Symprove review – gut gurus or hopeful hype?

You can spend a lot of money on gut supplements, but be unsure about whether they are working their magic or not. This Symprove Review aims to describe my experience with this probiotic and perhaps help you decide if you want to give it a go too.

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500ml plastic bottle filled with a yellowish liquid, on a white tiled surface with a bath tap slightly out of focus on the left, and a small white plant pot on the right containing a small spiky dark green plant. The bottle has a white screw on cap and a large label - the lower half of the label is a blue-green swirly pattern, and the upper part of the label is white with the Symprove branding printed on it, and describing the contents which is Symprove's water-based probiotic supplement. This image is to illustrate this Symprove review

As someone with rosacea, a chronic inflammatory facial skin condition, I have regularly had to take antibiotics to combat its associated infections. Couple that with my earlier working life (which had its fair share of stress, long hours and irregular eating over the years) and you have all the ingredients for creating a pretty needy gut! But unconvinced by traditional probiotic supplements, and unsure about the long-term impact of various prescribed medications, I simply went with it. But after reading about this innovative product, I was convinced enough by its formulation to give it a try and overall, I’m glad I did. Read more about my experience with this food supplement – the positives and negatives – in this Symprove review.

Editor’s rating: 4.6 / 5

Pros

  • Convincing formula
  • Easy to use
  • Positive results

Cons

  • Packaging
  • Cost

What is Symprove?

This is essentially a food supplement that contains 4 strains of beneficial bacteria, designed to boost and support your gut microbiome with a single, daily dose. Its efficacy is backed up by some impressive independent scientific research and trials, and the potential benefits of having a healthy microbiome include better digestion, a more effective immune system, improvements to inflammatory bowel conditions, and even better mental health. Whilst Symprove claim that this product is suitable for everyone, you should of course consult with a medical professional if you have any concerns when considering a supplement.

The positives

Initially encouraged by the results from independent scientific trials where Symprove was used, I have been further convinced by the positive effects I’ve experienced since starting to take it. And it’s easy to use too, so let’s start by looking at the positives of this product:

500ml plastic bottle filled with a yellowish liquid, held in front of a green leafed plant in someone's left hand. The bottle has a white screw on cap and a large label - the lower half of the label is a blue-green swirly pattern, and the upper part of the label is white with the Symprove branding printed on it, and describing the contents which is Symprove's water-based probiotic supplement

Convincing formula

Unlike Symprove, most probiotics come in powder form in capsules that may have sat on health shop shelves for months, if not longer. And although I’m sure that the microscopic bacteria sitting in those powder-filled capsules waiting for their moment are just having a nap, I find it hard to believe that they will all spring into action, energised by a couple of sips of water and the inside of my oesophagus as I desperately struggle to swallow them.

So, as you may have already realised from that explanation, I’m not actually a scientist…but, I am a very interested amateur in these things and tend to do a lot of research, particularly in regard to food, nutrition, supplementation, and all things vegan really. And I do know that it is very difficult for a probiotic to actually survive its journey through your gut to the point where it can actually do something positive. And that is why Symprove is interesting.

First up, it contains a strain of bacteria known as Lactobacillus. Scientifically proven to withstand your digestive juices, it reaches the parts other bacteria cannot reach (apologies for an inaccurate homage to a very old, well-known beer advert there). In fact, the prestigious University College London proved that Symprove bacteria:

  • are alive when they enter the body
  • can survive the journey through the stomach
  • continue to thrive once they reach the lower gut

One of the main reasons for this product’s success is that the bacteria is living its best life in a cocktail of water and gluten free barley extract right up to the point that you take it, not sitting glumly in a powder-filled capsule hoping for eventual release. Genius…

There are plenty of other independent scientific trials that have involved Symprove – take a look at my Research References below for more detail.

