Reviews of VSL #3

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ManhattanMama
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 450
   Posted 2/11/2012 6:10 PM (GMT -6)   
I have been reading through some older posts about VSL #3 and was wondering if anyone had any current reviews of this probiotic.

Some users experienced more gas and a 'violent' reaction to this probiotic when trying to use this to get out of a flare. Others said that it continues to help during remission.

What is your current dosage? 2 capsules in the AM with or without food?

Is anyone currently using it in conjunction with Prednisone to get out of a flare? Thanks in advance!
Diagnosed with Pancolitis in May of 2005 at age of 33
Maintenance Plan: 2 (750mg) Colazal three times a day
Vitamin C, Probiotic, Multivitamin, 400mg of Folic Acid
Treatment during Flare-Up : Cortifoam, Rowasa Enemas & Prednisone (40mg & taper)
Tried Lialda with terrible side effects in Dec 2008- went back to Colazal
Tried balsalazide disodium Nov2011-led to flare-up-back on Colazal
Mother of 2

notsosicklygirl
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 9603
   Posted 2/11/2012 6:11 PM (GMT -6)   
I was taking the capsules and I didn't see improvement. I am not sure I can fairly give an accurate review though because I couldn't afford to take it continuously. I only tried it for one mont without result. I have seem a large number of people here on HW who have had great luck with VSL#3.
Co-moderator: Ulcerative Colitis
Diagnosed with Pancolitis, Laryngopharyngeal Reflux & Migraines. Battling Extreme Exhaustion.
Currently: Asacol (2800mg) + 6mp (25mg) + Pristiq (50mg) + prilosec (40mg) +Canasa (1g PM) + cerazette

ManhattanMama
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 450
   Posted 2/11/2012 6:28 PM (GMT -6)   
"Great luck" getting out of a flare and into remission or "great luck" as part of a maintenance plan and staying in remission?
Diagnosed with Pancolitis in May of 2005 at age of 33
Maintenance Plan: 2 (750mg) Colazal three times a day
Vitamin C, Probiotic, Multivitamin, 400mg of Folic Acid
Treatment during Flare-Up : Cortifoam, Rowasa Enemas & Prednisone (40mg & taper)
Tried Lialda with terrible side effects in Dec 2008- went back to Colazal
Tried balsalazide disodium Nov2011-led to flare-up-back on Colazal
Mother of 2

mkl11
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 424
   Posted 2/11/2012 6:33 PM (GMT -6)   
I take 2 capsules in the AM with food. I bumped it up to 4 when I started having symptoms again and I got awful pain and gas, so I stick with 2. I also supplement that with 1 culturelle, since it's a different strand of probiotic--I don't think that has much of a GI effect but I think helps my overal immune systems.
23 y/o grad student

Mis-Dx Crohn's 6/07, Dx left-sided UC & IBS 10/2010, Pancolitis as of 12/2011

Currently: Apriso (3g), Canasa, VSL #3/Culturelle, Folic Acid, Vit D, B12 injections

Major reaction to restarting Remicade 1/2012, 4 days in hospital

Previously: Prednisone, Cortenemas, Mesalamine Enemas, Proctofoam, Lialda, Imuran (Allergic), Asacol, Remicade (Allergic), Humira, Celexa

bananagirl
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 4125
   Posted 2/11/2012 6:34 PM (GMT -6)   
i was taking 2 packets a day for about 2 months and then went down to 1 packet a day. so started at 900 billion and went down to 450 billion. always in the morning when i first woke up, no food. the first week, i did not a lot of bloating, but then that went away. i dont know if it helps just because i am also on medications, but it can't hurt.
Joanna
22
current meds: 50 mg 6mp every other day and remicade.

my goal is to get off 6mp by march and remicade at the end of the year.

