I do love writing a review – particularly on anything pertaining to bodily functions.
Most recently, however, I’ve shifted my focus to a new area of my body; moving away from my armpits and menstrual cycle to instead obsess over something else – my gut.
Or gut health, to be more specific.
This meandering and mysterious part of my body is an area that I know very little about – a part that I only really pay attention to if I’m feeling unwell. However, it’s not an area to be ignored.
Indeed, the gut is a powerhouse; the tipping point between good and bad health. If shown a little TLC and delivered the right concoction of tonics and bacteria, your gut has the power to significantly transform your health and wellbeing.
So, how to do this? How can you heal and pamper your gut in a way that will not only improve your digestive system, but bolster everything from your immunity levels to your mental health?
The answer, my friends, is this magical elixir – Symprove.
What is Symprove?
In short, Symprove is a probiotic.
Developed, somewhat surprisingly, by a farmer who wanted to improve the quality of the food given to his animals, Symprove was originally a humble animal feed. Startled by just how much this feed (based on germinated grains) improved the health of his livestock, Barry Smith (our entrepreneurial farmer) decided to translate his findings into a product that human beings could use.
Using fermented barley as its magic ingredient, Symprove was eventually launched as a human product in 2010 – a pioneering, water-based probiotic.
How Much is Symprove?
Let’s not beat around the bush – Symprove is an expensive probiotic (particularly when compared to its tablet-form peers).
Like many products these days, Symprove works on a subscription basis – the longer the length of your subscription, the cheaper your overall monthly cost.
By far the most expensive option is to buy just one month’s worth of Symprove (something that’s not recommended anyway, as it can take a full 12 weeks to see results). If buying it monthly, then Symprove will set you back a whopping £49.99 a month, which might seem ludicrously expensive when compared with the £9.99 probiotics you can buy at your local chemist.
A slightly cheaper alternative is to therefore opt for Symprove’s 12 week course – costing £149.99 for three months’ worth. It’s by no means the ‘cheap’ option, but you do make a modest saving compared with if you just bought it on a monthly basis.
Why is Symprove Better than Other Probiotics?
Let’s face it, there are a whole lot of probiotics on the market, so why pay the price for this particular brand. Is Symprove really worth it?
The reason that Symprove is so expensive – and apparently better than all the others on the market – comes down to science.
While probiotics no doubt work in theory, a claim regularly levelled against them is that the bacteria within them – the very stuff that does the good – cannot reach the gut alive. Indeed, once swallowed, many probiotics, and the millions of good bacteria within them, are killed within seconds by the acid found in the stomach. As a result, these probiotics are rendered useless.
This is where Symprove is different.
In 2015, academics at University College London found that Symprove withstood all areas of their testing – not only arriving successfully in the gut, but surviving and thriving there.
Similarly, in 2018, the Simulator of the Human Intestinal Microbioal Ecosystem (SHIME), also confirmed that Symprove bacteria was happily arriving and multiplying in the gut – supporting the wider microbiome.
It’s due to this gold standard of evidence that Symprove is therefore considered the best probiotic on the market – and, unsurprisingly, accounts for why Symprove is so expensive.
How Does Symprove Work?
Releasing 10 billion live colony forming units of bacteria into the gut with every dose, Symprove is certainly impressive.
However, it’s how it (successfully) delivers this bacteria that makes it really stand out from the crowd.
While most probiotics come in tablet form, Symprove is a water-based probiotic – taken as a 70ml shot each morning (10 minutes before breakfast).
The rationale behind this is that swallowing a liquid, rather than a tablet, prevents the digestive process from being triggered; an event that floods the stomach with bacteria-killing acid. It’s therefore this water-based solution that helps to keep Symprove’s friendly bacteria preserved; something that not all tablet probiotics can do.
What Does Symprove Taste Like?
Having scoured Symprove reviews online, I’d seen multiple claims that its taste is a little hard to stomach (if you’ll pardon the pun).
