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Provitalize Probiotic Review: Safety, Effectiveness, Pros & Cons

Written by Lauren Panoff, MPH, RD

Reviewed by Anthony Dugarte, MD 

Last Updated on June 11, 2021

Our Expert Rating:

2.8

About This Rating
The average rating of this product is calculated based on the evaluation of the following factors:
  • Support for Claims:2.0
  • Ingredient Safety:3.0
  • Value for the Price:3.0
  • Brand Transparency:3.0

Provitalize is a thermogenic probiotic and herbal supplement for women going through the transition of menopause. While this product may help support overall digestion and metabolism, I’m concerned that many women will take it looking for a quick answer to prevent unwanted weight gain during menopause, which it will not provide.

Provitalize Probiotic Review: Safety, Effectiveness, Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Probiotic strains used have plenty of supportive research around digestive and general health benefits
  • Provides antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients
  • Probiotics are generally safe for most people
  • Hormone-free

Cons

  • Could be perceived as a “quick fix” in place of other more sustainable and impactful dietary and lifestyle habits to support natural energy and weight management
  • Lacks robust, clear evidence for many of the other claims made
  • Does not bear a third-party testing and certification mark
  • Cost seems on the high end for a monthly supply

What Is Provitalize Probiotic?

Provitalize is a dietary supplement designed to support healthy weight maintenance and minimize common hormone-related complaints that women often experience while going through menopause.

The product claims that by using its unique blend of thermogenic probiotics and natural herbs, you will be able to combat low energy levels, hot flashes, and bloating.

It also claims to help prevent unintended weight gain during this transitional phase of life.

There are several other benefits listed, such as curbing cravings, strengthening hair and nails, youthful skin, improving joint and heart health, and mental clarity, but these are not emphasized.

Can Provitalize Help Prevent Weight Gain?

While Provitalize claims to offer several benefits for women going through menopause, the sales page is focused on preventing weight gain.

It’s formulated to provide three strains of probiotics along with several herbs.

The specific probiotic strains used are said to be thermogenic, meaning they mimic the thermogenic – or fat-burning – effects of exercise, resulting in the prevention of unwanted weight gain related to menopause.

Menopause is a transitional time in a woman’s life when hormones fluctuate and cause a number of side effects. Estrogen and progesterone levels experience a significant drop.

Menopause has been called a risk factor for metabolic syndrome, which can include insulin resistance, abdominal obesity, dyslipidemia, and hypertension.

Hormonal changes are responsible for many common complaints, including menstrual irregularities, fatigue, bloating, joint pain, insomnia, vaginal dryness, lower libido, mood swings, and hot flashes.

Many women experience unintentional weight gain during menopause, especially around the midsection, due to numerous factors besides hormone changes.

The company claims that taking probiotics generates heat in your digestive tract, which results in fat burn.

Furthermore, it claims that the probiotic strains not only boost natural metabolic rate, but reduce food cravings, manage calorie absorption, and impact fat storage in the body.

While the site makes these claims many times, they also include disclaimers that results are not guaranteed, vary per the individual, and that testimonies on their website are not typical.

Any claim from a dietary supplement to mimic the effects of exercise on weight status is an immediate red flag for me as a registered dietitian.

While some foods and ingredients may support a healthy metabolism, taking two capsules a day is not equal to regular exercise, nor can they replace the benefits of eating a healthy diet.

Furthermore, while the website talks about research and denotes a couple of citations, there are no actual references or links to studies to be found on the webpage.

Evaluation of Ingredients

While a mixture of probiotics and herbs may not be a quick fix for weight gain during menopause, several of the ingredients do have research around their contribution to overall health.

Probiotic Blend, 68.2 Billion CFUs

Probiotics do appear to have the potential to support healthy weight management.

Provitalize contains a 68.2 billion CFUs probiotic blend. The specific amounts of each strain are not listed.

Lactobacillus gasseri

The most research I could find was around this probiotic. Lactobacillus gasseri bacteria is part of the normal vaginal flora.