ManhattanMama
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 450
   Posted 2/11/2012 6:52 PM (GMT -6)   
I normally take "Ultimate 10" probiotic from the Vitamin Shoppe once a day. It has 10 billion so I am a little concerned that 450 billion might be too strong at first but I need something to give me a boost and get out of this flare. I have been on 40mg of prednisone for almost 4 weeks and still have 3-4 bloody D a day. Looking for some relief!
Diagnosed with Pancolitis in May of 2005 at age of 33
Maintenance Plan: 2 (750mg) Colazal three times a day
Vitamin C, Probiotic, Multivitamin, 400mg of Folic Acid
Treatment during Flare-Up : Cortifoam, Rowasa Enemas & Prednisone (40mg & taper)
Tried Lialda with terrible side effects in Dec 2008- went back to Colazal
Tried balsalazide disodium Nov2011-led to flare-up-back on Colazal
Mother of 2

ItsAlwaysSomething
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 1387
   Posted 2/11/2012 7:12 PM (GMT -6)   
VSL #3 is the probiotic recommended for use by those who have a j-pouch so it has to be pretty potent and worth a try.

I've been using Benebiotics and S. Boulardii in the evening mixed with slippery elm and honey. Seems to be working OK...not getting up during the night and no urgency in the morning. My colon doesn't wake me up...

Just got a 60 cap bottle of VSL#3 to try it out.
I'm going to take it in the am to see what effect it might have on what happens during the day. I will empty the caps into a little water or juice like the sachets. Might add the S. Boulardii as well.
Female, Retired
Diagnosed UC 2002, Colazal generic (balsalazide), Mesalamine and/or Colocort enemas as needed.
Benebiotic and Jarrow S Boulardii probiotics, vitamins, slippery elm bark, chia seeds, L-Glutamine and LDN.
Working toward a more organic, gluten-free, lactose-free diet.
Goal: REDUCE INFLAMMATION!

notsosicklygirl
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 9603
   Posted 2/11/2012 7:18 PM (GMT -6)   
I think it's mostly used as a part of a maintenance plan. :(
 
I could be wrong about that. As I said, probiotics didn't seem to make a difference for me.
Co-moderator: Ulcerative Colitis
Diagnosed with Pancolitis, Laryngopharyngeal Reflux & Migraines. Battling Extreme Exhaustion.
Currently: Asacol (2800mg) + 6mp (25mg) + Pristiq (50mg) + prilosec (40mg) +Canasa (1g PM) + cerazette

Carlie
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 412
   Posted 2/11/2012 7:23 PM (GMT -6)   
I was noticing your sig line, In my personal experience, vitamin C is extremely irritating to my colon in a flare.

Im currently on a low residue diet and doing fantastic (finally)... I will resume my regular diet and supplements in March.

Carlie
50 mg zoloft
Asacol 400mg 2 tablets 4x a day
1 Canasa suppositories every morning
Prednisone 40mg daily, 30 mg taper began Thanksgiving, 20 mg 12/8, 15 mg 12/15, 10 mg 12/25- flare
Entocort 3 mg 1/9 plus 10 mg prednisone, 1/14 decreased to 5 mg pred, 1/21 2.5 mg
pred, 1/27 blood on paper, 1/31 3; 3 mg Entocort and a steroid enema nightly to control flare. 2/3 no more blood
Tramadol for pain

ItsAlwaysSomething
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 1387
   Posted 2/11/2012 7:37 PM (GMT -6)   
http://www.vsl3.com/about-faq.asp#faq-08

Above is a link to the vsl website...... the page with FAQs.
It is used in cases of actively flaring UC and to maintain remission, the difference being the number of sachets (1 to 8 per day) recommended.
There are other comments about possible gas and bloating when first taking vsl, what to mix it with, when to take it.
Lots of info.
Female, Retired
Diagnosed UC 2002, Colazal generic (balsalazide), Mesalamine and/or Colocort enemas as needed.
Benebiotic and Jarrow S Boulardii probiotics, vitamins, slippery elm bark, chia seeds, L-Glutamine and LDN.
Working toward a more organic, gluten-free, lactose-free diet.
Goal: REDUCE INFLAMMATION!