This is something that the creators of Symprove have perhaps recognised as a new flavour has recently been launched – mango and passionfruit. Having looked at the other flavours (original and strawberry and raspberry), this is the flavour I decided to opt for.
Controversially, I actually really like it – and the taste of Symprove more generally. However, I also like other fermented and slightly sour products like Kombucha and Apple Cider Vinegar, which might explain things. The flavour definitely improves once the bottle is chilled and in the fridge (where you’ll need to store it anyway, once opened) and I began to almost look forward to taking it each day.
If you don’t like that slightly tart, fermented flavour, then you may struggle a little to take Symprove.
Why I Wanted to Try Symprove Probiotic
Having read other reviews of Symprove online, I noticed that the vast majority of people took it to help manage their IBS.
Now, I’ve had a fair few run-ins with IBS over the years. Intricately linked to my anxiety, my IBS tends to rear its ugly head when my anxiety does, resulting in a very sensitive and upset tummy (I’ll spare you the details). It was particularly bad when I was in my early twenties and I took everything from peppermint pills to aloe-vera liquid to try to control it.
However, for the last few years, my IBS hasn’t been too much of an issue (touch wood). Unless I’m going through a stressful time, or I’m super nervous, my gut tends to behave itself and doesn’t cause me too much bother.
So, why did I want to review Symprove? If I wasn’t experiencing too many gastro issues and given the fact that this product is not cheap, why did I want to invest in this water-based probiotic?
From June 2021, I’ve been almost constantly, perpetually unwell.
Now, this is likely caused by three things: 1) the fact I’d been pregnant 2) the fact that we were all emerging from a germ-free lockdown and 3) the fact that my new baby was sharing all of his pathogens with me.
I therefore initially rode out this storm: accepting that, for the time being, this was my lot in life. I bravely looked Shingles in the eye and dealt with it, battled three bouts of tonsillitis, dragged myself through Norovirus and suffered cold after cold, sinus infection after sinus infection.
However, around January time – I snapped. I never felt ‘well’ and was always dealing with some ailment or another – all of which was beginning to impact my mental health. Added to this the fact I also had a baby to look after and I decided that enough was enough.
I made an appointment to see my GP.
On previous visits, my doctor had kept pointing to ‘postpartum depletion’ as the source of my issues. However, this prognosis was wearing increasingly thin. It now seemed less a diagnosis and more some offensively generic, pseudo-science aimed at dismissing any new mother’s complaints.
If I was ‘depleted’, how could I replete myself? Why did being a new mum mean it was acceptable to feel as though I was circling the drain of life?
Eventually, I managed to see a female GP, who thankfully took my complaints seriously. After ordering blood works (I was anaemic) she also ordered urine and stool samples.
With the results in, she explained that alongside taking a feast of new supplements, I also really needed to work on my gut health – something the stool sample indicated (I didn’t ask any more questions past this).
Explaining that a whopping 70% of my immune system lived in my gut, she emphasised how important it was that I helped to resurrect the friendly bacteria in my tummy as quickly as possible; ensuring that I strengthened my overall immune system.
And the probiotic she suggested to do this? Symprove.
Alongside the fact that I’d had more colds that I’d had hot dinners in 2021, I was also unbelievably tired.
Of course, this is something I’d initially accepted – I had a new baby and life was exhausting. However, come October when my baby started sleeping through, my tiredness levels seemed to only intensify. I couldn’t get through the day without an hour’s nap (at the very least) and felt like I was walking around in a grey fog.
It was horrible – a sluggish, apathetic kind of vibe that I couldn’t shake.
Again, my GP suggested Symprove to help improve my energy levels – explaining that with my gut most likely ‘leaking’ (a slightly grim idea) – my body was probably inflamed and not absorbing nutrients as well as it should be.
By re-establishing a respectable level of good bacteria in my intestines, my ‘leaky gut’ could begin to heal itself and my inflammation levels would start to come down.
The result? More energy.
Ongoing Sinus Issues
Included on my litany of ailments was my ongoing sinus issues.
