive system 24/7 with continued daily use.*
‡Among Gastroenterologists who recommended a brand of probiotic in a ProVoice 2008-2018 survey.
‡Among Doctors who recommended a brand of probiotic in ProVoice 2013-2018 surveys.