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Study shows ulcerative colitis patients achieve remission with probiotic composition VSL#3

ORLANDO, Fla. May 19, 2003 Researchers reported study results today that demonstrated treatment with the highly concentrated probiotic preparation, VSL#3(TM), achieved a combined induced remission and/or response rate of 86 percent in patients with active mild to moderate ulcerative colitis who were not responding to conventional therapy. "VSL#3 Probiotic Mixture Induces Remission in Patients with Active Ulcerative Colitis" was presented at the annual Digestive Disease Week (DDW) meeting.

Affecting 500,000 Americans, ulcerative colitis (UC) is a form of inflammatory bowel disease that causes the gastrointestinal tract to become red, swollen and ulcerated with sores that eventually bleed. Even if the pathogenesis of UC is not totally clear, there is good evidence to suggest that controlling the balance of the intestinal bacterial flora may be very beneficial for these patients. Numerous clinical studies have shown that the high-concentration probiotic, VSL#3, is effective in controlling and maintaining a healthy balance of the intestinal flora.

"Many ulcerative colitis patients do not respond to conventional treatments and side effects of these medications can be troublesome," said lead investigator Richard Fedorak, MD, professor of medicine and director of the division of gastroenterology at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. "These results are meaningful because they demonstrate that adding a probiotic with multiple strains and a high concentration of bacteria to the treatment regimen may have the potential to stop this disease in its tracks and avoid any treatment-related side effects."

In the multi-center (Canada, United States and Italy), open-label study, 30 patients with a recent flare-up of mild to moderate UC not responding to conventional medicines were administered four packets of VSL#3 daily (equivalent to 3,600 billion good bacteria) for six weeks. Eligible patients also remained on steady doses of standard UC
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Contact: Kristin Cirz
KristinC@mcspr.com
800-477-9626
MCS/VSL
19-May-2003


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