Over the winter, I had three different sinus infections and nearly six rounds of heavy duty antibiotics. The symptoms were horrible and only added to my non-existent energy levels.
I tried everything – various sinus sprays and rinses, steam inhalers and tablets – but nothing worked.
Again, this was apparently an issue that Symprove might help to resolve. Like the gut, the sinus cavities are also riddled with bacteria, both good and bad. A snotty little ecosystem of its very own, if the sinuses become overrun with bad bacteria, then infections are more likely to flourish.
A probiotic like Symprove could (apparently) therefore help to prevent my recurrent bouts of bacterial sinusitis.
My Symprove Review: Did it Work?
I’ve noticed that most Symprove reviews outline their journey week by week – until they eventually complete the 12 week course.
Rather than do this, I thought I’d just provide you with the headlines: what my results were after taking 12 weeks of Symprove.
Overall Health – No More Illnesses
I’ve spent quite a long time reflecting on whether Symprove has improved my overall health and immunity – and I genuinely believe that it has.
Of course, there may be other factors at play: the possibility that my run of illnesses finally came to a natural end, the arrival of summer, the regular exercise that I’ve been doing. However, as this rapid improvement came about after 4 weeks of regularly taking Symprove, I’m definitely minded to believe it’s all down to the probiotic.
I began taking Symprove in April, having just recovered from severe tonsillitis and a cold. Following this, there was an almost immediate illness-related peace fire. In fact – dare I say it – I began to feel almost ‘well’.
During this time, my baby had also started childcare and was therefore continuing to battle regular colds and coughs. However, I didn’t catch one – not even a hint of one. Given that prior to taking Symprove I came down with every single virus he did, this was nothing short of a miracle.
This trend has only continued and I’ve now reached four months without getting ill (which, given how regularly I was getting sick, is an enormous feat). It feels like my immune system is back up and running – actually working. In fact, if there has been the odd time that I’ve felt like I might be coming down with something, I just make sure I take my Symprove shot and it passes within a day or two.
I therefore firmly believe that Symprove has helped to rebuild my immune system and ended my long winter of illness(es).
Sinus Issues – Ongoing
One thing my GP hypothesised was that by improving my gut health, I could potentially improve the ‘conditions’ found in my sinuses (which were apparently being overrun by bad bacteria).
I wasn’t too convinced about this when she first mentioned it. If I was swallowing, rather than snorting, a probiotic – how would it reach my sinus cavity?
As it turns out, there are plenty of folk in the medical world who believe that probiotics may help improve chronic sinusitis and rhinitis – with some labs even developing a probiotic nasal spray.
Studies have shown that probiotics work for sinus issues on several levels.
Firstly, friendly bacteria found in probiotics such as Symprove are shown to disrupt the ‘biofilms’ found in the nose (bacteria-riddled blankets of mucus found in the sinuses). Dense and sticky, antibiotics often struggle to eradicate these biofilms, meaning that infections continue.
Secondly, some studies have shown that taking probiotics actually reduces the chance of an external bacteria colonising in the nose – the cause of many bacterial sinus infections.
Lastly, as sinus issues are often caused by infections, taking a probiotic and improving your overall health can help to prevent these infections happening in the first place.
It all sounds very compelling – but did taking Symprove really improve my sinusitis?
Yes and no.
Firstly, and most significantly, I’ve not had a sinus infection since I started my 12 week course of Symprove. Given that I had three infections in six weeks prior to this, I’m definitely inclined to believe that Symprove has helped somewhat. As my infections had all been pretty nasty – resulting in fevers, severe pain and headaches – the fact that I’ve not had another bout since is an enormous relief.
However – and on the flip side – many of my sinus issues are allergy related, something that Symprove hasn’t helped with. This is perhaps to be expected (there’s only so much a probiotic can do) and as long as these allergies don’t turn into infections, I’m happy.
Energy Levels – Evening Out
Having read other reviews of Symprove, I’d (excitedly) noticed that many people had said it had significantly improved their energy levels – something I was desperate to experience.
