FAQs

What is Symprove?

Symprove is a water-based multi-strain supplement that contains 4 unique strains of live activated bacteria. These are: L. rhamnosus (NCIMB 30174), E. faecium (NCIMB 30176), L. acidophilus (NCIMB 30175), and L. plantarum (NCIMB 30173). When drunk it delivers these friendly bacteria to the gut to support the microbiome.

Why choose Symprove?

Symprove is a water-based liquid supplement that contains four strains of live and active bacteria: L. rhamnosus, E. faecium, L. acidophilus, and L. plantarum.

When drunk it delivers friendly bacteria to the gut to support the microbiome.

Increasing evidence is showing that a diverse microbiome has a positive impact on gut health. Researchers are also now looking into the role the gut microbiome plays on other body systems.

The bacterial formation of Symprove was developed over 20 years ago and all the ingredients are sourced and produced in Great Britain.

Symprove is available in two flavours – original and mango and passionfruit. It is one of the only non-dairy live bacteria liquid formulations on the market. It is also gluten free.

Symprove has been subject to several independent pieces of research:

Effective delivery system – survival of the Symprove bacteria through the Gastrointestinal tract

Gut function – the role of Symprove in the management of specific gut conditions

Emerging research – the effect of Symprove bacteria on pathogenic bacteria

Is Symprove available in different flavours?

Symprove is available in 2 flavours – Original and mango and passion fruit. Symprove original has a distinctive malty flavour.

Can Symprove survive at ambient temperatures?

The bacteria in Symprove can easily survive ambient temperatures. Once a bottle of Symprove is opened it needs to be kept in a fridge to maximise shelf-life. If travelling abroad with Symprove, it can go in the hold of an aeroplane without any problems. If the destination is warm/hot and there is no access to a fridge, we recommend a sink filled with cold water is used to keep the Symprove cool. The water should be changed regularly and kept as cool as possible. We have many cabin crew who take Symprove and this was a top tip from them!

Why is Symprove special?

To be effective, bacteria have to arrive, survive and thrive. The bacteria in Symprove are live and active meaning when they ARRIVE they are ready to work in harmony with your digestive system from the word go. Digestion, involving strong stomach acid and bile salts, is triggered by the ingestion of food. Bacteria which are delivered in foods are therefore exposed to this and may struggle to survive in this harsh acidic environment. Bacteria in many other products are freeze-dried which means they have to be activated before they can get to work. Being inactive means they are very sensitive to the acid in the stomach and many don’t survive. For both of these types of product, during the process of digestion many are destroyed. Symprove is different because it contains live and active bacteria in a unique water-based formulation that does not trigger digestion – therefore the bacteria are able to SURVIVE through the stomach. After passing through the harsh environment of the stomach, the bacteria needs to rapidly colonise the targeted area. For products that are stomach acid sensitive, there may not be enough viable bacteria left to form strong colonies. Whereas Symprove arrives in the gut and immediately starts to THRIVE. Breakthrough independent research by University College London (UCL) School of Pharmacy has recently been completed and published comparing various products and their ability to arrive, survive and thrive. This research showed Symprove was clearly able to arrive, survive and thrive better than the other products. These results prove that Symprove’s live and active bacteria arrives in the gut where they thrive and multiply to work effectively. It is critical however, that people do commit to the 12 week programme in order to gain maximum benefits as it takes time to re-balance gut bacteria.

What’s the shelf life for Symprove?

Symprove has a shelf-life of 4 months. The best before date is printed on the label. Symprove should be kept in the fridge once open.

Is there any research into Symprove?

Symprove has a strong research and development programme and is constantly improving its products. The product has been subject to several independent pieces of research. These are:

Product delivery – e.g. survival through gastric juices

Gut function – e.g. irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diverticular disease, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

Emerging research – e.g. clostridium difficile

Does it work for everyone?

The gut microbiome is complex and not yet fully understood and as with anything everyone has different experiences. Symprove has been subject of several independent pieces of research and you can find out more about these in our ‘Research’ section. We recommend that Symprove is taken in a fasted state first thing in the morning (and at least 10 minutes before eating or drinking) and that it’s taken daily for at least 12 weeks.

Who should drink Symprove?

