VSL#3 is no longer VSL#3 in continental Europe
The high-concentration probiotic mixture, characterized by 450 billion bacteria and 8 exclusive strains, is now produced by a different manufacturer without my supervision and approval. It was launched under the VSL#3 brand in Italy, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
I submitted scientific data to the UEGW Conference in Vienna (Poster No. 1398 of 19 October 2016) showing that the sachet of the “new VSL#3” contained more than 100% dead bacteria compared to the “VSL#3 original”. The percentage of dead bacteria contained in a sachet is an important parameter since: (a) it is a good predictor of product quality and storage stability, and (b) “dead bacteria” are modifiers of the biological response and may have deleterious effects on the host.
Given the biological nature of this product, it is essential to ensure the consistency of the formulation and the manufacturing process. As inventor of the product and physician, I have a duty to inform doctors and patients that previous studies, clinical experiments and therapeutic recognition by AGA and ECCO can not be applied to the “new VSL#3.”
The two formulations are also different when tested on tumor cell lines. The “original VSL#3” differently influences the cell cycle profile compared to the “new VSL#3”, especially its ability to stop G0 / G1 phase cells and induce apoptotic death. In the G2 phase, there was a statistically significant reduced number of cells treated with the original “VSL#3” compared to the “new VSL#3” and correlated with a reduced proliferative index of cells treated with “original VSL#3” compared to the “new VSL#3”. These results are extremely relevant for patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) who, because of their chronic inflammatory state have an increased risk of cancer.