As I mentioned above, my energy levels are dire and I normally find myself desperately needing a nap by midday. Of course, this could be down to a whole host of other things (I definitely need to look into cutting dairy out of my diet). However, given that probiotics can remedy ‘leaky guts’, inflammation and low immunity – all causes of low energy – I can also appreciate why Symprove might help.
On the whole, I’d say my energy levels have remained disappointingly low. Despite some Symprove reviews declaring that the probiotic had transformed them into supercharged, energetic athletes, this metamorphosis sadly didn’t happen for me.
However, this might not be Symprove’s fault. It is allergy season after all – something that always makes me fatigued – and I have an energetic toddler to look after. I’m also fairly sure that I have a few undiagnosed allergies going on, which I should definitely sort out.
I’d therefore probably conclude that while Symprove didn’t improve my energy levels, there are other causes at play that even this magic probiotic can’t remedy.
Tummy – Calm, Peaceful and Quiet
Ironically, whilst I didn’t take Symprove for IBS, one of the biggest differences I’ve noticed is just how calm my stomach is.
Prior to taking it, I didn’t have any hugely dramatic symptoms, but I did get bloated quickly and if I ate certain foods I got a lot of gas (which felt really uncomfortable).
However, and without even really noticing it, all these symptoms have quite literally vanished. I’ve barely registered any bloating or gas – in fact, it’s a very rare occurrence if it does happen. I can even eat raw vegetables (something that used to trigger uncomfortable bloating) and feel fantastic, which is a significant improvement.
I’d therefore say that taking Symprove has perceptibly improved my gut health and definitely reduced the bloating that I used to suffer from.
Side Effects From Symprove
One thing I was a little nervous about were any side effects I might experience when taking Symprove.
Having read a fair few reviews of Symprove, I did notice that some people experienced a worsening of their (stomach related) issues when first taking the probiotic – something I prepared myself for.
However, on the whole, I didn’t really experience any side effects from Symprove. And when I did, it was entirely my own fault.
On two separate days, I couldn’t find the shot glass that helps you measure your 70ml of Symprove – so thought I’d just guess and swig from the bottle. I evidently drank much more than is recommended and as a result, experienced a really upset stomach.
While Symprove bacteria is ‘friendly’, it’s nonetheless powerful. Flooding your intestines with too much of it can therefore disrupt the balance and result in unwanted effects, something I can definitely attest to. I’d therefore recommend you carefully measure out your Symprove shot, unless you want to spend the day running to the bathroom.
My Symprove Review: The Verdict
Symprove has received an awful lot of hype and PR, with some of the country’s biggest newspapers and magazines reviewing it.
However, remove the smoke and mirrors and you might wonder whether Symprove is really worth it. Is spending £150 on some soluble bacteria for your gut really that sensible?
My verdict? Yes, Symprove is worth the money.
Before taking it, I really was a shell of a woman. I was incessantly ill – to the point that it was beginning to make me feel quite low. I had no energy, my sinuses were almost permanently infected and more mildly, I felt bloated and sensitive to certain foods.
My immune system could not catch a break and as such, I was stuck in a vicious cycle of illness after illness, virus after virus.
12 weeks on and I feel so much better. The science regarding gut health and its link to our immune system is now widely accepted – and I’m certain that by using Symprove to re-populate my gut with good bacteria, I’ve bolstered my immune system.
What I would say is that Symprove hasn’t improved my energy levels and while I’ve not had any more sinus infections, I’m still experiencing sinusitis. However, this probiotic isn’t a silver bullet – and nor does it claim to be – so perhaps I was a little optimistic for thinking it might help these issues.
12 weeks after having started Symprove and I feel in much better health – and I know that my immune system has been given the boost it needs. My stomach is a quiet and peaceful place, and I’m able to tolerate more foods than I was before.
Yes, this probiotic is not cheap – but spending £150 on my health has been worth every, single penny. They say that you can’t put a price on health and in this instance, I’m tempted to agree.
Buy your 12 week pack here.