Symprove bacteria works to nourish the gut microbiome – so anyone who is looking to do this can take Symprove. It is important to make it clear to your patients that Symprove is not a medicine but a food supplement and should be taken in addition to a balanced diet.

How do you use Symprove?

Fill the 70ml cup provided with Symprove and take every morning on an empty stomach, 10 minutes before eating or drinking.

What bacteria are in Symprove?

There are 4 species of naturally occurring lactic acid bacteria in Symprove: L. rhamnosus (NCIMB 30174), E. faecium (NCIMB 30176), L. acidophilus (NCIMB 30175), and L. plantarum (NCIMB 30173). These are all naturally occuring gut bacteria. Every millilitre of Symprove contains about 200 million live & active bacteria.

Does taking Symprove have any side effects?

Occasionally customers (about one in 100 people) have reported a loosening of stools during the first few days of drinking Symprove.

How long should Symprove be taken for?

We recommend 70ml of Symprove is taken daily for 12 weeks and we have developed the Symprove 12 week programme around this. The programme offers customers their final 4 weeks for free once they have completed the previous 8 weeks. In order to keep feeding the gut microbiome once the 12 week programme is complete we recommend a daily dose of Symprove is continued to be taken as part of a maintenance programme, although the frequency may be adjusted to the patient’s needs.

Can my patient take Symprove and drink alcohol?

Yes, but we recommend alcohol is avoided for a few hours after taking Symprove. Some research suggests alcohol can have a negative effect on gut bacteria.

What ingredients are in Symprove?

1. ORIGINAL FLAVOUR

Ingredients: water, extract of germinated barley, live activated cultures of: L. rhamnosus, E. faecium, L. acidophilus, and L. plantarum; vitamin C, acidity regulator: trisodium citrate; preservative: potassium sorbate.

1. MANGO AND PASSION FRUIT FLAVOUR

Ingredients: water, extract of germinated barley, live activated cultures of: L. rhamnosus, E. faecium, L. acidophilus, and L. plantarum; vitamin C, acidity regulator: trisodium citrate; preservative: potassium sorbate; natural flavourings, sweetener: sucralose.

How many bacteria are in Symprove?

Our bacteria are live and active from the moment Symprove is swallowed. Each 70ml shot contains about 10 billion live colony forming units (CFUs).

Why do we need these bacteria?

Inside a typical digestive tract are around 100 trillion active bacteria, yeasts, fungi, viruses and protozoans. This vast ecosystem of organisms is known as our gut microbiome and it made up of more than 1,000 bacterial species. These different types of bacteria can be put into three groups – beneficial, potentially pathogenic (opportunists) and pathogenic. The beneficial bacteria (such as Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria) help to maintain good gut health and overall well-being. Having high numbers of these beneficial, friendly bacteria in your gut help to prevent any pathogenic bacteria growing in number.

These bacteria carry out many metabolic processes in the human body, including the breakdown of non-digestible dietary residue to generate short chain fatty acids and the synthesis of some vitamins (such as K and B). They also help in drug metabolism.

Increasing evidence is showing that a diverse gut microbiome has a positive impact on the gut itself. A healthy microbiota is one which has a balanced composition of symbionts (bacteria living in symbiosis to the mutual benefit of each other), commensal (where one bacteria benefits from another without harming it) and pathobionts (bacteria which has potential to cause harm but normally lives as a symbiont). Taking Symprove helps to deliver more friendly bacteria to the microbiome.

Read more about our microbiome.

What difference might my patient see over the 12 weeks?

People experience a wide range of effects when adding more friendly bacteria to their microbiome. As everyone is unique, each person may react differently when taking Symprove so it is difficult to be precise about the 12 week journey.

However, overall, customer feedback and our research has shown in the first few weeks, some people notice a loosening of stools or a change in bowel habits. This is perfectly normal.

As the 12 week journey continues many people report a feeling of better general wellbeing.

How is Symprove made?

Symprove is made in a controlled environment through a series of carefully controlled stages. First we boil specially selected grain to create a wort. The wort is purified and sterilised and following this, the temperature is controlled in sterilised vats and the 4 strains of bacteria are carefully introduced. The live bacteria begin to divide and once the required levels are reached, the process is halted. Symprove is ready for bottling once it’s been tested by an independent laboratory. Throughout every stage, the bacteria are carefully nurtured as they are living organisms. The bacteria we use are high purity laboratory cultures which are unique to Symprove.

