Which to try? Align or VSL3?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 54
   Posted 7/22/2009 9:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Sorry, this maybe a kinda of naive question.
I don't know the difference between Align and VSL3.
When I searched "Probiotics" on Wiki, I found Align but not VSL3. Are they totally different or simliar? Is it OK to take both of them or just try one?
I saw some people are taking VSL3 while others are on Align. I do not know how to choose.
Also, these Align or VSL3 doesn't need prescription, right?
Dx Ulcerative protitis Oct. 08 by colonoscopy
Main problem is rectum bleeding......
Canasa 1000mg / night immediately
Jan. 09, Asacol  3X2pill / day, off Canasa...... Began to bleed a week later
Back to Canasa 1000mg/night
Seems in remission now......
Thinking about taking some probiotic.......

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7150
   Posted 7/22/2009 10:52 PM (GMT -6)   
They are both probiotics, but have different strains of bacteria in them. There are a lot (hundreds? maybe?) of different bacteria that are considered probiotics. There are very likely ones that exist in our guts that we don't even know about yet. Align only contains one species of bacteria, where I believe VSL#3 contains eight. VSL#3 also has a higher number of live active cultures (live bacteria, essentially) than any other probiotic on the market. There are many, many, many different probiotics on the market, so it is hard to decide which one to take. Personally, I think it's better to take one with more than one species and a high number of live active cultures. Also, I'd use one that is refrigerated, as that helps keep the bacteria alive. I wouldn't take both at once. Neither require a prescription, but there is a prescription version of VSL available, and your insurance may cover it. It's quite expensive.
Status: Remission since late May 2009!
Symptoms began in November 2008, ~4 weeks after giving birth to my son.
Diagnosed with pancolitis on 1/30/09
Currently taking Apriso (4 pills ONCE!! daily), Rowasa twice weekly, Natural Factors Ultimate probiotic 12/12 Formula, and Zoloft (25 mg).

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 226
   Posted 7/22/2009 11:11 PM (GMT -6)   
I tried VSL3 and Align, but found Culturelle to be better and cheaper. In general, the bacteria in probiotics do not colonize your gut ... they work for a couple days, but the effects wear off if you stop taking them.

Most of the 300+ species in your colon (or at least, in a healthy person's colon) are not allowed to be sold since they stay their permanently and can cause problems in people with lowered immune function. To the best of my knowledge, Threelac/Fivelac is the only OTC probiotic that contains a colonizing form of bacteria.
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