What is ProbioStress?
Formulated by Harvard and MIT-educated scientists, ProbioStress is a once-daily nutritional supplement that promises to safely and effectively alleviate stress, tension, and anxiety.
ProbioStress only contains natural ingredients that have been clinically shown to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety by regulating cortisol levels, boosting focus and concentration, and improving positivity and relaxation.
In addition, the supplement claims to balance the bacteria in your gut, ease constipation, gas, bloating, and other frustrating digestive issues.
This way, SmartBiotics tells us that ProbioStress can address your mental wellbeing, along with the resulting physical discomfort, and improve your ability to deal with stressful situations and occasional anxiety.
Sure, this all sounds great, especially if you’re crippled by stress and all the physical side effects it can cause.
But it ProbioStress really a “brilliant approach” to reducing stress? Does it contain a game-changing formula, or is it just more of the same offered by hundreds of other supplements?
We’re here to help you make an informed decision about ProbioStress, so stick with us as we discuss what we learned during our research.
What Is Stress? Is There a Connection Between Stress & Poor Digestive Health?
The original definition of stress, coined in 1936 by endocrinologist Hans Selye, is simply “the non-specific response of the body to any demand for change.” Not very helpful, right?
Stress is difficult to define since it can be caused by something as straightforward as an upcoming job interview or as complex as a death in the family or a natural disaster thousands of miles away.
Although it might not feel this way, stress isn’t always a bad thing. This is because the fight or flight reaction triggered by a stressor (an event that causes stress) can help keep us safe when encountering a potential threat, temporarily boosting brainpower and immunity, and also motivating us to succeed.
However, our body didn’t evolve to handle ongoing, or chronic, stress, which can lead to physical problems like high blood pressure, chest pain, and heart problems, and even worsen current medical conditions, such as arthritis and diabetes.
Why? When our brain perceives stress, the hypothalamus instructs the adrenal glands to release hormones like cortisol and adrenaline.
As a result, your heart begins pumping faster and your breathing speeds up, while your blood vessels constrict and consequently increases blood pressure. When subjected to this for long periods of time, it can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke.
What Is the Gut-Brain Connection?
This combination of elevated hormones, heart rate, and rapid breathing can also cause digestion issues like pain, bloating, and general discomfort. Why?
Without boring you to tears, the autonomic nervous system (ANS) is responsible for regulating the function of your internal organs. The ANS is part of the larger peripheral nervous system, which involves the brain and spinal cord and is what responds to stress.
As a result, there is often a direct correlation between excessive and/or chronic stress and digestion issues, since our brain and our belly are like two sides of the same coin.
But will the probiotics found in ProbioStress help relieve the situation? Let’s talk more about this next.
Are ProbioStress’ Ingredients Effective For Stress Relief?
While we’re not provided with a complete nutritional label for ProbioStress, we’re told it contains the following five ingredients:
- WellMood – A “patented multi-strain probiotic” that claims to reduce cortisol levels
- LactoSpore – A probiotic that claims to effectively survive your stomach acid and make its way into your digestive tract where it can go to work
- KSM-66 – An ashwagandha root extract that boosts mental clarity, concentration, and alertness
- Saffron Extract: 30mg
Although the ProbioStress website didn’t indicate exactly which strains are found in WellMood, we found a third-party site indicating that it contains 3 billion CFU of Lactobacillus helveticus and Bifidobacterium longum.
Lactobacillus is the most common probiotic ‘family’ found in supplements, which seem to be especially effective against diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, and improving immune system function. However, we didn’t encounter any specific, clinically supported benefits for the helveticus strain.
Bifidobacterium is the second most common probiotic family, and longum seems to be especially effective at addressing diarrhea and some gastrointestinal diseases.
LactoSpore is a branded version of Bacillus coagulans, a bacteria strain shown to help boost immune system response and treat antibiotic-induced diarrhea.
Similarly, KSM-66 is a branded version of ashwagandha that the manufacturer claims can help reduce stress, improve mental clarity, and even enhance sports performance.
However, the company provides no clinical evidence to support these claims, and authoritative websites like WebMD indicate there isn’t enough clinical evidence showing ashwagandha is effective for treating any conditions.
On the other hand, 30mg of saffron daily may help address depression, although nothing is noted on authoritative websites about stress or anxiety.
Finally, BioPerine is a proprietary version of black pepper extract, which may help improve the absorption of ingredients. However, there doesn’t seem to be any clinical evidence that it can provide any benefits on its own.
Is ProbioStress Clinically Proven?
Outside of these individual ingredients, we didn’t encounter any clinical trials indicating ProbioStress works as advertised.
According to the third-party website we linked to above, though, the supplement was the subject of a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical study conducted in 2014 involving 30 participants experiencing mild stress.
After the 6-week study was complete, each participant filled out a 25-question survey. The company tells us that those given ProbioStress reported a decrease in anxiety symptoms and improved sleep, although we’re not told to what degree.
We reached out to the company for a copy of this study, and we’ll be sure to update this review as soon as a response is received.
Will ProbioStress’ Ingredients Cause Any Side Effects?
