Gut Health

What Is "Die Off"?

By Joanie Blaxter, National Educator, Just Thrive

"Die-off… Is a Good Thing!" 

A primary role of your beneficial bacteria is to act as the watchdogs of your gut, keeping things in healthy balance by crowding out harmful pathogens.

Experts now estimate, however, that approximately 80-90% of Americans have an insufficient population of beneficial bacteria in combination with an overgrowth of bad bacteria.

These pathogens are not generally not considered lethal, but... If left unchecked, they produce low-level irritants which inflame the gut wall, impact your immune system, leak into the bloodstream, and challenge your liver and kidneys.

"Die-off," also known as a Herxheimer Reaction, occurs when these gut pathogens are killed, causing their cell wall to burst open and dump toxins previously contained inside the bacteria into the intestines.
The good news about Die-off is two-fold:

  1. This is a one-time spike because those bad bacteria are now dead and gone, never to bother us again.
  2. And, the more a pathogenic overgrowth is reduced, the closer we come to the long-term health associated with a balanced and resilient gut microbiome.

The bad news is you may (or may not) notice some temporary discomfort from this gut rebalancing.

The Power of Unmatched Potency

Both Just Thrive Probiotic & Antioxidant and Just Thrive Precision PREbiotic are gut-supportive products unlike anything that's previously been available in the retail market.

  • A recent clinical study showed that Just Thrive’s spore-based Probiotic alone encouraged keystone, beneficial gut bacteria by 10-100 FOLD at one cap daily.
  • That benefit appears to effectively DOUBLE with the addition of Precision Prebiotic at one scoop daily, according to Kiran Krishnan, research microbiologist behind Just Thrive.

But all that gut goodness sometimes means your body has to play catchup.

Your detox organs, which clean bacterially-produced irritants from the bloodstream, may become temporarily overloaded by all the pathogen die-off.

The key word here is "temporarily"... It will (and always does) get better!

And, it's important to note that die-off most certainly isn't a given... 

woman drinking water

    Experiences Will Vary

    Whether or not you experience a reaction will be determined by a handful of factors such as:

    • How fast low populations of beneficial bacteria increase
    • The numbers of pathological bacteria (previously in your gut
    • And the condition of your liver and kidneys

    Many people report only an improvement in their well-being upon starting their Just Thrive gut support products and zero no die-off symptoms.

    However, we've found that about 10% of customers do notice some discomfort, which sometimes looks like fatigue, tummy trouble, or a worsening of previous symptoms.

    In truth, because the gut microbiome is connected to the entire body, die-off aggravation can look like virtually anything, including mood disorders, increased gas and bloating, skin conditions, immune reactions, etc.

    The solution, however, is always the same: Slow down.

    If you're currently experiencing a gut-related aggravation after starting the Probiotic or PREbiotic, here's what you need to know:

    • Now isn't the time to stop... It's time to celebrate! A die-off reaction indicates you’re on the road to optimal microbiome balance.
    • Wait until uncomfortable symptoms pass before taking the next dose. The goal is to match dosage to your body while gradually reaching the recommended one cap daily.
    • Keep in mind there is absolutely no advantage to “muscling” through a reaction vs backing off. Your best bet is to simply lower the amount you take (i.e. take a half of a capsule or one capsule every other day until you can tolerate things well).
    • You do not need to take the Probiotic and PREbiotic at the same time of day. The Prebiotic is not directly feeding the spore-based bacillus strains so much as it is providing nutrients for low populations of our permanent beneficial microbial residents.

    Your Die-off Game Plan: Go Low, Go Slow

    We want you to feel your best - Always! If you're new to Just Thrive, or are experiencing an uptick in discomfort, here's your plan for moving through the changes so you can get right back on track


    For the two weeks, start with 1 cap every other day or a half-cap daily. We always recommended you take your Probiotic with your largest meal (because it uses the food as fuel), though there is no disadvantage to taking whenever is most convenient. 

    Based on how you feel, work up to one cap daily. You can open up the capsule and mix the contents with food or drink and save the remaining contents for your next dose.

    Precision PREbiotic:

    After 2 weeks on the Probiotic, add in Precision PREbiotic. Begin by taking a ½ dose daily (half a scoop of the powder or 2 capsules), then work up to a full dose after about a week.

    For a full dose: Combine the drink mix with water or your favorite healthy beverage and sip throughout the day. For the capsules: Take 2 with breakfast or lunch, and 2 more with dinner.

    Expert Bonus Tip:

    As gut pathogens get neutralized, they burst open, leaving a bit of a mess for your immune system to clean up. While this die-off process is a GREAT SIGN that Just Thrive is working, sometimes it can get uncomfortable.

    To speed through your die-off experience, we recommend you take Just Thrive Ultimate IgG before the PREbiotic. Ultimate IgG helps bolster up the bad guy clean up, leaving you with less of those uncomfortable feelings.