Here's Why Your Probiotic Isn't Working (+ How To Find One That Will)

mbg Associate Health Editor By Darcy McDonough, M.S.
mbg Associate Health Editor
Darcy McDonough is the associate health editor at mbg. She has a master’s degree in nutrition interventions, communication, and behavior change from the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.
The Reason Why Your Probiotic Might Not Be Working

Image by Lucas Ottone / Stocksy

You've probably heard by now how important gut health is for overall health: The trillions of bacteria living in your gut not only support digestion, but they stimulate and communicate with the immune system, produce important neurotransmitters like serotonin (the "happiness hormone"), and promote skin health.* You may even already be regularly taking a probiotic supplement.

But is your probiotic working? While probiotic supplements have a growing list of science-backed benefits, the quality and the specific bacterial strains present in the formula are important when it comes to reaping those benefits. 

Why the strains in your probiotic matter

You don't want to just take a broad mix of different strains at a high dosage. "I call that the sledgehammer approach," explains renowned integrative physician and Thorne's scientific adviser Robert Rountree, M.D. "More doesn't necessarily equal better. They have to be targeted; every bacterium does different things. They've each got an assigned job."

Scientists have identified over 8,000 strains of gut bacteria, all with different characteristics, functions, and health implications. For example, research has shown that the strain Bifidobacterium lactis Bi-07 can reduce abdominal bloating, while Lactobacillus acidophilus ATCC 314 can promote healthy cholesterol levels.* This can help explain why your probiotic may not be working how you expect it to. With such a broad range of functions across different strains, your probiotic may be full of strains that don't actually address your needs—or do much of anything. 

Taking a well-researched, targeted probiotic is critical. Gut health expert Vincent Pedre, M.D., explains, "Many commercial brands lack the technology to identify specific strains and how much of that strain each dose contains. That could mean you get an ineffective or potentially harmful dose." Rountree echoes this concern, saying, "If a company doesn't know what strains of bacteria their probiotic has, I would run."

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Enter: probiotic+

That's why when mindbodygreen set out to create a probiotic as part of our brand-new mbg line of supplements+, crafted in partnership with the leading manufacturer of science-backed supplements, Thorne, we looked for strains that would deliver on exactly what we wanted to target.


Four targeted strains to beat bloating and help reduce abdominal fat.*

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Probiotic+ is the only probiotic in the world with four bacterial strains (B. lactis Bi-07, B. lactis Bi-420, B. lactis HN019, and L. acidophilus NCFM) to beat bloating, support digestion, and promote weight maintenance.* 

"Each bacterial strain in probiotic+ is supported by published evidence of its effectiveness and stability," says Rountree.* Here's how our exclusive formula works:

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The bottom line.

While taking a probiotic supplement is a great way to support gut health, it is important to find a high-quality probiotic with well-researched and targeted strains to ensure that it actually works.* The exclusive formula in probiotic+ has been tested for potency and purity and has been clinically shown to target bloat and support a healthy gastrointestinal system, all so you can trust that it's actually working.*

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