ManhattanMama
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 450
   Posted 2/11/2012 8:08 PM (GMT -6)   
I have some chilling in the fridge so I will test it out and give it a try tomorrow. This stuff was expensive! I hope it does something!
Diagnosed with Pancolitis in May of 2005 at age of 33
Maintenance Plan: 2 (750mg) Colazal three times a day
Vitamin C, Probiotic, Multivitamin, 400mg of Folic Acid
Treatment during Flare-Up : Cortifoam, Rowasa Enemas & Prednisone (40mg & taper)
Tried Lialda with terrible side effects in Dec 2008- went back to Colazal
Tried balsalazide disodium Nov2011-led to flare-up-back on Colazal
Mother of 2

allswell
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 654
   Posted 2/11/2012 9:35 PM (GMT -6)   
I just started iron with vit. C and have felt kid of " crappy" could it be the c, three a day when I take the iron.
proctitis 2004, Asa sup., 2006 hydrocort sup. worked for a while when I remembered to use them, 2009 spread to left put on prednisone, asacol, then Apriso. Switched docs tried lialda, rowasa, back to hydro enema and Apriso. 2010 6mp added, 2011 pancolitis ,Remicade, bad flare after no.1,2, pred now, and rem

Gonk
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 552
   Posted 2/12/2012 6:52 AM (GMT -6)   
I have been taking 2 of the DS per day. I think it may be causing me D so I am going to take a break from it this week and see if that clears up. I have read the maltodextrin in it can cause D in some people. I hope that's it.

hineycase
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 125
   Posted 2/12/2012 7:33 AM (GMT -6)   
I have been taking VSL#3, 1 packet a day, for about 3 weeks. During this time I have noticed more early morning urgency and my flare actually seems a little worse, but I can't pin that on the VSL#3. I haven't been a real good boy about eating lately....I was getting to feel like I was going to start clucking from all the chicken I was eating, so I have had pizza and hamburger twice over the past 10 days...probably a msitake. Anyway, I ordered 3 boxes. I am going to give it 3 months and then evaluate. I bvelive that is the time frame they recommend to see if VSL#3 is right for you.

Antiflare
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 73
   Posted 2/12/2012 8:04 AM (GMT -6)   
My son started taking VSL 3 last summer he was 13 then. We dont get the DS in Scotland, just the 450 billion sachets.
We started him an a half sachet per day for a few days then gave him a complete one. He had no problems at all. He had gas before and he had gas after, no difference.
He caught a bug and had some stress at school which caused him to flare again, we gradulay increased the VSL 3, he now takes 4 x 450 billion sachets per day with no problems. He takes them at various times of the day, sometimes with food sometimes without, we read that taking them with a big meal should dilute the stomach acid and more should survive, but we thought maybe if he took them without food, ie no chewing action to stimulate acid production, and take a good amount of fluid with them, then that may also dilute any acid.
What I can say is he got back to nearly normal in a couple of weeks, but he still had a pesistant blood stain on the paper, not much but some.
The only thing that seems to have got that shifted is the Salofalk foam.
So, they have not done him any harm, but how much help they have given him is unknown.
Diagnosed with proctitis in 1998, Non Specific colitis 2010 (mild to moderate)
2 x 1200mg Mezovant (once or twice daily)
1 x 500mg Asacol Supp'

Lisa1302
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 4/29/2013 5:24 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello
I have jusr been perscibed VSL#3 following a bad case of pouchitis having had a full colectomy and illeo anal pouch created in june 2010. I took the first sachet and that night spent most of it on toilet with increased urgency and looseness. Is this normal? Also I have asked my doctor and pharmacy for the capsule form and been informed that it is not perscribable, do you know if you can get the capsules in the UK.
Thanks

creepycolon
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 5/9/2013 10:46 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey Manhattan Mama,

Did you end up trying the VSL#3? about 2 months ago I was diagnosed with UC and have not responded well to any medication. My doctor keeps throwing out Humira as an option and a google search of side effects has me looking for different options.

Thanks!

protocolteck
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2013
Total Posts : 338
   Posted 5/9/2013 10:53 AM (GMT -6)   
I have been taking VSL#3 for about 3 months straight (1 in AM, 1 in PM). Initially there was gas and discomfort but it was gone in a day or 2. I am not sure how well it works. I have got to remission but is was with significant changes in diet, etc so it is really hard to tell if it works. I have about 50 pills left and will NOT likely buy more as they are $$$ and I am not sure how well they work.