Use discount code VEGANMUM50 for an exclusive 50% discount


500ml plastic bottle filled with a yellowish liquid, on a cloth surface with a 70ml shallow plastic measuring cup slightly in front and to the right of it. The measuring cup is filled with the same liquid and has some air bubbles floating on the top of it. The bottle has a white screw on cap and a large label - the lower half of the label is a blue-green swirly pattern, and the upper part of the label is white with the Symprove branding printed on it, and describing the contents which is Symprove's water-based probiotic supplement. The photo has been taken in a garden setting in dappled sunlight with out of focus greenery in the background. This image is to illustrate this , Symprove UK review and how easy the product is to use.

Easy to use

Most customer reviews of Symprove on Trustpilot are incredibly positive and they have an ‘excellent’ rating (at the time of publishing this review). There were a few negatives, but I suspect some of them were people trying very hard to find fault.

Anyway, I have found it to be very easy to use. It comes with a perfectly-sized plastic measuring cup which you fill up and drink. I do it when I first wake up, 10 minutes before I eat or drink anything else – as long as it takes me to boil the kettle, scoop coffee into the cafetiere, and prepare my first caffeine hit of the day. That’s it. Unopened bottles can be stored in a cupboard but once opened, it goes in the fridge.

I also like all of the 3 different flavours – original, mango & passion fruit, and strawberry & raspberry, and to my own surprise, now like the last one most of all (although will happily consume any of them). It does make it easier to take when you like the flavour of something – for anyone who has ever taken a seaweed-based supplement, they’ll know what I mean!

And if you’re travelling, Symprove do nifty travel-sized bottles so that you don’t need to take the fridge with you! And I can’t think of a better thing to pack in all honesty because since first publishing this review, I have been travelling and it has certainly helped protect me from tummy bugs abroad. You do need to be a subscriber however to be able to buy them because you can only add the travel bottles to your regular order.

Use discount code VEGANMUM50 for an exclusive 50% discount


500ml plastic bottle filled with a yellowish liquid, lying on a rustic brick floor on the left hand side of the photo. To the right is a flexible plastic tape measure, with yellow 'inch' markings on one side and different coloured centimetre markings on the other, including yellow, red and green. The tape measure is wrapped around the bottle on the left and the remainder is coiled to the right of the bottle. The bottle has a white screw on cap and a large label - the lower half of the label is a blue-green swirly pattern, and the upper part of the label is white with the Symprove branding printed on it, and describing the contents which is Symprove's water-based probiotic supplement

Positive results

Since taking Symprove I have seen some positive results which I believe are relevant, including:

  • a better-regulated appetite (I consistently feel more satisfied with less food)
  • more regular (and less frequent) bowel habits
  • fewer pains in my lower digestive tract
  • I have lost an inch and a half off my waistline – seriously!
  • and I have started to see similar improvements to my rosacea flare-ups as I do when using vegan collagen – see Vegan Mum’s Arella vegan liquid collagen review to find out more about that. Consequently, I haven’t had to resort to antibiotics for over 12 months which is amazing.

Importantly, my positive experience concurs with the many positive reviews that this brand has online from thousands of other customers too.

Use discount code VEGANMUM50 for an exclusive 50% discount


The negatives

There are some negatives associated with Symprove though, including the use of plastic, the price of the product, and I guess that it’s difficult to prove its efficacy personally unless participating in a scientific trial where the gut biome is measured ‘before and after’.

Packaging

Yes, it’s a bit of an old chestnut, but the product does come in plastic bottles and each box of 4 bottles has a plastic measuring cup. However, it is rather difficult to see what else it could be packaged in to be honest. It’s liquid, so I guess the alternatives are a tetra-pak (and I’m not sure that they aren’t less environmentally friendly, and more difficult to recycle) or glass, and aside from the transportation weight of glass bottles, I wouldn’t fancy counting the potential breakages and additional packaging required to protect them!

So in order to have an effective product in liquid form, plastic bottles it is. And they are made from PET plastic, so largely recycled – and recyclable – lightweight, and shatterproof.

Update on packaging July ’24: I’m pleased to say that Symprove have changed the plastic used to make the dosing cup to make it easily recyclable, and you now only receive one in your first delivery and not in every box you order. An improvement which suggests to me that they are gradually looking for better solutions.


