Clinical précis: A proprietary combination of probiotic strains
(VSL#3) in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
The link between gut microbial flora and IBD6
It’s well recognized that intestinal microbial flora are a primary factor in the development of IBD, and pathogenic bacteria may trigger chronic intestinal inflammation in patients who are genetically predisposed. Furthermore, areas of the gut with the highest concentration of bacteria (the distal ileum and colon) are the locations where disease occurs most often.

It has also been shown that IBD patients have reduced levels of Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus - microorganisms considered beneficial in the gut environment because they:

  • Maintain the integrity of the mucosal barrier
  • Inhibit growth of potentially pathogenic bacteria that adhere to the intestinal mucosa, persistently stimulate an immune response, and perpetuate chronic inflammation

Probiotics are a natural therapeutic option to deliver “missing” bacteria to the gut and restore balance to the microbial flora.
9 out of 10 pediatric patients achieved remission when VSL#3 was added to standard ulcerative colitis (UC) therapy7
VSL#3 is a high-potency probiotic mixture that contains three strains of bifidobacteria, four strains of lactobacilli and Streptococcus thermophilus. VSL#3 has undergone the highest standards of scrutiny available for natural health products.

A new meta-analysis documented VSL#3 efficacy.8
A 2014 meta-analysis of the effect of VSL#3 on inducing remission and maintaining therapy in UC and pouchitis concluded:

“Administration of probiotics results in additional benefit in inducing remission of patients with UC. VSL#3 are beneficial for maintaining remission in patients with pouchitis. And, probiotics can provide [an effect similar to] 5-aminosalicylic acid on maintaining remission of UC, although no additional adverse events presented.”

Study details


VSL#3 may delay or avoid other treatments.9
“ . . . VSL#3 may be considered as a safe and effective option for patients suffering from relapsing mild-to-moderate UC, to avoid or delay the administration of steroids, immunosuppressants, and biologics.”

Study details

VSL#3 promoted remission in 93% of pediatric UC patients.7
In a study where 92.8% of patients achieved remission, the authors observed:

“This is the first pediatric, randomized, placebo-controlled trial that suggests the efficacy and safety of a highly concentrated mixture of probiotic bacterial strains (VSL#3) in active UC and demonstrates its role in maintenance of remission.”

Study details

VSL#3 has undergone the most rigorous level of clinical investigation available for natural health products. VSL#3 bears Natural Product Numbers (NPNs) 80037590 and 80042116.
To order VSL#3, please set up an account with us.
For more information,
please visit the VSL#3 website
The World Health Organization defines a clinical trial as “any research study that prospectively assigns human participants or groups of humans to one or more health-related interventions to evaluate the effects on health outcomes.”
An NPN indicates a product has been issued a product license by Health Canada, and appears in Health Canada’s Natural Health Products Database.