Generic Name: high potency probiotic
Product Name: VSL#3
VSL#3 is a probiotic therapy. It means that it contains preparation of live freeze-dried lactic acid bacteria. It is developed to provide optimal concentration and types of ‘good’ bacteria in the gut. This is used as a lactic bacteria supplement. The indications for probiotic therapy include:
- To prevent and treat diarrhoea.
- To treat irritable bowel syndrome, gas, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and bad breath.
- To reoccuring urinary tract infection.
- To reduce symptoms of milk allergies.
- To treat and prevent atopic eczema.
- To treat mouth ulcers.
- To prevent colon cancer.
- To treat candidiasis.
VSL#3 contains 8 strains of bacteria. The strains of bacteria were chosen for their synergy (co-operative activity) and ability to colonise the lower intestine. VSL#3 acts through probiotic therapy.
It strives to establish the balance between the number and proportion of different bacterial species present in the gut. The bacteria balance in the gut is affected by factors such as diet, medication, stress and environmental factors.
In hospital settings, the commonest will be due to medication such as antibiotics. There have been studies indicating that some gut diseases may be caused by or associated with overgrowth or predominance of pathogenic (‘bad’) bacteria. Probiotic therapy tries to introduce the ‘good’ bacteria by reversing the damages done by the ‘bad’ ones.
VSL#3 does not need prescription. However, it is exclusively available from Orphan Australia and is not currently available in supermarkets, health food shops, or pharmacies.
- VSL#3 comes in the form of satchets.
- Usual quantity is 1 to 2 satchets per day. However, the amount required can differ from individuals. This is dependent on the person’s lifestyle and medical history. Adjustment may be needed for the best dosage that works for different individuals.
- VSL#3 may be dissolved in water, added to yoghurt or to fruit juice. It may be prepared with food/water that is at room temperature or below. It must be consumed as soon as it is mixed. Hot food/liquid or carbonated liquids are not recommended to mix VSL#3 in.
- The duration of treatment suggested should be at least 20 days for maximum concentration of ‘good’ bacteria in the gut.
Common side effects
- Bloating during the first few days – usually settles down with time. May need to reduce the daily intake of VSL#3.
- Flatulence during the first few days – usually settles down with time. May need to reduce the daily intake of VSL#3.
Uncommon side effects
- MD Consult Patient Handouts: Acidophilus Natural Remedy [online]. 2004. [Cited 2005 September 26th]. Available from: URL: http://home.mdconsult.com/das/patient/view/50760453-3/10002/15056.html/top?sid=406938029
- Product Information on VSL#3. 2005. [Cited 2005 September 26th].
- Consumer Medicine Information on VSL#3. 2005. [Cited 2005 September 26th].
For further information talk to your doctor.