Cost

I guess Symprove is good value for money providing you see good results from it, but it isn’t cheap.

  • A rolling subscription will cost you just under £50 per month
  • Readers of this Symprove review can use Vegan Mum’s exclusive discount code that will get you 50% off the first 12 weeks of that rolling subscription. By my calculations you’d therefore pay £25 per month for that period – use discount code: VEGANMUM50 at checkout
  • you can make even bigger savings if you commit for 12 months – to just under £40 per month – although that is a pretty big commitment

soft focus headshot of vegan mum, wearing glasses, holding a 500ml plastic bottle of Symprove in front of her

Vegan Mum’s Conclusion of this Symprove Review

As a long-term user of antibiotics to treat my rosacea flare-ups, my gut biome has taken a bit of a bashing over the years, and with so much evidence emerging about the biome’s importance to health – both mental and physical – I grew quite concerned about those helpful little microorganisms that woosh around my gut sorting out the bad guys. Not that I’m complaining about antibiotics – they are a range of wonder drugs that have saved countless lives – but every medicine has its downside, and some changes to the flora in your gut are likely when you use them.

Then factor in the negative impacts of:

  • Stress – like many others, I felt the stresses and strains of work and long hours for many years in my earlier career – even feeling butterflies in your stomach is a sign of stress, however low level
  • Modern diets – processed foods and ready meals can offer so much in the way of convenience (what could be more helpful when you are under pressure of work than instant food whenever you want it?)

All a perfect storm for your gut biome, and I was guilty on all counts which is perhaps why I have struggled with gut issues for years including: abdominal pain, bloating, gallstones, overeating and weight gain, painful trapped wind, and irregular and changeable bowel habits. And it seems that I have never been able to put it all right again, despite avoiding processed foods, making alcohol a rare treat, and removing almost all refined sugar and saturated fats.

So when I read about some of the scientific evidence surrounding Symprove, including independent trials, I decided to give it a try and have been taking it for over 2 months. Following a short, initial reaction to it – basically, more frequent visits to the loo for a few days – I have found that has now regulated and my bowel habits are even better than they were before I started taking it. And despite a diet high in fibre, beans, wholegrains, legumes – I’m a vegan so if it’s gassy, I eat it – I react far less and no longer suffer with trapped wind pain at all.

And then a couple of bizarre things I wasn’t expecting:

  • Firstly, I am eating less because I feel more satisfied with less food; and although I haven’t really lost any weight, I have lost an inch and a half off my waistline. Less bloating? Maybe…it’s like my stomach is much more in touch with my brain than it was before. I said it was bizarre!
  • Secondly, similar to when I have taken a vegan collagen supplement previously (read my Arella vegan liquid collagen review for more detail on that) my rosacea inflammation has significantly reduced. I have heard talk of a skin biome – is it linked to the gut biome and if so, does Symprove support that too? I don’t have the answers, but I’ll take the results!

OK, we can probably agree that Symprove is not cheap, and the packaging is a bit of a headache too, but overall it has been a positive experience and I am very confident that it has given my gut biome a terrific reset. As a result, I think I will probably do a 3 month stint of it every year – I can’t help feeling that my varied, wholefood vegan diet does a good job of sustaining a healthy biome once I have it, but giving it a boost every so often has got to be a good thing. And if you’re going to do that, then the Symprove gut gurus would definitely be my recommendation!

Use this discount code VEGANMUM50 for an exclusive 50% off

Alternatives to Symprove

Whilst I haven’t found an exact-same product, there are of course other supplements out there that make similar claims. Read about one of those in my Dr Vegan Debloat and Detox review.

Research References

I carried out a lot of online research for this Symprove review. Please find some of those research references below:

US Government National Library of Medicine – double-blind trial using Symprove

NLM – use of complementary medicines in IBD

WebMD – lactobacillus

Healthline – lactobacillus benefits

Penny Barkas


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