The Lactobacillus genus of probiotics is thought to support digestion, reduce the growth of harmful bacteria, promote immune function.

This particular species, L. gasseri, has evidence in support of its ability to support female health by preventing bacterial vaginosis and endometrial pain, as well as supporting digestive health.

It may also support healthy weight loss. In a 2013 study, 210 obese Japanese adults were provided either 200 grams of L. gasseri fermented milk or placebo milk to consume daily for 12 weeks.

At the end of the study, those who received the probiotic saw an 8.5% reduction in abdominal fat compared to the placebo group. The weight was regained when the probiotic was stopped.

Another 2013 study found nothing to write home about.

Researchers gave 57 obese adults either a daily placebo or a strain of L. gasseri isolated from breast milk.

They were advised to make no changes in diet or activity. Their body composition was measured at 0, 4, 8, and 12 weeks.

The L. gasseri group saw a slight but not significant weight reduction compared to the placebo group.

Still, a 2018 review determined that probiotics, especially L. gasseri when combined with galactomannan or inulin fibers, may promote weight loss due to how it interacts with short-chain fatty acid production and reconfiguration of the gut microbiota.

Other research suggests that L. gasseri inhibits fat absorption and promotes fecal fat excretion.

This research indicates that L. gasseri may play a role in weight management, but more research is needed.

It’s important to note that the effects of a specific probiotic strain can’t be assumed of other strains in the same genus or species.

For instance, the L. gasseri (SBT 2055) used in this product can differ from dozens of other L. gasseri strains.

This is also relevant for the other strains used in this product that are discussed below.

Bifidobacterium breve

Bifidobacterium breve is a bacteria that lives symbiotically in the human intestinal tract and is often used to manage digestive conditions like constipation, diarrhea, and irritable bowel syndrome.

Some studies indicate that levels of B. breve may influence weight gain or loss.

Research has suggested that B. breve may have anti-obesity effects in mice made obese through a high-fat diet as well as pre-obese healthy adults.

After 12 weeks of daily supplementation, B. breve was found to be more effective at lowering body fat mass and percent body fat among adults, compared to a placebo, in a 2018 study.

This strain may play a role in weight management, but more research is needed.

Bifidobacterium lactis

Bifidobacterium lactis is a bacteria found throughout the digestive tract and said to improve immune function, reduce high cholesterol, and even have anti-tumor properties.

However, there doesn’t seem to be much research on B. lactis, specifically regarding weight loss.

In a 2014 study, B. lactis supplementation improved various digestive complaints, like diarrhea and related side effects from antibiotic use.

Other studies have found B. lactis to help reduce bloating among people with functional bowel disorders and patients following gastric bypass surgery.

It may also improve immune function, increasing the resistance to common respiratory infections and seasonal allergies.

Turmeric Root Extract, 350 mg

The active compound in turmeric is curcumin, which is responsible for the majority of its benefits.

A 2019 systematic review and meta-analysis of 21 studies including 1,604 individuals concluded that curcumin taken by people with metabolic syndrome (conditions that increase your risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and stroke) was correlated to a significant reduction in weight, waist circumference, BMI, and leptin, a hormone primarily made by fat cells that regulates energy balance and turns on fullness cues.

Research indicates that in addition to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, curcumin may also help prevent obesity by inhibiting the activities of fat cells.

Moringa Leaf Extract, 350 mg

This extract comes from the Moringa oleifera tree, native to North India.

It’s rich in antioxidants, especially vitamin C, which help fight oxidative stress induced by free radicals, which can lead to inflammation and chronic disease.

While human studies are lacking, some animal and lab studies have indicated that the isothiocyanates in moringa leaf give it anti-inflammatory properties.

Powdered moringa is also rich in vitamin E, another antioxidant that may have benefits for mild cognitive impairment related to an aging brain, which may be relevant in menopause as many women note forgetfulness and “brain fog.”

Curry Leaf Extract, 150 mg

Curry is another antioxidant that may also have cholesterol-lowering and blood glucose regulating properties.

While the product claims that curry leaf can help greying or dead hair, I could not find research to support this.

Bioperine (Piperine Extract), 3 mg

Piperine, the main active component of black pepper, is known to improve the absorption of curcumin by up to 2000% when the two are taken together.

It appears in this product formulation to optimize the bioavailability of curcumin in the turmeric root extract.

Piperine may also help prevent insulin resistance and have anti-inflammatory effects in the body.

Verdict on Claimed Benefits

Below is our summary of the available evidence for the claimed benefits of Provitalize Probiotic based on the available research:

  • Promotes sustained weight managementLimited Evidence
  • Enhances overall immune and gastrointestinal healthLimited Evidence
  • Cools hot flashesNo Evidence
  • Supports faster metabolismLimited Evidence
  • Soothes belly bloatModerate Evidence

Side Effects, Safety, and Dosage

The serving size of Provitalize Probiotic is two capsules every morning to be taken orally, with or without food, and ideally with a glass of water.

Each two-capsule serving contains:

  • 68.2 billion CFUs of a B. breve (IDDC 4401), L. gasseri (SBT 2055), and B. lactis (R101-8) probiotic blend
  • 350 mg turmeric root extract
  • 350 mg moringa leaf extract
  • 150 mg curry leaf
  • 50 mg sunflower lecithin
  • 3 mg black pepper fruit extract

The capsules are covered in a delayed-release coating to optimize absorption.

The product states it does not need to be refrigerated like many other probiotics do, as long as it is kept at room temperature or in an otherwise cool, dry environment.

The website states that Provitalize should not be taken with NSAIDs, blood-thinners, or Cox2-inhibitors due to its potent anti-inflammatory effects.

This appears to be likely because curcumin enhances the anti-inflammatory effects of NSAIDs and Cox2-inhibitors and has anti-coagulant effects that could amplify blood-thinning agents too much.

It’s always best to speak to your doctor before adding any new dietary supplements, including probiotics like this, to your routine to make sure it’s appropriate for you.

Related: How and When to Take Probiotic Supplements

Cost

You can purchase Provitalize Probiotic directly from the Better Body Co website or through the company storefront on Amazon.

Each bottle contains 60 capsules, so taking 2 capsules per day as instructed gives you a 30-day supply.

You have the option to purchase:

  • One bottle for $49.99
  • Two bottles for $90
  • Three bottles for $108

That’s anywhere from $432–$600 per year. Free shipping and a bonus digital cookbook are included with the multi-bottle orders only.

Better Body Co offers a “90-day, empty bottle, 100% guarantee” where you can return even your empty bottle within 90 days for a full refund if you’re not satisfied with the product.

Comparison to Alternatives

There aren’t many menopause-specific probiotics, but similar supplements targeted to menopausal women contain some of the same bacterial strains as well as various vitamins and minerals.

There are many other menopause supplements that don’t contain probiotics but contain herbs thought to aid symptoms like hot flashes (e.g., black cohosh, soy isoflavones), which Provitalize does not include.

The cost seems to be on the high-end compared to other similar products for a 30-day supply.

Related: Best Probiotic Supplements for Women of 2021

The Bottom Line

Provitalize contains three probiotic strains that have research behind their benefits for digestive health and possibly supporting healthy weight maintenance mechanisms.

However, selling this product as a way to combat a laundry list of menopause symptoms seems overzealous to me.

Using it may help support a woman’s overall health, which could, in turn, possibly minimize unwanted menopausal side effects, but there is no evidence that it will work for everyone.

It’s best to speak with your doctor before adding this product to your routine to make sure it’s appropriate for you. 

A Word from Our RD

As a dietitian, I would advise women to rely primarily on everyday healthy habits, such as a nutrient-dense diet and regular physical activity, to prevent unwanted weight gain and support overall wellness.

I also recognize that menopause can be very frustrating and come with uncomfortable symptoms for many women.

While this product may not work for everyone, it could be trialed in conjunction with other lifestyle changes if desired, as long as its use has been cleared by a doctor first. 

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