"Over 2400 years ago, Hippocrates, the legendary Greek physician, reportedly stated: “All disease begins in the gut”. A couple of millennia later, the evidence now clearly demonstrates that the gut microbiome - the trillions of microbes that colonize our digestive tract – influences not only our gastrointestinal health, but other health systems too, including our metabolic, immune and mental health. The importance of the gut microbiome should therefore not be underestimated in providing comprehensive and holistic care for our patients, and should be an integral part of all patient care plans."
Gut health and the Role of the Gut Microbiota in Patient Care
Rachel Redman - Registered Dietitian
Interested in trialing VSL# supplements?
If you are a registered healthcare professional, privately or in the NHS, you can request samples of VSL#3 and/or VSL# Fibre
Choosing the right Probiotic for your Patients
Safety & Efficacy
To ensure the probiotic supplement arrives alive in sufficient amounts to effectively colonize the gut, check labels on products for the number of colony forming units (CFU). Additionally, healthcare providers should evaluate the scientific evidence available to support specific microbial strains and/or products against the patient’s reported symptom profile or condition.
Diversity is Key
Alongside a healthy, varied and balanced diet, choosing a multi-strain polybiotic with a diversity of well-researched microbial strains has the potential to offer added benefits. For healthcare professionals looking to recommend probiotics, there is ample evidence suggesting that a diverse gut microbiome is the key to achieving optimal health.
Depend on High Dosage
Probiotics must contain adequate amounts of colony forming units (CFU's) in order to offer a real benefit. Research has shown that higher doses often lead to more significant results in patient and disease management. In various clinical trials, a dose-response has been observed, resulting in a higher dose being associated with increased benefit.
Prioritise Patient Preference
When it comes to probiotics, healthcare professionals must also consider the patients lifestyle. Probiotic supplements come in various forms; from capsules, sachets and bottles, liquid presentations, or freeze-dried powders. Subsequently its important to ensure supplements are easy to incorporate into your patient’s day-to-day routine.
VSL#3 provides up to 450x more bacterial CFU per serving compared to well-known products.
"Cell counts confirmed that the analysed lots (of VSL#3) contained the amounts of live cells declared on the product label." 1
After 120 Minutes in simulated gastric juice, 99% of the bacteria contained in VSL#3 were still alive 2
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|Corrine Toyn - Registered Dietitian||Helen Bond - Registered Dietitian||Rachel Redman - Registered Dietitian|
"With 450 billion bacterial cfu across 8 well-researched strains, VSL#3® supports and enriches the diversity of the gut microbiome. Plus, it's manufacturing process and stability studies guarantee delivery of the full dose even at the end of its shelf life when refrigerated. It's no wonder why healthcare professionals across the UK trust and recommend VSL#3®."
"We need to look after our gut microbiome and the more diverse it tends to be; the better it is for our health. Eating a balanced and varied diet containing a wide variety of plant foods that are rich in fibre, is key to nurturing our inner ecosystem. And if patients need a little helping hand, probiotic supplements, containing live bacteria, can provide a strain specific boost."
"With so many products on the market being promoted as “probiotics”, it's important to evaluate the scientific evidence supporting specific microbial strains, multi-strain combinations and/or products against a patient's reported symptom profile or condition. VSL#3 has been extensively researched in healthy populations and in chronic conditions, with over 30 scientific studies published in the past five years alone."
Since its creation VSL#3 has been at the forefront of medical and scientific research on Probiotics. Chosen for its high concentration and diversity of bacteria, VSL#3 has featured in over 25 clinical studies designed to assess various aspects of its composition, survivability and efficacy. This is to ensure that all of the reported strains are present from when you first open the sachet, through till they reach the gut microbiome and colonise. Lots of clinical research has also been done on VSL#3, exploring and assessing its potential role in the dietary management of a wide range of conditions.
1) Mora D, Filardi R, Arioli S, Boeren S, Aalvink S, de Vos WM. Development of omics-based protocols for the microbiological characterization of multi-strain formulations marketed as probiotics: the case of VSL#3. Microb Biotechnol. 2019 Nov;12(6):1371-1386. doi: 10.1111/1751-7915.13476. Epub 2019 Aug 12. PMID: 31402586; PMCID: PMC6801179.
2)Vecchione A, Celandroni F, Mazzantini D, Senesi S, Lupetti A, Ghelardi E. Compositional Quality and Potential Gastrointestinal Behavior of Probiotic Products Commercialized in Italy. Front Med (Lausanne). 2018 Mar 7;5:59. doi: 10.3389/fmed.2018.00059. Erratum in: Front Med (Lausanne). 2023 Jan 27;9:1091788. PMID: 29564327; PMCID: PMC5845905.