According to the website,
VSL#3® has the highest available concentration of beneficial bacteria with 450 billion live bacteria per packet. The human gut has thousands of billions of resident bacteria. In order to modulate the composition of this gut flora in a positive way, an extremely large amount of probiotic bacteria is necessary. VSL#3® is the only probiotic preparation that delivers enough bacteria to beneficially affect the gut flora in patients with serious intestinal disorders.
And by serious intestinal disorders, they refer to medically diagnosed ulcerative colitis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or an ileal pouch.
VSL#3® works by colonizing the GI tract with optimal quantities and types of probiotic (“good”) bacteria. These bacteria adhere to the walls of the GI tract and form a barrier that protects the inner layer of the gut from pathogenic (“bad”) bacteria and other toxic substances that can cause inflammation by modulating intestinal defense mechanisms.
In addition, VSL#3® modulates a variety of substances that are involved in the healing of inflammation. For example, VSL#3® has been shown to induce the production of interleukin-10, an important “chemical messenger” that suppresses inflammation. 22,35,39,49,64
Finally, evidence suggests that VSL#3® reduces intestinal permeability by tightening up the junctions between the cells in the outer layer of the intestine (the epithelium).39 If the spaces between the cells of the gut wall become too large, bad bacteria and toxins can leak in, causing inflammation.
At about $86 for 30 packets (of the unflavored powder), it seems like a good deal for 450 billion live bacteria per packet. Or at least compared to what I've seen at Whole Foods. Anyone have personal experience with using VSL#3 or a probiotic of similar potency?