(HealthDay News) — The probiotic VSL#3, which includes eight different bacterial probiotic species, may be beneficial for preventing Crohn’s disease recurrence, according to a study published in the May issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.
Richard N. Fedorak, M.D., from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, and colleagues examined the ability of VSL#3 to prevent Crohn’s disease recurrence after surgery. Patients were randomized to groups given one sachet of VSL#3 (59 patients) or matching placebo (60 patients) within 30 days of ileocolonic resection and re-anastomosis. Patients from both groups with no or mild endoscopic resection at day 90 received VSL#3 through 12 months.
The researchers observed no significant difference in the proportion of patients with severe endoscopic lesions for VSL#3 and placebo at day 90 (9.3 and 15.7 percent, respectively; P = 0.19). The proportions of patients with non-severe lesions at day 90 who had severe endoscopic recurrence were 10.0 and 26.7 percent, respectively, for those in the early VSL#3 group and late VSL#3 group (P = 0.09). There was no statistical difference between the aggregate rates of severe recurrence (on days 90 and 365). At day 90, patients receiving VSL#3 had reduced mucosal inflammatory cytokine levels (P < 0.05).
“Lower mucosal levels of inflammatory cytokines and a lower rate of recurrence among patients who received early VSL#3 (for the entire 365 days) indicate that this probiotic should be further investigated,” the authors write.
One author disclosed financial ties to VSL Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of VSL#3.