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Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2009 Nov;7(11):1202-9, 1209.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2009.07.016. Epub 2009 Jul 22.

The probiotic preparation, VSL#3 induces remission in patients with mild-to-moderately active ulcerative colitis.

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Department of Gastroenterology and Medicine, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, India.



Probiotics can maintain ulcerative colitis (UC) in remission effectively, but little is known of their ability to induce remission. We conducted a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of a high-potency probiotic, VSL#3, for the treatment of mild-to-moderately active UC.


Adult patients with mild-to-moderate UC were assigned randomly to groups that were given 3.6 x 10(12) CFU VSL#3 (n = 77) or placebo (n = 70), twice daily for 12 weeks. The primary end point was a 50% decrease in the Ulcerative Colitis Disease Activity Index (UCDAI) at 6 weeks. The secondary end points included remission by 12 weeks and reduction in total individual UCDAI parameters from baseline at 12 weeks. Intention-to-treat analysis was performed.


At week 6, the percentage of patients with an improvement in UCDAI score that was greater than 50% was significantly higher in the group given VSL#3 (25; 32.5%) than the group given placebo (7; 10%) (P = .001). At week 12, there were 33 patients given VSL#3 (42.9%) who achieved remission, compared with 11 patients given placebo (15.7%) (P < .001). Furthermore, significantly more patients given VSL#3 (40; 51.9%) achieved a decrease in their UCDAI that was greater than 3 points, compared with those given placebo (13; 18.6%) (P < .001). The VSL#3 group had significantly greater decreases in UCDAI scores and individual symptoms at weeks 6 and 12, compared with the placebo group.


VSL#3 is safe and effective in achieving clinical responses and remissions in patients with mild-to-moderately active UC.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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