BTW-I had taken the same dosage of VSL#3 about a year ago during a flare and it did nothing to stop blood and mucus which are my major symptoms(I was also on Canasa)

Best...
Male, 45
No UC meds
VSL#3 2/day
SF/Spinach Diet started 3/11/2013. Added Resistant Starch 4/14/2013.
Ulcerative Proctitis since 2/2012
Remission since early April, 2013
Gluten Free since 12/1/2012-went into remission for 1 month going GF then symptoms returned on 1/1/2013. I still remain GF for other reasons.
Mountain Runner and Level 1 Crossfit Athlete
Sodium Butyrate
Vitamin E Suppositories

creepycolon
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 5/9/2013 10:56 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks!

London Lurker
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2013
Total Posts : 556
   Posted 5/9/2013 2:45 PM (GMT -6)   
I started VSL#3 around 6 weeks ago - packets, not capsules. Was not expecting much from it but do think it is helping me, stool was quite formed after the first day of taking it, no idea if that was a coincidence. I was in mild flare after suspected c diff infection and just had 10 days Flagyl. Also started mutaflor at the same time. Am annoyed that cannot get VSL#3 on prescription in UK as the powers that be refuse to recognise that there is evidence for it for use with UC. Given all the stuff I have tried over the years, I know this is making some difference.
Proctitis 1984
Pan Colitis 1988
No pan flare up since, many well years between mild to moderate flares, some without meds
Low fibre and rare alcohol
Adding resistant starch
Currently Mezavant XL x 1 per day
Salofalk Enema x 1 per day
B complex sublingual
Vit D (ceased K2)
Probiotics - started Mutaflor, VSL#3 March '13, good results so far

March '13 10 days on Flagyl

protocolteck
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2013
Total Posts : 338
   Posted 5/9/2013 3:23 PM (GMT -6)   
London,

Are you using VSL#3 DS or regular VSL#3?. I have heard MUCH better feedback for the VSL#3 DS product. Im curious if you have already implemented resistant starch? (your signature says you are adding RS). If so, it will form your stools like nothing else-I am having formed stools like I have never seen. Very pleased with RS and Sodium Butyrate after 30 days of continued use.

Best...
Male, 45
No UC meds
VSL#3 2/day
SF/Spinach Diet started 3/11/2013. Added Resistant Starch 4/14/2013.
Ulcerative Proctitis since 2/2012
Remission since early April, 2013
Gluten Free since 12/1/2012-went into remission for 1 month going GF then symptoms returned on 1/1/2013. I still remain GF for other reasons.
Mountain Runner and Level 1 Crossfit Athlete
Sodium Butyrate
Vitamin E Suppositories

London Lurker
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2013
Total Posts : 556
   Posted 5/9/2013 4:26 PM (GMT -6)   
protocolteck - I am not sure which it is? It is the granules, 450 million bacteria. Definitely doing more for me than capsule probiotics, although I think enteric coated Mutaflor is doing something good. Also noticed getting almost constipated from s.boulardii so have stopped that now. Had oral candida from the flagyl and I used it as a paste in my mouth (boulardii) and it was a lot better than the Nystatin I was prescribed.

yes, I have started resistant starch, well, potatoes and pasta I was eating anyway but now I eat them cooled. I have added navy beans in small amounts and amazed that I am going well with them. I can see the difference with stool consistency with them for sure. I was very nervous about getting wind from beans because of B&M but now I'm not getting that and can pass "dry" wind. The first RS I added when coming out of this awful infection I had was some oatbran (low in RS but containing some I understand) in oatmeal porridge made with water, with a few blueberries added and butter for butyrate food. I am interested in butyrate enemas. Not sure if I can source sodium butyrate in the UK, have only seen US sites on amazon, need to look into it properly.

The other thing which I am quite amazed about is the beneficial effect I seem to be getting with raw, non pasteurised sauerkraut which my local health food shop has started to stock. I expected to not tolerate it but quite the reverse, my bloated stomach has gone down, and feel much calmer inside. I want to understand more though about the L Glutamine/glutamate relationship (sauerkraut contains one of these I get confused about in which state). I have noticed myself waking up early, quite unheard of for me unless I am on pred. I know from my work (mental health) that glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter which explains why people often wake early after alcohol as glutamate surges after it is freed from suppression by alcohol. As there are neurological autoimmune diseases in my family and glutamate is negatively implicated in them, I need to be careful. Interestingly, I read that sauerkraut is high in salicylate, which of course is a similar chemical base to mesalazine. So whether it is the salicylate rather than the fermentation bacteria helping, I don't know.

