Product Review

Align® for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Align® is a probiotic that contains Bifidobacterium 35624™ bacteria. It is the only product containing this strain of bacteria, which gastroenterologists designed to be effective at relieving digestive symptoms. Particularly, research shows that Align® helps relieve gas, bloating, and abdominal pain/discomfort in individuals with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).1,2 In addition, Align® might help to promote digestive health by modifying the microbiome in people without IBS.

For many individuals with IBS, finding an effective treatment can be tough. Management plans can be complex and include large lifestyle changes. Align® is available in capsule or chewable form, and both products involve taking one capsule/tablet per day, with or without food, at any hour. The bacteria are freeze-dried and do not require refrigeration, so it is okay to leave them in a location that makes it easier to remember to take them, such as a purse or desk. This product has been tested for accuracy and contains one billion live bacteria/colony-forming units when manufactured and provides an effective level of bacteria (ten million colony-forming units) until at least the best by date.

In a 2018 survey of gastroenterologists and general practitioners in Canada, Align® was the number one probiotic choice for those who said that they recommended a specific brand of probiotic to their patients.

Align® is a product with a very low side effect profile, with no significant difference in side effects between the product and placebo. It is also gluten-free and safe for those with celiac disease. However, both the capsule and chewable tablet contain milk protein and are therefore not safe for individuals with a milk allergy. Since Align® only contains trace amounts of lactose, it may or may not be okay for those with lactose intolerance, depending on the individual. If you are interested in taking this product, please speak with your physician. And, if you choose to take Align® – or any other probiotic – do not stop taking any medications prescribed by your physician without first consulting with your health care team.

First published in the Inside Tract® newsletter issue 209 – 2019
Note: The GI Society has received no remuneration from Align® or its affiliates for this review.
1. Whorwell PJ et al. Efficacy of an encapsulated probiotic Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 in women with irritable bowel syndrome. American Journal of Gastroenterology. 2006;101(7):1581-90.
2. Brenner DM et al. The utility of probiotics in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome: a systematic review. American Journal of Gastroenterology. 2009;104(4):1033-49.