Our aim is to help people to feel the best that they possibly can,’ explains Symprove founder and farmer, Barry Smith. ‘We believe that living your best, feeling your best and looking your best starts from within.’ If you live well, you should feel well, and if you feel well, you will look well – it’s that simple. It’s what Symprove calls ‘inside out thinking’ and it all starts with good gut health.
In Symprove’s case, it all began with an animal feed, which Barry developed in the Eighties. The feed was based on germinated barley and live bacteria, effectively a form of probiotic, and, having noted the positive impact it had on his animals, Barry realised it could also be beneficial to human health. After extensive research and a number of clinical studies, Symprove was launched in 2010.
While there has long been evidence that probiotics can support the gut microbiome, getting them past the body’s stomach acids is problematic. Because Symprove is water-based it doesn’t trigger digestion, so more live bacteria are able to pass through the stomach and have a greater chance of colonising the gut.
But, as we’re learning, gut health is not just about its relationship with physical health. As many people struggled with both their physical and mental wellbeing during several lockdowns, we saw more of a focus on the gut-brain axis – something nutritional therapist Eve Kalinik, who collaborates with Symprove, calls a ‘mindful ménage à trois between the microbiome, the gut and the brain’. The gut microbiome can change according to what you eat, your stress levels and quality of sleep. So, throwing a pandemic, social isolation and the fear of unemployment into the mix is bound to cause problems. To help with these, Symprove ran its first virtual event, Gut Matters, last year.
‘The aim of Gut Matters,’ says Chloe Kind, Digital Marketing Manager, ‘was to drive awareness of the brand and provide insights into the importance of the microbiome and gut health, as well as offer various tools to help people improve their general health through such things as exercise and nutrition. Gut Matters is also part of our commitment to working with ambassadors to provide educational content for our audiences, and something we are passionate about.’
As we look past the pandemic to what’s next, Symprove continues to educate and help its customers, posting YouTube videos from a number of experts, including TV’s Dr Alex George, Eve Kalinik, and performance coach and personal trainer Harry Jameson. It has also partnered with groups such as the British Dietetic Association and the Royal College of General Practitioners. ‘Symprove has seen an increase in customers over the past year as more and more people understand the important role that the microbiome has on their overall health,’ explains Barry. ‘The brand was founded in the belief that recovering and maintaining a healthy gut balance can help you live a fuller life. We hold that same belief today, remaining curious and dedicated to researching the microbiome and its links to overall health and wellbeing.’