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What are Probiotics?

Simply put, probiotics are good bacteria that are essential for many vital body functions, including healthy digestion. Your body needs beneficial bacteria for a number of things, including healthy digestion. Common issues such as diet, changes in schedule, travel, and stress can disrupt your natural balance of good bacteria. Probiotics are increasingly being used and evaluated to help maintain digestive balance.

Not All Probiotics Are Alike

Probiotics are identified by the Genus, species or subspecies, and strain. For example, here is how to identify Bifantis®, the strain available only in Align®:

Genus Subspecies Strain
Bifidobacterium infantis 35624

The Strain Determines the Effect

Different probiotic strains can have different effects. Only Align contains the strain B. infantis 35624. The concept of a bacterial "strain" is similar to the breed of a dog — all dogs are the same genus and species, but there are different breeds of dogs.

What Should I Look For in a Probiotic?

According to the guidelines called "Probiotics: A Consumer Guide for Making Smart Choices" unveiled by the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP), there are five criteria that consumers should consider when selecting a probiotic: probiotic strain, proof, packaging, quality, and quantity.

See how Align meets these criteria and is a good option for people wanting to help build and support a healthy digestive system.*

  • Probiotic Strain: Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 (Bifantis) is the unique, patented, pure-strain probiotic ingredient only found in Align that can help build and support a healthy digestive system.*
  • Proof: Bifantis has been the subject of several clinical studies and has been featured in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Packaging: Align contains 1 x 109 (1 billion) CFUs of live bacteria when manufactured, and provides an effective level until the "best by" date on the package. Align capsules come in specially designed blister packs that ensure bacteria remain alive and effective until the date on the box.
  • Quality and Quantity: DNA testing confirms the purity of Align. The packaging and labeling meet all World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations by clearly stating:
    • Strain: Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 (Bifantis)
    • Colony-forming units (CFU): 1 x 109 (1 billion) live bacteria when manufactured, and provides an effective level of bacteria until at least the "best by" date.
    • Suggested serving size: One capsule daily
    • Health benefits: Helps build and support a healthy digestive system*
    • Proper storage conditions: Store at room temperature; no refrigeration required.
    • Corporate contact information: or (800) 208-0112

How Is Align Different from Probiotic Yogurts?

While some yogurts contain bacteria to confer benefits consistent with those of a probiotic supplement, yogurt in the United States is not required to contain any live cultures, and results from tests of yogurt products show a wide range in the levels of live bacteria. The delivery of probiotics in either yogurt or fermented milk is limited by the need for cold storage and an associated shorter shelf life. Additionally, many people may have trouble consuming sufficiently large quantities of these products. Align is different because only Align contains Bifantis, a patented probiotic strain, available in a convenient capsule form.

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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Among gastroenterologists who recommended a brand of probiotic in Source Healthcare Analytics, LLC 2012 survey.