I hate to rain on the VSL3 yogurt parade. I recently read about
it in another forum and was excited about
the idea of making yogurt with VSL3 as a starter. Right now I use a starter that has three typical bacterial strains in it (rather than the eight found in VSL3). I even tried right away using a different probiotic I take (Nature's Way Primadophilus Optima) as a starter, since I don't have any VSL3 yet.
But I just found an article discussing how bacteria culture in yogurt, when you make it, which suggests using probiotic supplements as starters doesn't work the way people think it does.www.probiotics-lovethatbug.com/how-to-make-probiotic.html
The article is based on this scientific study in the Americna Journal of Clinical Nutrition:www.ajcn.org/content/73/2/374S.long
The main point is that there are two predominant strains normally used to make yogurt: S. thermophilus and L. bulgaricus. Both of these are in VSL3. L. acidophilus is also normally in standard yogurt (and it is found in VSL3 too). The first two strains, which have to be used as a starter to make yogurt, will outcompete all other bacterial strains. They even release chemicals to inhibit the growth of other bacteria. So when you make yogurt with VSL3, you don't really end up with all eight strains found in VSL3. The S. thermophilus and L. bulgaricus will outcompete the other strains and that's all you end up with, plus I guess the L. acidophilus. It is also possible that the other strains will outcompete the starter strains and who knows what exactly you end up with.
So what you get is either plain old normal yogurt or something else unknown. Not all the strains survive.
On the other hand, you can make yogurt with the normal yogurt starter strains, S. thermophilus, L. bulgaricus, and L. acidophilus, for a fraction of the price with normal yogurt starters.
If you want the other strains to survive in the yogurt, they have to be added later in the process, when the yogurt is cooled down and the other starter strains are done doing most of their growth.
With something like VSL3 or other capsule probiotics this isn't a problem, because I assume they culture the strains separately (so there's no competition between them), then freeze-dry the strains individually, and mix them together in specific proportions. Once freeze-dried the strains aren't growing anymore and aren't in a medium where they can compete with each other. So they're available to be consumed in packets or capsules (and in the intended proportions).
Sorry for the bad news, but it sounds like making yogurt with VSL3 as a starter is a very expensive way to either end up with yogurt that only has S. thermophilus, L. bulgaricus, and L. acidophilus in it, which is just plain old normal yogurt that you could make with cheap starters; or you end up with something that you don't really know what it is.
Post Edited (gg555) : 10/2/2011 8:49:37 PM (GMT-6)