My loyal readers here know that I have some health issues, mainly digestive, directly related to my Crohn's disease diagnosis. Crohn's Disease is an inflammatory bowel disorder that effects the digestive tract the entire way through. How to manage life with Crohn's Disease is a whole other post. It can flare at any time and disappears and then reappears somewhere else. In fact, even when surgically removed and digestive tract resectioned, the Crohn's can often resurface in a different section of gut. It is a very tricky autoimmune disorder that also comes with pain. I manage my disease most of the time with diet, exercise, medicine and even alternative therapies. I tolerate and use Vitamin C, Calcium, Vitamin E (Ascenta Health, Nutrasea Fish Oil) and Adult Essentials often as well. I have also at times used probiotics, but not consistently.
A few months ago I spotted this product Align on the shelves at Loblaw's and was immediately interested. I started noticing Align probiotic reviews also. It claimed to aid digestive symptoms of IBS (inflammatory bowel syndrome) which is in the gut also, but significantly different from Crohn's and colitis. Gut health and probiotics have long been linked, so IBD or IBS can probably both benefit somewhat from taking a probiotic daily. I am very conscious of maintaining the right level of helpful bacteria in my digestive tract. I eat yogurt that is high in acidophilus. I often boost probiotics after illness and for certain when I have been on an antibiotic which knocks out a lot of the healthy bacteria in your gut.
So when I was sent the Align product to try I jumped at getting started. But then over Christmas my family got sick with the flu and I felt the results of my trial period with this new probiotic supplement were compromised. So I stopped less than three days in and started again in the New Year. My New Year's goal for the entire family is better health in all domains, mental, physical and emotional. So what better time than the New Year?
Now, I have been on Align for three weeks now and obviously it hasn't cured me of digestive disorder. This product is still interesting to me. It is a bit expensive, but that said if I saw miraculous results I would obviously pay the $29.99 a month (28 count package) to use this. Align is more expensive for the 42 count package. It is taken once a day. Align can be found at most grocery stores, big box stores and at some on line hotspots like Well.ca. So how well does it work?
I have noticed a few really clear symptoms and results since starting Align.
1. My stomach tends to - how to say this delicately - move more efficiently.
In essence I noted more regular bowel movements.
(which makes me wonder if my daughter needs this..please note packaging states: product intended for age 12 and up.)
2. More gas - I burp a lot more. At first I was a bit alarmed. And while I didn't really need help in that department, I can see a small benefit to this. Better out than in, so to speak. Also the materials and information from Align indicates this is a common, but temporary symptom. Taking Align regularly and consistently will make this disappear.
3. Align does not upset my stomach. (Many things do, so don't shrug that off.)
4. Align is not harmful in anyway because it is a probiotic supplement made from a patented bacteria called Bifidobacterium infantis and marketed as Bifantis.
Bifantis has been shown to be the only probiotic bacteria that effectively reduces symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome. My assessment is that this product doesn't hurt. I may keep using it especially if I end up with a significant change once I halt use. I would like to wait this out though and see if the burping passes. TMI Alert: I really don't need encouragement to burp. My whole family knows this to be true. I can see great potential for this product in retirement homes and nursing homes where bowel issues are a constant concern due to aging bodies. The price will be a concern to some. Align won't cure all your digestive ailments, but it can help and it really doesn't hurt to try. To me a package of 28 for $29.99 isn't outrageous. Align comes with a digestive results tracking sheet which is a nice little guid to jot down your observations so you know whether or not it makes an impact.
Align gets a $$$$ out of $$$$$. It is docked one $ for cost. I like the packaging. It comes divided in one week at a time packages and each day is clearly labelled. (not unlike birth control pills, so you don't forget a day.) I plan to continue using this supplement until it is all gone and I will stop for a couple of weeks to see if it makes a difference. I do the same with Cold FX and Swiss Natural Solutions Memory. Typically I end up right back buying these again when on sale or when my body tells me 'hey Go Buy some of that product again.'
I was provided a month supply of Align for purposes of review. My opinion is 100% honest and all my own.