Product Review: Seed's Female Daily Synbiotic

As a dietitian I am continuously reading new studies about food, nutrition, and health. And as a pediatric dietitian in particular, and also as someone currently trying to conceive, I pay special attention to studies that talk about the health and wellness of babies and children. There have been a few recent studies that focus on gut health in the pediatric population, with an emphasis on pre- and probiotics. Studies currently suggest that taking a probiotic during pregnancy can have a positive impact on the gut health of newborns.

All this lead me to look for a legit, high-quality probiotic. I can’t actually recall how I first found out about Seed, but after spending a lot of time on their website, I decided to order the Female Daily Synbiotic. Seed offers a reference library on their site that walks through the science of bacteria, human health, and their products — perfect for the sciencey side of my brain.

I had been on probiotics in the past and never really felt like they made an impact. I could take them or leave them. Knowing that, I’m not sure why I decided to order Seed, but I’m glad I did. I was skeptical but after a week I could tell a major difference in my gut function. It’s been over month and, um, things are running like a well-oiled machine. I feel like I can actually feel it working. Seed contains “24 clinically-studied, naturally-occurring, human-derived strains” (that travel through the digestive tract intact in a patented algae delivery and stability system no less!) and support more than just gut health. What other changes might I experience as time goes on? Some of the bacterial strains included are reported to support skin and heart health, immune function, and metabolism.

The only negative side effect I noticed is that when I take it as directed (on an empty stomach at least one hour prior to a meal containing fiber) I would have some mild nausea about 30 minutes later that would pass in about 15 to 20 minutes. Of note, I get up at 5:30am daily and run on the treadmill for about an hour, so I’m sure all that jostling could be a factor in how this makes me feel. I messaged Seed to ask about possible other ways to take it to sidestep this but still allow the product to work as intended. I was supplied with a handful of alternatives, such as prior to bed, or even with meals; basically “however works best for [my] body” that allows for a daily dose. I wrote back to ask what the next most effective way to take it would be, if I’m not taking it as directed (because of course I did). Here’s a section of the response:

For a deeper understanding, probiotics are live, beneficial organisms which are vulnerable to digestion, mainly the effects of stomach acid and digestive enzymes. While our product comes in an acid-resistant capsule, we recommend taking probiotics on an empty stomach to limit exposure to digestive enzymes and bile salts, which could potentially impact the viability. Of course, it is most important to take them daily, which means taking them with food is better than forgetting a dose or not taking them at all.

I tried taking it before bed several nights in a row, and it totally solved the nausea issue. But… because I want to do things “the right way” (I’m stubborn like that) I went back to taking them when I woke up on an empty stomach (even though that was totally unnecessary). But here’s an update: Because of a comment on this very post I’ve switched to taking it after my morning workout, and then having a meal 30-60 minutes later and it has completely solved the nausea issue for me. Here’s the advice I received from Anthony L. Almada, MSc:

A few studies over the past six years have shown that, following intense exercise, digestion and absorption of nutrients (protein and carbs) are compromised for ≈ 30+ minutes post-exercise [Note: these studies are in females and males...]. Because exercising muscles are hungry for blood flow they “divert” blood supply away from the gut, which may explain your tummy troubles. Endurance exercise (like your 60 min run) and resistance exercise have also been shown in numerous studies to create an acute “leaky gut”.

Given your gut reactions to empty stomach (presumably pre-run) supplementation with our Daily Synbiotic, you may want to try taking it 30 minutes POST-run and then eating 30 minutes later. A few of our strains also have evidence in humans supporting a gut integrity effect, a nice contrast to exercise-induced leakiness.

I am thrilled that I am able to take these on an empty stomach without the nausea.

Seed's Female Daily Synbiotic works well for me, and that’s fantastic, but there’s something else I want to talk about: the packaging! If you can’t tell from the photo above, Seed comes in these beautiful, green glass bottles! A big one and a smaller one that holds 21 capsules (enough for 7 days) — perfect for traveling. When these glass bottles arrive (the first shipment), they are encased in a tray that was grown by mushrooms! More specifically, by mycelium, the root structure of mushrooms, which acts like a glue that binds waste together to create a product that replaces synthetic materials and will compost in 30 days. When it’s time for the next shipment, you keep the glass bottle, and the next 30-day supply comes in a “home-compostable, bio-based pouch that is oxygen and moisture resistant” — such a brilliant concept.

Here’s what the monthly refill shipment looks like:

What doesn’t go in the compost bin (the sorghum-based foam from the second picture) dissolves under running water like magic! And that metallic-looking pouch? Yep, compostable. Genius.

Overall I am very impressed. I can’t wait to see what other benefits I’ll experience as I continue to take this product. Have you ever taken Seed? Or have you had luck with another brand? Let me know in the comments!

Disclaimer: I did not receive any financial gain from the company for writing this post, nor will I receive funds from any sales generated by this post. Also, I’m a dietitian, but I’m not your dietitian. This post contains my personal experience, and is in no way to be used in place of advice from your own medical or nutrition professionals. Thank you!