- Does provide the basic probiotic bacteria strains
- Extremely over-priced probiotic
- Delivers a limited range of bacteria compared to other - cheaper - probiotics
- Anti-anxiety stack is decidedly average
- GABA cannot be supplemented orally; it is degraded in the stomach
Peptiva really surprised me. Most Peptiva reviews focus on the probiotic and sleep aid combo, but I decided to focus on the pure probiotic version. But it is still more of a sleep aid than a gut health formula! All we really get from Peptiva is a basic mix of probiotic bacteria – a limited mix at that – combined with some poor, unproven sleep aids and anxiolytics. The end result is a low quality supplement with an inexplicably high price tag! If you want to promote gut health, use a high quality prebiotic and probiotic stack.
What is Peptiva?
Peptiva, or Peptiva Advanced Digestive Relief to give it its full name, is a probiotic supplement. It is currently one of the most popular probiotics in the world, and one of the top-selling gut health supplements in the US.
Peptiva make a handful of supplements, all of which are variations on probiotics. Peptiva Advanced Digestive Relief is sold as a probiotic with an added “calming matrix”.
According to the box, Peptiva offers:
- Renewed digestive health
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Guaranteed potency
The Peptiva box also claims that this supplement is “doctor formulated”. Whenever you see this claim, you should be extremely skeptical. Not only is it often false, but something being doctor formulated does not mean it is definitely effective, safe, or good for you.
Does Peptiva really work? Is it good for gut health? Is Peptiva safe? Would we recommend it for optimal digestive function? Read our full Peptiva review below to find out.
How do probiotics work?
Before we discuss the ingredients in Peptiva, it’s worth talking about how probiotics are supposed to work.
When we talk about probiotics, we’re talking about exogenous bacteria species which influence our gut microbiome in a positive way.
Probiotic bacteria are bacteria which promote a healthy gut microbiome.
Probiotics might be bacteria species found naturally in the gut, the logic being that introducing more of them will help overpower negative, harmful bacteria in the gut. Or they could be bacteria species that are not prevalent in the gut microbiome, but which compete with harmful bacteria, thereby suppressing their growth.
In either case, probiotics are achieving the same thing – the promotion of healthy gut bacteria, and the suppression of harmful, or simply less helpful, bacteria species in the gut.
Of course, probiotics are not a one-size-fits-all solution. In taking probiotics, you are consuming foreign bacteria in a very unusual cocktail and in very larg equantities. Doing so over a prolonged period will create microbiome imbalances of its own. That’s why we recommend prebiotics rather than probiotics.
So, how does Peptiva stack up as a probiotic? Let’s look at the ingredients.
Here is the Peptiva ingredients list as you will see it on the box:
In case that image fails to load, here is a list of the Peptiva ingredients and doses:
- Lab4™ Clinical Cultures 50 Billion CFU
- Lactobacillus acidophilus (ATCC SD6865)
- Lactobacillus acidophilus (ATCC SD6866)
- Bifidobacterium bifidum (ATCC SD6869)
- Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis (ATCC SD6870)
- Stress Relief and Calming Matrix 375 mg
- L-theanine 200 mg †
- Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) 100 mg
- Lemon balm Extract (leaf and stem) 75 mg
Our thoughts on the Peptiva formula
Peptiva has quite a surprising and confusing formula.
Unlike other probiotics, it contains an anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) matrix. It is therefore not just a probiotic, but also an anti-anxiety and pro-sleep supplement.
This is not inherently a good thing. Few people want their daily gut health supplement to also suppress anxiety and promote sleepiness. These mechanisms are not related at all (although having a healthy gut microbiome will help you get a better night’s sleep).
The efficacy of Peptiva as a sleep aid or anti-anxiety supplement is also questionable.