In most cases, ProbioStress’ ingredients won’t cause anything worse than mild, temporary digestive upset. This is especially true of probiotics, which can cause bloating and gassiness in the first few days, but which should subside soon thereafter.
In rare instances, WebMD indicates that saffron can cause dry mouth, anxiety (exactly what you’re trying to avoid!), dizziness, drowsiness, and even allergic reactions in some people.
This is why it’s always a wise idea to speak with your physician before you begin taking any new nutritional supplement.
How Much Does ProbioStress Cost?
The only way to purchase a bottle of ProbioStress is through the company’s 15-day trial. Here, you’ll be charged $2.99 S&H and will be sent a full-size bottle (30 capsules).
Pro tip: When we attempted to click off the ordering screen, a pop-up appeared that decrease the S&H cost to $0.99.
Once your trial expires, which begins on the date your order is placed, you’ll be charged the full price of $69.99.
You’ll also be enrolled in the ProbioStress VIP Membership Program, where you’ll be sent a new bottle once per month and charged $69.99 plus $4.99 S&H each time.
Although ProbioStress comes with a 30-day money back guarantee, less S&H, it’s important to point out that only VIP Membership orders are eligible for returns if the bottle has been opened.
In order to request a refund, you’ll need to call customer service at 855-967-6937 or 877-869-3308.
Finally, although the ProbioStress website indicates it’s available at national retailers like CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, and GNC, we didn’t find any indication of this on their respective websites.
Does ProbioStress’ Manufacturer Have Any Online Customer Reviews?
ProbioStress was too new at the time of our research to have garnered any online feedback, but the manufacturer, SmartBiotics, LLC, also makes popular supplements like ProbioSlim (featuring the same LactoSpore ingredient) and ProBiomune.
Here on HighYa, 300+ readers had given ProbioSlim an average rating of 2.2 stars, with common compliments referencing effective results (weight loss, reduced waist size, improved digestion, reduced hunger) and helpful customer service.
On the other hand, the vast majority of complaints referenced problems with the trial, although most seemed unaware that they’d be billed full price soon after placing their order. Less common complaints included no results, high price, and less-than-stellar support.
Obviously, we’re not saying you’ll experience the same with ProbioStress. But considering the supplement is only available through a trial, we definitely think it’s worth keeping in mind.
Searching online for ProbioStress, we encountered a French company named Green Plants Extracts (GPE), who sells the supplement in powdered form in bulk, capsules, and blister packs.
Whether or not this is the actual manufacturer, who then sells their formulation to other companies, remains unclear. Again, we’ll update this as soon as a response is received.
Can You Expect ProbioStress to Reduce Your Stress & Anxiety?
We didn’t test ProbioStress firsthand, and without any online customer feedback yet, there's no way to know how much stress reduction you'll realistically experience with the supplement.
However, this doesn’t mean we can’t come to an empowered decision based on everything we’ve discussed here. Let’s explain:
Probiotics Come With Many Benefits
The HighYa team has reviewed dozens of probiotic supplements over the years, including popular options like the ProbioSlim mentioned above, as well as Probiotic America, PerfectBiotics, TruBiotics, and Culturelle.
During this time, we’ve learned about the reams of clinical evidence indicating that these microscopic organisms play a huge role in our digestive process and the support they provide for our immune system.
So, if you’re experiencing digestion-related issues, including gassiness and bloating, probiotics could provide some meaningful relief. Just be sure to speak with your doctor first.
While taking a probiotic supplement may help relieve digestion issues resulting from excess stress, though, we didn’t encounter any evidence that probiotics can address stress itself.
Which Probiotic Is Right For You?
We’ve learned that there can be meaningful similarities, along with some significant differences, between probiotics sold online and at retailers near you.
As but a couple of examples, Probiotic America contains 30 billion colony-forming units (CFU) of 15 different strains of bacteria, while ProbioStress only contains 3 billion CFU of two different strains.
PerfectBiotics contains 12 strains and other potentially helpful ingredients, while Culturelle’s Digestive Health formula only contains one strain.
Pro tip: Nearly every probiotic supplement on the market features technology that allows the bacteria it contains to pass unharmed through your stomach, so we don’t think this should factor into your purchasing decision.
On the other hand, compared to ProbioStress’ nearly $70 price tag, a bottle of Culturelle will only set you back $24. TruBiotics likely won’t cost you more than $20 and Probiotic America $47.
What’s the point?
Except in very specific circumstances, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of clinical evidence indicating that taking a greater number of bacteria (a higher CFU count) will provide meaningfully better results. And there certainly isn’t any evidence that paying more for a probiotic supplement will deliver the same, either.
Because of this, we’re not sure that ProbioStress’ meaningfully higher price will necessarily deliver a better value. And considering that the only way to purchase a bottle is through a free trial (which are never free) and subsequent VIP Membership Program, if it were out money, we might explore local options before placing an order for ProbioStress.
In the meantime, be sure to read 6 Ways to Naturally Improve Your Focus, Energy, Productivity, and Decrease Stress. Afterward, you might not need to purchase a stress-related supplement at all!
Before you go: Tell us about your experience with ProbioStress by writing a review below!