Here at Rebecca Bitzer & Associates we’re always interested in problem solving with our clients to find ways to help them feel healthier. To do this we try new products!
What is VSL#3
One product we decided to try was a probiotic called VSL#3.
What is a probiotic anyway?
Probiotics are organisms like bacteria or yeast that are thought to improve health. The digestive system in our bodies house more than 500 different types of bacteria. These bacteria help keep intestines healthy and assist in digesting food, improve intestinal function, and maintaining the integrity of the intestinal linings. They fight bacteria that cause diarrhea, too.
This probiotic specifically is meant for adult men and women, but also offers a junior version for kids. VSL#3 is also designated for the dietary management of ulcerative colitis and IBS, in both adults and children.
In addition, for those with dietary restriction, this probiotic is vegetarian (made of 100% vegetable cellulose), gluten free, and kosher. However, there are some dairy ingredients that are present in low amounts, therefore is not dairy-free.
So how long do I need to take the probiotic before I feel better?
In general, VSL#3 can take up to one week to become established in your gut. The maximum time is 20 days. However, after you stop taking it daily, it will survive in your gut for up to 3 weeks.
Do I have to take a pill?
There are capsule like pills or you can dissolve powder into a cold, non-carbonated beverage. Also, make sure to refrigerate the product to help it last longer.
Can anyone take this specific probiotic or only those suffering from IBS and Colitis?
Anyone take this specific probiotic, even if you’re just having digestive troubles. Our dietitian Shelley says that probiotics are great to add good bacteria to your intestines; this can help boost your immune system and improve your overall health and wellness.
Are there possible side effects?
Mild bloating may occur during the first few days after starting to use VSL#3. You may need to reduce your daily intake to allow for the adjustment.
So where can I get them?
You can order them online (for regular) at vsl3.com or ask your doctor if you need the prescription only version. VSL#3 is also sold at Costco. It is typically behind the counter in the pharmacy section of the store.
Dietitian Kaitlin talks about probiotics
*We received free samples of VSL#3 probiotics upon request. Probiotics are not a one-size fit all solution. There are a variety of probiotics available and various food solutions that can help you. We recommend reaching out to a dietitian to see which probiotics and foods are right for your needs.
Do you have any questions about probiotics and VSL#3? Let us know!
For more information about probiotics and gut health, visit this webpage.
Blog reviewed and updated May 2020.
Dana uses her advanced training in functional nutrition and food sensitivities to help her clients love and trust food again as they heal from years of painful symptoms that have dominated their lives. Co-author of Nourished: 10 Ingredients to Happy, Healthy Eating and Cooking with Food Sensitivities Survival Guide.