Food & Fitness

Product Review: Align Digestive Care Probiotic Supplement

Ever since I went vegan for a month in September 2009, I’ve really cut back on dairy. I drink non-dairy milk (either soy milk or almond milk, unsweetened). I cut out cheese entirely for a while, but I have been eating more of it lately, just in smaller portions. I have also stopped eating yogurt.

Once upon a time, I ate (plain, non-fat) yogurt every day for breakfast with frozen blueberries. It was a great way to get healthy bacteria into my diet. These days, even the high quality yogurt is no good for my body: it gives me a sore throat every time I eat it. That’s really unfortunate, because I happen to enjoy yogurt very much. I haven’t tried non-dairy yogurts, so I may test one of those out, but dairy yogurts full of healthy probiotics are out of my diet.

Consequently, I take a few probiotic capsules each week. I don’t like the idea of eating the capsule itself because it has weird ingredients in it, so instead I open up the capsules and pour the powder into my green shakes. I’m sure it could easily be poured into any drink or sprinkled on top of cereal, too (I expect that adding it to hot oatmeal would destroy the live active cultures, however).

Digestion has also become a bit of a problem for me: I believe that it is due to eliminating whole food groups and ways of eating during my month-long veganism and my month-long raw food diet that I now have to be more careful about what I eat. My tummy is more sensitive these days than it ever used to be – or perhaps I am simply listening to my body more. Either way, I keep a bottle of digestive enzymes in my cupboard in case my stomach isn’t happy with what I put in it.

Enter Align Digestive Care Probiotic Supplement. I was offered a four-month supply of these capsules (one to be taken each day) by Procter & Gamble*. I have only been taking a couple week’s worth, but I like them already!

The capsules themselves come in packaging labelled with the days of week so that it is that much easier to remember if you have taken your probiotic that day or not. I love the organization of it!** The package also comes with a cute little Tracker & Guide to monitor your progress of how you feel and to make a note of what triggers may have impacted how you felt. It is a very clever idea.

Because I am already used to taking a probiotic supplement fairly regularly, I didn’t notice any major differences in my body. But I see this as a good thing: Align must be of similar quality to my regular probiotics (Natural Factors, which is another great brand) if there appears to be no real affect on my body by changing brands. The one thing that I did not approve of with the Align capsules is that there are some extra ingredients, such as blue #1 (unnecessary and very unhealthy). I am uncertain as to whether this ingredient is in the powder within the capsule, or if it is instead in the capsule shell. It would be nice if that was made more explicit on the packaging – and it would be even better if more natural ingredients could be used in place of those kinds of artificial ingredients.

Even so, I think that Align is a wonderful way for everyone to get their probiotics into their diet and to help with digestion if you have any digestion problems. If you are like me and cannot comfortably eat yogurt, taking a probiotic supplement might be the best way to go. I strongly promote consuming whole foods in their natural state, but sometimes we need a supplement to give us the extra boost if we have intolerances or sensitivities to certain foods. In that situation, a combination probiotic/digestive enzyme is an excellent choice.

*I received this product for free and did not receive any compensation for writing the review; the opinions expressed in this blog post are entirely my own.

**Admittedly, the individual packaging is not very eco-friendly.


  1. Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman

    My husband used to work for P&G and gave these to docs as well. I started taking Align a couple years ago and I think it totally makes a difference. My sister has really bad GI issues, including IBS, and Align has helped her, too. There was a study several months ago that found it helped IBS sufferers significantly. Her doctor suggested taking two pills a day, but she’s only on one right now. Still, it made enough of a difference for her to keep using it!

  2. Mimi (Damn the Freshman 15)

    That’s a really interesting comment you made–that your food experiments have made you more sensitive. Do you feel this is true?

    I do wonder about people who drop things from their diet because they “heard” that it was bad for them, like gluten or something. Then when they eat some months later it’s “ACK! Headache! I KNEW gluten was evil!” But I wonder if they would have felt anything at all if they’d never dropped it. And if so, if it’s overall better they’ve developed more sensitivity to it (as in “being more aware of poisonous things”) or if they just damaged something by trying to fix what wasn’t broken.

    What are your thoughts on this?

  3. Sagan Morrow

    Tracey- That’s fantastic! So glad to hear it.

    Mimi- I really do think that part of the sensitivities I’ve gotten are due to the placebo affect – like gluten, for example. I started paying LOTS of attention to how I felt after I ate bread and such, and for a while I thought I might have a sensitivity, but other times I am fine, so I think it was just an over-thinking it situation. And yes, I DEFINITELY think that a lot of people develop sensitivities and wind up just creating more damage by trying to fix something that wasn’t broken, like you’ve said. But other things really do affect us that we don’t notice until we start paying attention… for me, yogurt appears to be one of those things. I don’t know what’s IN it that it does it, and maybe because it hurts my throat it’s about the texture rather than the product itself? I have no idea. I also believe that when we eliminate something from our diet for a while, our bodies become used to it, and they “forget” what it was like to have that food, and we can develop food sensitivities that way. Great questions!

  4. sophia

    I enjoyed reading your response to Mimi, and the exchange between you two…I wondered the same question, too. I think when someone drastically changes their diet, their body rhythm and cycles also go out of whack…I can’t help thinking that then there is no point in wanting to change your diet so drastically and just creating more problems…why fix something that ain’t broken?

    btw, I made scones with your coconut flour! Loved it! 😀

  5. cathy

    Interesting that these extreme diets have thrown your system for a loop. My husband takes probiotics (a different brand with a mix that his doctor recommended) for his IBS, and he sees fantastic results. And my kids’ pediatricians are big believers in probiotics to help with stomach bugs and issues…as am I. You should give soy yogurt a try. There are some good brands out there! 🙂

  6. Sagan Morrow

    Sophia- Definitely the cycles can go out of whack. I don’t regret doing the nutrition challenges because they were great challenges and I’m all about spreading awareness, but at the same time, I don’t think I would have done them quite so extreme if I had known ahead of time that they might mess with my body’s rhythms (assuming that they ARE part of the reason that I seem to be a bit more sensitive these days). So glad that you’re enjoying the coconut flour! It provides a wonderful flavour to baked goods.

    Cathy- Probiotics really do seem to be incredibly powerful. I’m sure I’ll get around to trying soy yogurt sometime soon! I do well on soy. Got any suggestions for favourite brands?

  7. Nadia

    Align has dairy in it.
    Yorgurt doesn’t have probiotics in it. It containg pus, blood, hormones, anti biotics.Those T.V. ads are not real since they are from animal abusers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *