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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 December 7, 2021

Dietitian 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.

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Provitalize Probiotic Review: Safety, Effectiveness, Pros & Cons
Photo credit: iStock.com/AMR Image

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, but it contains three: Lactobacillus gasseri, Bifidobacterium breve, and Bifidobacterium lactis, which are further discussed below.

Lactobacillus gasseri

The most research I could find was around this probiotic. L. 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 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, which is referenced on the product website, 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. However, 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 probiotic are strain-specific and can’t be assumed to be the same as 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.

Lastly, one study found that daily intake of heat-inactivated L. gasseri for 12 weeks was helpful in improving fatigue among male endurance runners, compared to a placebo.

However, these results may not be applicable to menopausal women and more research on this population is needed.

Summary

L. gasseri has been studied for its potential ability to support weight management due to how it interacts with the gut microflora, especially when combined with other weight-loss-promoting substances, like galactomannan or inulin.

However, weight appears to be regained when you stop using it, and more research is needed.

Bifidobacterium breve

B. breve is a bacteria that live 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.

For instance, in an animal study, a mixture of L. lactis and B. breve strains was more effective for reducing obesity among mice fed a high-fat diet compared to single-strain probiotics.

Potential mechanisms included the mixture’s ability to reduce weight gain, adipose tissue fat accumulation, and the size of fat cells in the mice.

They also improved lipid profiles and the regulation of leptin, the hunger hormone involved in regulating appetite.

In another 2018 study, 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.

Summary 

B. breve may play a role in weight management, particularly by working on hormones that play a role in appetite regulation and fat accumulation, but more research is needed.

Bifidobacterium lactis

B. 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, so that’s not likely to be the main reason it’s included in this formulation.

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.

Furthermore, B. lactis has been shown to help downregulate total cholesterol levels in other studies.

The product claims that its probiotic blend helps increase energy levels.

There’s very limited evidence that B. lactis, when used in mixtures with L. paracasei and L. acidophilus, may help improve fatigue.

Summary 

B. lactis may be used to help reduce high cholesterol levels, improve digestive complaints like bloating, and potentially support normal immune function, which may be desirable among menopausal women.

Evidence is lacking that B. lactis can help fatigue in the blend used in this formulation.

Turmeric Root Extract, 350 mg

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

The product says it includes turmeric for its benefits for inflammation, heart health, and immunity.

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 regulate 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.

Another recent review acknowledges the many cardioprotective effects of curcumin, which are attributed to its activity on the growth, survival, and spread of cells, as well as defense against inflammation and oxidative stress that can damage the heart.

Summary

The main bioactive component of turmeric, curcumin, has strong research behind its benefits for heart health, inflammation, and immune function.

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.”

Summary 

While more human research is needed, moringa leaf is high in the antioxidants vitamins E and C, which may offer some benefits for brain health that could be relevant to menopausal women.

Curry Leaf Extract, 150 mg

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

While the manufacturers of Provitalize claim that curry leaf can help greying or dead hair, I could not find research to support this.

Summary 

Curry leaf offers antioxidants that may help support blood sugar management and heart health, but its claim to help dead or greying hair is unsupported.

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 on the body.

Summary 

Piperine has been shown to significantly improve the absorption of curcumin, which may improve the intended benefits of turmeric used in this product.

Previtalize

Provitalize also sells a product called Previtalize, which is a prebiotic blend intended to help improve gut health, digestion, and mood for women.

Additionally, the manufacturers say it can help curb cravings, promote stress management, boost immunity, and promote weight loss.

The product says it can be taken on its own or in conjunction with Provitalize.

Previtalize contains four prebiotic fibers: Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS), Inulin derived from Jerusalem Artichoke, Galacto-oligosaccharides, and Xylo-oligosaccharides.

It also contains Burdock Root, which is naturally rich in prebiotic fibers itself.

FOS is not digestible, so they pass through the digestive tract and support the growth of healthy bacteria along the way. They may also help alleviate constipation.

Inulin may improve gut health as well as promote satiety and a reduction in fat mass. It may also help increase good gut bacteria.

GOS is also undigestible and has been shown to help alleviate constipation.

Xylooligosaccharides have been shown to improve the balance of healthy gut bacteria in humans.

Lastly, burdock root may have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that could help benefit the digestive tract.

Summary

While the efficacy of this particular product requires further research into its individual ingredients, the evidence behind using prebiotics for improving gut health is solid and growing.

Some research suggests that prebiotics even offer advantages over probiotics that consumers may prefer.

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
Improves energyLimited Evidence

There is limited evidence to support most of the ingredients in Provitalize in terms of the claims made, particularly for weight management, immune and digestive health, hot flashes, metabolism, and energy.

There is moderate evidence for soothing belly bloat given the research behind probiotics.

I would like to see research on the specific ingredients in this product and their impact on symptoms of menopausal women.

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:

  • Probiotic blend: 68.2 billion CFUs
  • Turmeric root extract: 350 mg
  • Moringa leaf extract: 350 mg
  • Curry leaf: 150 mg
  • Sunflower lecithin: 50 mg
  • Black pepper fruit extract: 3 mg

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.

Additionally, adding a new probiotic product to your routine may come with a risk for digestive effects such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, or constipation.

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 and Where to Buy

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: $49.99
  • Two bottles: $90
  • Three bottles: $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.

Shop Provitalize on Amazon

How Provitalize Compares to Alternatives

There are plenty of menopause-specific products out there with similar claims around reducing symptoms.

It appears that many supplements targeted to menopausal women contain some of the same bacterial strains, as well as various vitamins and minerals.

There are also 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.

MenoFit

One menopause probiotic supplement is called MenoFit. This is intended to offer relief from hot flashes, weight management, mood and hormone support, and low energy.

It contains a whopping 28 ingredients, including a proprietary blend of the probiotics B. animalis, L. reuteri, L. gasseri, and L. plantarum.

It also contains an array of vitamins, minerals, and herbs, as well as a prebiotic blend that includes inulin.

Consumers may choose to use the MenoLife App in conjunction with this product for additional support and health tracking tools. This product is priced at $39.99 for a one-month supply.

MenoSolve Plus Probiotics

Another product is called MenoSolve Plus Probiotics, designed to provide natural relief for a long list of menopause symptoms like mood swings, hormone imbalances, achy joints, poor sleep, and low energy.

It contains a probiotic blend of 2 billion CFUs, which includes L. acidophilus, B. breve, L. casei, L. rhamnosus, B. longum, B. bifidum, B. infantis, and L. reuteri.

It also contains a vegetable blend, an enzyme blend, and a number of vitamins and minerals, like iron, chromium, selenium, magnesium, and vitamins C and E.

This product is priced at $31.50 for a 30-day supply.

Estroven Complete Menopause Relief

Lastly, another product with a similar target consumer is called Estroven Complete Menopause Relief.

While it claims to help the same list of menopause symptoms, it only contains one ingredient: Rhapontic Rhubarb Root Extract, in the amount of 4 mg per tablet.

This product is priced at $19.97 for a one-month supply.

Summary

Overall, the cost of Provitalize seems to be on the high-end compared to other similar products for a 30-day supply. It also contains fewer ingredients than many of the alternatives.

Related: Best Probiotic Supplements for Women of 2022

Frequently Asked Questions About Provitalize Probiotic

Is Provitalize a prebiotic as well?

Provitalize is not a prebiotic product. It contains a blend of probiotics.

However, this company also makes a prebiotic product called Previtalize, which can be used on its own or in conjunction with Provitalize.

Does Provitalize have any side effects?

Every supplement runs the risk of side effects that can differ between users.

Generally speaking, the most common potential side effects of taking a probiotic supplement are digestive, such as bloating, gas, and changes in bowel habits like constipation or diarrhea.

Can probiotics help with weight loss?

Some research suggests that the balance and diversity of your gut bacteria can influence your weight, including your ability to lose weight and keep it off. Probiotics can help feed good gut bacteria and support this healthy balance.

Furthermore, some probiotics are thought to affect appetite-regulating hormones.

Overall, the evidence is mixed and more research is needed, but it can’t hurt to try if you’re looking for some extra support for healthy weight maintenance.

See Also: Probiotics and Weight Loss: Can Probiotics Help You Lose Weight?

How do I take Provitalize Probiotics?

The directed use for Provitalize Probiotics is to take two capsules per day, preferable in the morning on an empty stomach or around 30 minutes after breakfast. The instructions say to take with a warm glass of water.

Do I need to refrigerate Provitalize Probiotics?

According to the manufacturer, the product does not need to be refrigerated. It can be stored at room temperature and will be shelf-stable for approximately two years.

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 Dietitian

As a dietitian, I wouldn’t recommend this product as a primary treatment for menopausal symptoms like unwanted weight gain. There is overall limited evidence behind most of its claims.

Instead, I would advise women to emphasize healthy habits, such as a nutrient-dense diet based on whole plant foods, as well as a regular physical activity like walking, jogging, biking, yoga, swimming, or group fitness classes, to prevent unwanted weight gain and support overall wellness.

It’s the combination of good nutrition and activity that are going to provide the most benefit in the short and long term.

I also recognize that menopause can be very frustrating and come with uncomfortable symptoms for many women and that some may be feeling desperate for an additional option to try.

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

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