Improving your microbiome is a great way to boost your health. For 12 weeks, the Top Santé team and a group of readers are going to try Symprove to see if they can tame their tums and feel better than ever.


What’s the problem?

It’s estimated that as much as 20 per cent of the UK population has irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which, rather than being a specific condition, is more of a blanket term for mild to severe symptoms such as bloating, pain, and diarrhoea or constipation. It can be down to illness or stress, sensitivity to certain foods or an imbalance in your gut bacteria

Why try probiotics?

Just as no two humans are the same, no two microbial makeups are the same either. There are believed to be around 1,000 different species of bacteria living inside each of us but the different types of bacteria vary.

We are exposed to various things which can shape or upset the balance of our bacteria. Shifts in our microbiome can happen very quickly – just taking one course of antibiotics can cause this. Avoiding some of the things that upset your gut can help, but in today’s fast-paced environment it’s not easy. You could try introducing multi-strain bacteria back into your gut on a daily basis for good gut health. That’s what members of the Top Santé team – and a group of readers – will be doing for the next 12 weeks to follow the 12-week programme Symprove recommend.

What is Symprove?

Symprove is a unique, liquid formulation containing four strains of live and active bacteria. It is clinically proven by independent medical trials. It is proven to arrive in the gut and thrive so that its live bacteria can get to where they are most needed. For more information visit


Meet the readers…

Hannah Marchant, 32

I’ve experienced tummy pains all my life, from an intense one in my stomach straight after eating that can only be eased by laying down for ages, to a low ache in my gut that goes on day and night for couple of weeks at a time. I also get a tense, knotted-up pain that seems to happen when I’m stressed or tense, or in the run-up to special occasions. I also suffer bloating and gas after eating and often at other times for an extended period. I want to see if this can improve my symptoms and give me the confidence I need for my wedding.

Clare Shanley, 40

I was diagnosed with IBS 20 years ago. A big factor for me is stress, and I have a very busy job and three boys at home. My symptoms are usually lower abdominal pain in spasms, bloating, constipation and I end up feeling very lethargic. Over the years, I have improved my diet and my exercise, which are great for stress and help to reduce the symptoms. But with a busy lifestyle, I still get tired and run down so I am really excited
to be part of this trial.

Sharon Trigg, 45

I have IBS with a bloated stomach and get a variety of symptoms from day to day, such as diarrhoea, constipation, stomach cramps and bloating. Depending on the symptom  my enjoyment of each day can be limited, so I am really excited to be trying Symprove.

Sally Argyle, 40

I often look six months’ pregnant, my bloating gets that bad! I am sometimes constipated and then at other times I have to go rushing to the toilet. It gives me low self-esteem and I feel less confident about going out when I have a bloated belly. It’s also uncomfortable, and when my tummy plays up it is no fun, as I never know when I might need an urgent trip to the toilet!

Jennifer Gaskell, 29

I’m very athletic (ultra-runner, Ironman triathlete, adventure racer), but my diet lets me down. I think I have IBS and often experience pain and bloating. I get abdominal pain and haven’t managed to find a food that is causing it through an elimination diet.
I often feel bloated, particularly in the afternoons, and I have bad skin on my chin.

Tarja Burtsal, 51

I suffer from type two diabetes, I’m struggling with my blood sugar readings and I am absolutely sure that the diabetes drug would work better if my gut was healthier. I suffer from constipation, bad wind, bloating and pain almost every day. I work in an open-plan office and it is very uncomfortable to try to hold in the wind at work. I also often have pain in the night so I am not sleeping well. The aim would be to improve my gut health so that I would not have these embarrassing situations and hopefully digesting my food better would  lead to better diabetes control.

Tina Lange, 44

I can sometimes wake with a huge belly looking nine months’ pregnant and on a daily basis I suffer pain and bloating and extreme wind! In the evenings I am very uncomfortable and feel full even when not eating much. I fluctuate between constipation and diarrhoea. I have been known to have ‘accidents’ also, mostly when I am running, which appears to be a trigger for my bowels to go into overdrive. I’m a little cynical so any improvement for me would be monumental!


…and the Top Santé team

We’re looking forward to improving our gut health too!

Sally Saunders, 38

I never had any problems with my stomach until I became pregnant. I suffered daily with indigestion, bloating and wind, but assumed it would pass when I had my babies. I was wrong! Several years down the line, I still have terrible bloating, cramps and get ridiculous wind. Some days I will be doubled up with the pain of indigestion. My gut can be very lazy too. I’m really looking forward to trying Symprove to see if I can get the better of this once and for all.

Katherine Watt, 33

I struggled with IBS and food sensitivities up until my teens when I discovered the importance of home-cooked food. My tummy remained problem-free until a health setback last year meant that I stopped exercising, had to go on different medications – and did a fair bit of comfort eating. That has led to bloating, cramps, weight gain and sluggishness. I’m a firm believer that a happy gut means a happy brain, so I’m looking forward to seeing what Symprove can do!

Larissa Chapman, 28

I suffer with lots of griping and gurgling, even if I eat well, and I tend to pick up bugs and other stomach-related niggles during times of stress and when change is afoot. My gut is often the first thing to be knocked out of whack in these situations. I’m due to start a new job and I’m already feeling the effects. I will be commuting on a busier train than usual and working in an office with many new people (therefore new germs) – this is just the sort of scenario that is likely to send my digestion off the scale. I’m so excited to be trying Symprove. I’d like to see if it can help keep my gut a little more in order throughout this process!

Yvonne Martin, 52

I don’t have too much trouble from these sort of symptoms unless I eat far too much, or something too rich, or am feeling stressed. I am very interested in trying a probiotic though as I believe it will improve my general health, because I know that getting your microbiome into good shape makes everything else in your body work better too.