Consuming GABA orally does absolutely nothing as the neurotransmitter is largely destroyed in the stomach; the little that is absorbed by the gut will most likely be used in the gut (the enteric nervous system uses a lot of GABA). Lemon balm extract lacks conclusive clinical backing, and 200mg of theanine isn’t going to do very much to suppress anxiety.
As a probiotic, Peptiva doesn’t look any more promising.
It contains a very basic mix of probiotic bacteria species; bacteria that you can obtain from any other probiotic supplement or a plethora of fermented foods such as yogurt, sauerkrau, kefir, etc. The large amount of bacteria is largely unimportant – whether it’s 50 billion CFU or 20 billion CFU, it doesn’t make any difference.
In other words, we only get a few bacteria strains from Peptiva, and they’re nothing special.
All things considered, Peptiva looks like an awful probiotic. It is an unimpressive probiotic, and the anxiety suppressing, sleep promoting stack is pathetic.
If you want to get a better nights sleep, use a good quality sleep aid. If you want to optimize gut health, opt for a high-spec prebiotic.
Pricing: Is Peptiva worth the money?
How much is Peptiva? Is it worth the money?
Peptiva Advanced Digestive Relief costs $64.99 per box. Each box contains a 1-month supply, so Peptiva costs just under $65.00 per month.
That is absurdly expensive for a probiotic!
By comparison, the most comprehensive probiotic we can find costs under $40. The best prebiotic on sale today – the supplement we actually recommend for gut health – costs around $30. That’s HALF the price of Peptiva Advanced Digestive Relief.
Some people might point to the anti-anxiety stack within Peptiva Advanced Digestive Relief to explain the price tag. But this still doesn’t stack up; GABA is useless, lemon balm is unproven, and theanine is obtainable in large quantities from tea.
None of these ingredients justify a $65 price tag!
Peptiva Side Effects
Is Peptiva safe? Will it cause side effects?
On the whole, we think Peptiva looks like a safe supplement for the vast majority of users. Assuming that you do not have any relevant pre-existent medical conditions, and that you only use the probiotic for a few weeks at most, side effects should be very rare.
The ingredients in Peptiva have all been tested in clinical trials and have been deemed safe for human consumption. Peptiva’s ingredients are actually all common in other supplements, and they are not known to cause health problems or side effects in most people.
The only side effect concern is the fact that Peptiva is a probiotic, and as such is not suitable for long-term, regular use.
Using probiotics on a daily basis for prolonged periods of time will inevitably produce microbiome imbalances, which leads to:
- Stomach cramps
- Loss of appetite
- Food cravings
Probiotics are supposed to provide a short-term, instant fix for an imbalanced gut microbiome. If you continue to need a probiotic, then you don’t actually need a probiotic; you need to change your lifestyle.
But on the whole, Peptiva looks like a safe probiotic to us.
Peptiva Review Summary: Should you buy it?
We do not think Peptiva represents a good purchase for anybody, regardless of what it is that you’re looking to achieve.
As an anti-anxiety supplement or sleep aid, it is pretty pathetic; you get basic ingredients, of which only one has conclusive clinical backing as a sleep aid and anxiolytic.
As a probiotic, Peptiva isn’t much better. All you get are four bacteria species, all of which are bog-standard bacteria strains you get in every probiotic on the market. You actually get these strains from most fermented foods too (which is one of our fundamental problems with probiotics – it’s hard to eat enough fiber, but it’s easy to have a yogurt).
The fact that Peptiva is priced at $64.99 a bottle is absolutely absurd. For what is an extremely basic supplement, this is an offensive price to charge your customers.
If you want to maximize gut health and promote a healthy gut microbiome, use a professional-quality prebiotic. The best prebiotic on sale today will set you back about $30, or less than half of the Peptiva price tag.
This is a rip-off probiotic – don’t waste your money!
Johan Theorin is an author, editor, and competitive cyclist. He is the author of most of the content on this website, and he is the site editor. Johan has spent years researching joint health, sports performance and recovery. He is a leading biohacking expert and an experienced physiotherapist.