Learn more.

Who makes Symprove?

Symprove is made by Symprove Ltd. in the UK. The founding team have over 25 years’ experience of making live culture products. All the ingredients in Symprove are sourced and produced in Great Britain.

Find out more.

Why did you choose the four strains of bacteria you use?

The four strains of bacteria used in Symprove – L. rhamnosus, E. faecium, L. acidophilus, and L. plantarum – were selected following a series of experiments to achieve a mix of cultures that grow well together, remain alive in low pH, survive for four months on the barley substrate and thrive in the gut once delivered.

Is Symprove suitable for children?

Symprove is a food supplement and therefore does not have the safety issues involved with medicine. We do, however, advise using smaller doses for children.

Should Symprove be taken with food?

We recommend Symprove is taken first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach, at least 10 minutes before eating or drinking to allow the bacteria the best chance of reaching the gut. If Symprove is taken with food it will not do any harm, but it could reduce the effective delivery of the live bacteria to the gut microbiome. If your patient forgets to take Symprove first thing and they have eaten then they should take it two hours after eating.

Can my patient continue to take other supplements?

Yes

Is Symprove suitable for vegans?

Yes. Symprove does not contain any animal products in the formulation.

Is Symprove gluten free?

Symprove is gluten free according to the Codex standard of <20ppm. Whilst barley, which contains a form of gluten, is used to make the liquid in which we grow the Symprove bacteria, the production process is carefully controlled to limit the release of gluten from the barley, and the barley grain is not included in the finished product. Compliance with the Codex standard for gluten free is confirmed with regular testing of batches of our finished Symprove products.

Is Symprove a natural product?

Most of the ingredients in Symprove are naturally occurring – from the barley we use, to the beneficial bacteria that make it their home. The only additional ingredients are vitamin C, sorbate and trisodium citrate which are found in everyday foods. We also use natural flavours for the mango and passion fruit flavour having carefully tested the stability of the flavoured product before release.

Does Symprove work with the low FODMAP diet?

Many clinicians use Symprove alongside the low FODMAP diet with no adverse effects.

Why do you use an artificial sweetener?

The original product has a unique and yeasty taste, which was not to everyone’s liking. To help palatability, we introduced the mango and passion fruit flavour, which has a tiny amount of artificial sweetener. We did not use sugar, as this would affect the growth of the bacteria.

Is Symprove available on prescription?

Symprove is not currently available on prescription.

How should Symprove be stored?

Before opening Symprove should be stored in a cool dark place. After opening Symprove should be kept in the fridge to ensure the live and active bacteria are kept in optimum conditions. Symprove should never be frozen or heated as this would kill the bacteria.

Should Symprove be taken during/following antibiotics?

Antibiotics are designed to kill specific harmful bacteria, but research has shown their use can also lead to a reduction in the diversity of the gut ecology. Shifts in microbiome can happen very quickly and, for many people, just one course of antibiotics would be enough to do this.

Symprove introduces friendly bacteria into the gut to nourish the microbiome.

If taking Symprove while on a course of antibiotics we recommend it should be taken at a different time to the antibiotics if possible. Remember that Symprove should be taken at least 2 hours after food and 10 minutes before eating or drinking again.

What happens if my patient doesn’t take their daily Symprove dose for a period of time?

There would be no harm suffered by missing a day or two of Symprove. If Symprove is stopped for more than a few days then it may be sensible to start the 12 week programme again.

What quality controls do you have in place?

At Symprove we pride ourselves in offering a high quality product. The production process is run to full food standards and each batch of Symprove is independently tested by an external certified laboratory to check that it reaches the stated quality and purity. Symprove is also a ISO9001/2015 certified company. On top of this, our products are constantly under scrutiny within our research and development programme.

Find out more.

Do you ship overseas?

We can ship anywhere overseas but until we finalise distribution contracts in various countries, we can only send product to individuals for personal use. You need to be aware that at the moment, we pass on the cost of air shipping and cannot guarantee the speed of delivery due to different practices at customs in various countries. Also, please be aware that import duty/tax may be payable when it arrives in the country. The bacteria will be fine to travel this distance, we frequently ship Symprove overseas and our product has a 3 to 4 month shelf life.