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Align Probiotic Review: A Dietitian’s Detailed Look

Written by Brandi Givens, RDN

Reviewed by Anthony Dugarte, MD 

Last Updated on May 1, 2021

Our Expert Rating:

4.0

About This Rating
The average rating of this product is calculated based on the evaluation of the following factors:
  • Support for Claims:4.0
  • Ingredient Safety:4.0
  • Value for the Price:4.0
  • Brand Transparency:4.0

Align 24/7 Digestive Support is a probiotic supplement created to alleviate abdominal discomfort symptoms. I would only recommend this product to clients if they didn’t find relief after making dietary changes.

Align Probiotic Review: A Dietitian’s Detailed Look

Pros

  • Several studies back the claims of this product
  • It’s been on the market for several years and has acquired high reviews from customers according to several retailer websites
  • Adverse side effects are rare

Cons

  • There’s no independent third-party testing label
  • There’s no way to know if this single strain of bacteria is what a consumer needs until they try the product
  • Probiotics are transient; any symptoms resolved by this product will likely return once use is discontinued

Overview

Align Probiotic 24/7 Digestive Support is a supplement created to alleviate abdominal discomfort, gas, and bloating and help maintain the digestive system’s natural balance.

Probiotics are defined by the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP) as “live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host.”

Researchers are just beginning to uncover the mysteries of the gut microbiome, slowly learning the important roles that “good” microorganisms play in our digestive systems and beyond.

The product comes in three varieties: capsules, extra strength capsules, and chewable gummies, all containing Align’s trademarked strain of probiotic bacteria, Bifidobacterium longum infantis 35624.

Align claims to be the only probiotic on the market to contain this particular strain of bacterium.

Bifidobacterium longum infantis 35624 is one of the most studied strains of probiotic bacteria to date. I found several studies that back Align’s product claim.

Align uses a freeze-dried process on their microorganisms, which retains the quality of the probiotics without a need for refrigeration.

Align’s three 24/7 products offer between 1-billion to 5-billion colony-forming units (CFUs) at the time of packaging and guarantee their products to have 10-million on their best-by date.

When probiotic supplements are recommended, health care professionals generally recommend choosing products with at least 1 billion CFUs.

Evaluation of Ingredients

The active ingredient in the Align products is Bifidobacterium infantis 35624, also referred to as Bifidobacterium 35624, and is trademarked by Align.

This strain of bacteria is one of the most thoroughly studied probiotics for the treatment of the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), the same symptoms Align claims to alleviate.

The cause for IBS is unknown, but an unbalanced gut microbiome is one possibility.

I found several studies that concluded that Bifidobacterium 35624 is an effective treatment for the symptoms of gas, bloating, and stomach discomfort.

In one study, 77 patients with IBS were randomized to receive Bifidobacterium 35624 or Lactobacillus salivarius UCC4331.

The Bifidobacterium patients saw a greater reduction in gas, bloating, and stomach discomfort.

In addition, inflammation markers in a majority of Bifidobacterium candidates’ blood were normalized by the end of the study.

Another study of 362 IBS patients showed a symptom decrease of 20% while patients took 100-million CFUs Bifidobacterium 35624 daily.

Inactive ingredients in these Align products are included to support the health of the bacteria through the use-by date.

They are listed on the company website and are generally regarded as safe by the Food and Drug Administration.

Verdict on Claimed Benefits

Below is our summary of the available evidence for the claimed benefits of Align Probiotic Supplement 24/7 Digestive Support based on the available research:

  • Naturally helps with occasional abdominal discomfort, gas, and bloatingGold Star Evidence
  • Helps promote and support a healthy digestive systemModerate Evidence

Side Effects, Safety, and Dosage

I found no studies that reported significant side effects studies of using Bifidobacterium. A meta-analysis concluded that the probiotic is safe for most patients.

People with lactose intolerance or allergies to milk should be cautious as this product does contain milk.

The dosage of Align 24/7 Digestive Support is one capsule or chewable tablet daily.

The standard 24/7 Digestive Support and chewable tablets each contain 1-billion colony-forming units (CFUs). 24/7 Digestive Support Extra Strength contains 5-billion CFUs.

Another study showed that 1 billion CFUs were most effective in treating patients with irritable bowel syndrome.

It is not clear if more CFUs are necessarily better, research is still unclear on what the optimal CFU number is.

Always discuss beginning any new medications including herbal supplements or probiotics with your doctor before you start to be certain they're safe for you.

Cost

Align Probiotic 24/7 Digestive Support holds the trademark on a well-studied strain of bacteria. While this adds value to their products, it may be why their price is higher than comparable products.

The cost for the product varies on where it is purchased and the number of capsules in the bottle.

This seems to vary greatly based on the retailer. At Kroger, the 56-count is $46.09 and on Amazon, the same product is $43.90 for a 56-count.

The price also varies based on the formulation. The chewable version at Amazon is the priciest, at $1.18/day.

Align’s Extra Strength capsules are $1.09/day, and the standard 24/7 Digestive Support capsules cost about $1 daily.

At more than a dollar a day, this can be expensive for some budgets.

There are dozens of probiotics with similar claims and excellent reviews on Amazon, which were about half the cost of Align.

How It Compares

Align Probiotic supplements contain only one strain of bacterium, which means it would only help consumers who need that particular strain.

Many probiotic supplements contain several strains of bacteria, which increases the chances of finding the right fit.

Align Probiotic supplements are not independently tested by a third party.

Due to the poor regulation of supplements, I recommend searching for tested products to help ensure probiotic quality.

This is especially important for living probiotics, which are vulnerable to temperature extremes and poor handling.

For example, Member’s Mark 10 Strain Probiotic, sold at Sam’s Club and Amazon, is third-party tested and has 10 strains of bacteria.

Related: Best Probiotics of 2021, According to Dietitians

The Bottom Line

Because the study of the microbiome is in its infancy, the value of using probiotic supplements is uncertain.

As always, discuss your interest in taking new medications or supplements with your doctor to be sure they’re safe for you.

Every person has a unique population of bacteria in their gut based on birth experience, breastfeeding exposure, health, antibiotic use, lifetime exposure to different strains of bacteria, diet, etc.

Through fecal analysis studies, it is known that higher and more diverse populations of beneficial bacteria is associated with the gut, body, and mental health.

However, fecal analysis of individuals is still rare. Without analysis, there’s no way to know which bacteria are missing from any individual.

Align holds the market for Bifidobacterium infantis 35624. If this bacterium is missing from the consumer’s microbiome, taking Align Probiotic may help alleviate symptoms.

It isn’t possible to know without actually trying the product. While the cost may be high for some, there is a money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied.

A Word from Our RD

While there is strong evidence to support Align’s claims, the research studies were mainly completed on patients diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

These patients have severe symptoms, which led them to seek help from medical professionals.

When someone is suffering from mild or occasional symptoms, I recommend dietary changes before purchasing expensive probiotic supplements.

For example, adding probiotic foods like yogurt, kefir, miso, and sauerkraut each contain several strains of active and live cultures and may work as well as a probiotic supplement.

I would also evaluate the client’s diet for high-fiber, prebiotic foods, which are also necessary for supporting the gut microbiome.

As always, it’s important to discuss symptoms with your doctor before self-medicating with supplements that may not be an appropriate treatment for your condition.

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