Your Top DS-01® Questions, Answered

Our SciCare team is sharing the answers to five of the most frequently asked questions we receive about DS-01® —from the benefits of our synbiotic to how you know it’s working.

4 minutes

1 Citations

Probiotics are a science. But in a market flooded with confusion, mixed messaging, and hyperbolic claims, understanding this science can be difficult. We established SciCare* as a resource to help our community (i.e., you) navigate this landscape and better understand the world of probiotics and the science behind our innovations. Here, we double-click into DS-01® to answer five of the most frequently asked questions we get about our daily synbiotic. 

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

What does DS-01® do?

To answer this question, let’s first dive into how probiotics work. They travel through your intestines—interacting with local cells, nutrients, and your resident microbes—to deliver health benefits, before they exit your system. (There’s a good amount of science that supports the transient nature of probiotic organisms.1) As such, they typically don’t replace or replenish your existing gut microbes. That’s why continuous daily intake is important.

Now, let’s double-click into DS-01®. DS-01® is a daily synbiotic formulated with 24 clinically and scientifically studied probiotic strains (not commonly found in yogurt, most supplements, or fermented foods and beverages) and a non-fermenting prebiotic compound concentrated from Indian pomegranate. We formulate based on robust clinical and mechanistic research including the biologically active dose of each strain, and we validate the quality of our product through rigorous third-party testing for allergens, heavy metals, pesticides, and contaminants.

DS-01® takes a whole-body approach, formulated to deliver intra- and extra-intestinal benefits across core outcomes like digestive health, cardiovascular health, immune health, dermatological health, and micronutrient synthesis. 

Even more specifically, DS-01® includes strains that may support:

  • Digestive health by promoting healthy regularity and ease of bloating
  • Gut barrier integrity by supporting healthy gut barrier function and integrity
  • Gut immune function by supporting “cross-talk” between immune and intestinal cells
  • Cardiovascular health by promoting heart health and maintaining blood cholesterol levels already in the normal range
  • Dermatological health by promoting smooth, healthy skin and reinforcing healthy gut-skin axis
  • Micronutrient synthesis by supporting natural production of vitamins like B9, B12, and folate

To learn more, you can access the strain-specific clinical studies associated with each benefit in our Reference Library.

Now, you may be wondering…

How do I know DS-01® is working?

Everyone’s body is different, and each person’s experience with DS-01® is their own. What you feel, and when you feel it, will be a unique experience for you. Many of our members report noticing the effects of DS-01® due to localized benefits like ease of bloating and improved regularity. While some people may experience effects like these in as little as 24–48 hours after starting DS-01®, this is not always the case. For many others, the effects take longer, and for some, feeling no immediate effects can also be normal.

This is because your biochemical pathways are constantly at work, even though you may not necessarily “feel” their direct effects. There are dozens of beneficial interactions that can take place between probiotics, prebiotics, and your own collection of cells and microbes that contribute to your overall health, but are not as easy to identify as effects like ease of bloating. For example, strains in DS-01® have been studied to regulate inflammatory pathways and contribute to healthy immune function, while other strains have been studied to support the production of essential micronutrients like vitamins B12 and folate—all outcomes which you may not necessarily “feel” or notice right away. 

As long as you continue your daily intake, those beneficial microbes are doing their work inside to help support, sustain, and enhance your health.

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.

How should I store DS-01®?

We recommend storing DS-01® at room temperature, in a dry place. That’s because our probiotic strains are stable at ambient temperature (up to 79° F), which means that no refrigeration is necessary. 

If you’re surprised to read this, you’re not alone! It’s a common misconception that all probiotics need to be refrigerated. However, contrary to other perishable food products, refrigeration doesn’t mean “freshness” or superiority for bacteria. Whether a probiotic is refrigerated or shelf-stable, it undergoes exactly the same fermentation, blending, encapsulation, and bottling process. All probiotic organisms are lyophilized, meaning the water is sublimated (transitioned directly from liquid to gas) out of the organisms so they enter into a state of suspended animation and only become activated upon exposure to water. 

Regardless of storage requirements, the more important thing to look for is quality assurance testing, which validates shelf-stability and survivability through shipment, shelf-life, and digestion.

Can I take DS-01® with additional probiotic-containing supplements or foods? 

It’s perfectly fine to take DS-01® alongside other dietary supplements which contain probiotics. The benefits for probiotic organisms are assessed at strain and dosage level, so depending on the strain(s) and dosage(s) included in each product, the benefits will likely vary. Also, unlike certain micronutrients which have recommended upper limits, probiotic organisms don’t typically enter into systemic circulation (aka your bloodstream), and have not been known to reach levels of toxicity.

In addition to probiotic supplements, DS-01® can also be taken alongside fermented foods and beverages, such as kimchi, kombucha, or yogurt. In fact, we encourage it! But it’s important to note that while fermented foods and beverages are often labeled as “probiotic,” they often don’t actually meet the scientific definition of such (to learn more, check out our Probiotics 101 🤓). So, if you want to get verifiable probiotic benefits, you’ll most likely need to get them through supplementation.

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. 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.