One of the most common questions I get asked is about the best probiotics for IBD or IBS. As I’ve written about before, most probiotics have been proven to not survive the stomach acid in the gut; rendering them useless. VSL#3, a probiotic that is one of the few that does have evidence behind it suggesting it can make a real impact, got in touch with me and asked if I’d be interested in reviewing it. After hearing lots of good things about it (it is even prescribed by doctors in the US for IBD), I was intrigued as up until now I’ve mainly relied on trying to introduce probiotic foods (mainly sauerkraut: more in this blog post)
What is VSL#3?
VSL#3 is a poly-biotic food supplement, known for its high dose of bacteria ( it contains 450 billion bacteria per sachet) and 8 different strains. VSL#3 is widely used in the US but is now also available in the UK.
How Is It Different to Other Probiotics?
VSL#3 states that their probiotic differs because the quantity and variety of bacteria that it contains. It is also more widely researched than the majority of the probiotics on the market. For example this study suggested a positive impact on ulcerative colitis while this study suggests it can help IBS. (Note: there are also some studies on Crohn’s disease too but they appear slightly less conclusive).
I will be honest and say the point of this blog post was to introduce you to VSL#3 and my initial thoughts. I am then hoping I’ll be able to share with you a more in-depth review later down the line as to it’s benefits on my crohn’s disease. The first thing that I loved about VSL#3 was the fact it comes in a box of individual sachet rather than a pill. As I’ve mentioned in previous probiotic blog posts, it is important to start slowly; and this allows you to really control the amount you use. VSL#3 recommends you use 1-2 sachets a day but I started with 1/2 a sachet and added it water and sprinkled it in food. This was a massive selling point to me as when I have tried probiotics as I have faffed about with cutting up tablets. I also liked that you could keep it out of the fridge for up to seven days as it meant that if I was staying over at my mom’s I could just pop a sachet in a bag. Introducing it this way meant that I didn’t notice any gut issues when taking it (since probiotics can sometimes initially worsen symptoms due to “die off” ) but because I have also been trialing juicing and a few other supplements this month- I have noticed my symptoms have been fairly stable. So while it is all positive, I’d like to come back in a month or so to give you a real update on whether I feel it is having a real impact on my crohn’s.
Find Out More
If you are interested in trying VSL#3, checkout their website which has loads more info on the product, testimonals and tons of research broken down into digestive disorders. Of course, I’d always remind you to not introduce any supplement suddenly without doing your research, or if you feel it’s necessary, consulting your doctor.