Glad to hear that you are doing well on the regime.

protocolteck
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2013
Total Posts : 338
   Posted 5/9/2013 4:55 PM (GMT -6)   
London,

Wow, I was surprised to see amazon.co.uk does not carry sodium butyrate-that is unfortunate.
I am finding Hi-Maize (5 G per TBSPN) the best source (for me) of RS along with green/semi green bananas (5 G per Banana). These are the very easiest to deal with as you don't need to prepare, etc. There is significant data on the web that Hi-Maize is a very tolerated RS. It's funny, I have 18 cans of Eden Organic Navy Beans and I cant stand them ! Is there a tasty way to prepare them? I find them dreadful :-)

Re: L-Glutamine. I have actually used this for years for muscle recovery.I have read that it is good to take L-Glutamine with Sodium Butyrate as they work together in the colon-not exactly sure how.

While I have had great success with Spinach and Sunflower seeds to rid myself of B+M, it is clear to me that the RS and Sodium Butyrate are making the difference. All of the information I have found to get to remission was on this board. Not sure where I would be without all this great information sharing, from all over the world.

Best...
Male, 45
No UC meds
VSL#3 2/day
SF/Spinach Diet started 3/11/2013. Added Resistant Starch 4/14/2013.
Ulcerative Proctitis since 2/2012
Remission since early April, 2013
Gluten Free since 12/1/2012-went into remission for 1 month going GF then symptoms returned on 1/1/2013. I still remain GF for other reasons.
Mountain Runner and Level 1 Crossfit Athlete
Sodium Butyrate
Vitamin E Suppositories

London Lurker
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2013
Total Posts : 556
   Posted 5/9/2013 5:16 PM (GMT -6)   
yes, definitely a great resource and better than any UK IBD board I have found.

I have read about this Hi-Maize, I have been wary of it because I have not done well with corn products in the past, again, not sure if it is sold in the UK.

Navy beans...well, "baked beans" on toast are a really popular English staple but they are made with a ton of sugar and salt. I have started making a homemade version - fresh, skinned tomatoes, fresh herbs, and the beans. I have been cooking my own from scratch more often than using tins. Have discovered that if I soak them for 24 hours rather than just overnight and then cook in the slow cooker, they are nice and soft. Have it on toast with butter. I have often had navy beans in France, or haricot as they are called there, in cassoulet, a tasty traditional French stew type dish. Was also wondering about blending them to make a bean paste.

Spinach I have started with too in small doses, never reheating it though, reheated spinach is not easy on the body I learnt due to nitrite development. Trying a few sunflower seeds but wary of omega-6 and of arginine (creates conditions for fever blisters to break out).

Am also fascinated by this research on vagus nerve stimulation, as clinicians I really respect who work with PTSD are uncovering so much about this and concurrently, it is being studied for inflammatory conditions. Off topic from VSL#3 now!
Proctitis 1984
Pan Colitis 1988
No pan flare up since, many well years between mild to moderate flares, some without meds
Low fibre and rare alcohol
Adding resistant starch
Currently Mezavant XL x 1 per day
Salofalk Enema x 1 per day
B complex sublingual
Vit D (ceased K2)
Probiotics - started Mutaflor, VSL#3 March '13, good results so far

March '13 10 days on Flagyl

fishface
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2013
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 5/9/2013 5:22 PM (GMT -6)   
I've been taking VSL#3 packets for four months - it was recommended by a hospital consultant. It's definitely helping me. I'm down to 3 normal-consistency BMs a day (which is the same as pre-UC days) - before it, I had urgency and bouts of squitty nastiness. I still have a little B&M, but it's tons better than before. Can't prove it because I can't afford to, but I do wonder if a higher dose would help even more.

Interested in this sodium butyrate stuff, but am also in UK and can't seem to find it anywhere.
Diagnosed with proctitis 10/2012
No UC meds
Folic acid, vit E, iron, magnesium, VSL#3
Eating: mostly cold rice with egg and spinach, bananas, & the occasional salad
Trying: e-cig
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