Your Most-Frequently Asked Questions About DS-01® in 2023

This year, our SciCare team received over 15,000 health, science, and product-related inquiries from our community. Here, we share answers to the five of the most-asked questions about DS-01®.

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As the year comes to a close, we find ourselves incredibly grateful for our community’s endless curiosity. From thought-provoking comments on Instagram, to the hundreds of inquisitive emails we receive daily, your questions inspire us to show up every day with care—to research, synthesize, and translate the world of the microbiome into actionable knowledge that empowers better health. 

Throughout 2023, our SciCare team* received over 15,000 inquiries, spanning the microbiome, gut health, probiotics, and more. Here, we share the answers to five of the most-asked questions about DS-01® from the year. 

* 👋 SciCare is our team of experts who answer all your science, health, and product-related questions. Have a question? Email

Why do you recommend taking DS-01® on an empty stomach? Would it be okay to take it with food? 

Probiotics are live organisms that are vulnerable to digestion, mainly the effects of stomach acid and digestive enzymes. When you eat something, your body kicks into digestive gear, and starts increasing the production of stomach acid. Even after you’ve finished eating, food typically remains in the stomach for about 2-3 hours.1 Here, stomach muscles churn and mix it with digestive acids and enzymes to help break it down into smaller, more digestible pieces, before the contents finally move onto the small intestine. During this time, the stomach environment is tumultuous, to say the least, and not the most conducive to probiotic passage. This is why we ideally recommend taking DS-01® either at least 10 minutes before eating, or 2-3 hours after eating.

Some members have shared that taking DS-01® on an empty stomach may result in discomfort. They often find that this can be resolved by taking DS-01® closer to a meal, later in the day or alongside a snack. 

If you’re worried about the effectiveness of consuming DS-01® with food, rest assured, your bacteria will survive. DS-01® harnesses a nested capsule technology—ViaCap®—a probiotic inner capsule housed in an outer capsule containing a solubilized prebiotic blend. When evaluating DS-01® in SHIME®—the closest system developed to model digestion and the gut—the ViaCap® capsules were seen to be resistant to the harmful pH of the stomach and deliver live bacteria to the target site (lower intestines). 

Ultimately, you know your body best—if it’s more comfortable for you to take with food, please feel free to do so. The most important thing is consistency, daily (remember: probiotics are transient), so try to find a time and method that works best for you and is most easily tolerated by your body.

Are there any “side effects” of DS-01®?

Generally speaking, most probiotic strains haven’t indicated any kind of safety concerns in clinical trials, and there are no “side effects” to be cautioned of. The specific strains in our DS-01® have GRAS and QPS status, which designates them as safe for consumption by the United States and European Union, respectively. 

While there are no safety concerns, it is important to remember that your body is an ecosystem, and the introduction of any new species into an ecosystem requires adaptation. As with any new diet, product, or change, it can be very normal to experience a temporary acclimation period when starting DS-01®. These “adjustment symptoms” could include mild gastrointestinal discomfort, gas/bloating, or changes in your stool patterns or consistency. The good news: An immediate physiological reaction is a sign that our probiotics are viable and attuning to your system as they move through your gastrointestinal tract. Any discomfort should subside within the first few weeks of consistent, daily use.

If the effects you’re experiencing persist beyond a few weeks, or worsen, we always suggest consulting with a primary care provider who may advise with the full knowledge of your health and medical history.

How long should I take DS-01® for? 

Most scientific literature shows the benefits of probiotic organisms are confined to the duration of use, meaning their efficacy depends on consistent intake.2 This is because probiotics are transient microorganisms—they travel through your gastrointestinal tract to exert their effects, before they exit your system. Along their journey, viable probiotics can survive in the human gut and impact your local cells and resident bacteria to deliver benefits, without actually colonizing the gut themselves. You can think of them like temporary house guests, rather than long-term residents. The transient nature of probiotics is why we offer DS-01® on a subscription basis, and why we stress the importance of continued daily intake.

Of course, how long you decide to take DS-01® is completely up to you. But given the points above, any benefits you experience while using DS-01®—from tangible benefits like ease of bloat to those that are not necessarily felt, like production of short-chain fatty acids—will likely subside once you stop taking your capsules. 

What happens if I forget to take my capsules? 

It’s okay if you forget to take DS-01®—we’ve all been there. Simply resume taking your capsules according to your normal schedule as soon as you can. 

If you’ve missed more than a few weeks, you may experience a “re-acclimation” period as your body attunes to the probiotic organisms. In this case, you can consider easing back into your DS-01® routine with one capsule per day for a few days, before moving onto two. 

Kindly note, we do not recommend doubling doses to account for any missed days. The recommended daily dose (two capsules per day) is based on the dosages used for each strain in their respective clinical trials and scientific studies. So, in this case, “more” isn’t always better. 

I can’t swallow pills. Can I take PDS-08® as an adult?

Great question! The short answer: Yes. 

While the strains in our PDS-08® Pediatric Daily Synbiotic have been studied in ages 3-17, PDS-08® is generally safe and suitable to take as an adult, too. However, we are unable to say for certain whether or not PDS-08® will offer the same benefits for adults because our strains and their respective dosages were selected based on clinical data in children and adolescents. That said, these strains have a long history of research and many of them have also been studied in adult populations for various endpoints related to digestive and systemic health. 

In addition to probiotics, PDS-08® includes two kinds of prebiotics (fructooligosaccharides and inulin) with robust clinical data that shows they can support the growth of beneficial bacteria and promote healthy digestive function, regardless of age. Fun fact: We selected one short-chain and one long-chain prebiotic (fructooligosaccharides and inulin, respectively) to amplify benefits throughout the GI tract. Once consumed, the short-chain fibers are used quickly by beneficial microbes in the middle of the GI tract, while the long-chain fibers are digested more slowly, targeting activity in the colon. 

We receive and answer questions like these every day. Stay tuned for more SciCare roundups on Cultured. If you have any questions of your own, email us at


  1. Lee, Y. Y., Erdogan, A., & Rao, S. S. (2014). How to assess regional and whole gut transit time with wireless motility capsule. Journal of neurogastroenterology and motility, 20(2), 265–270.
  2. Ciorba M. A. (2012). A gastroenterologist’s guide to probiotics. Clinical gastroenterology and hepatology : the official clinical practice journal of the American Gastroenterological Association, 10(9), 960–968.