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VSL#3 Probiotics

VSL#3 Probiotic Capsules 2 PACKVSL#3® by Sigma Tau is probiotic medical food that aids in the dietary management of
IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), UC (Ulcerative Colitis), pouchitis, or an ileal pouch.

Does VSL#3 really improve symptoms in patients with IBS? YES It Does!
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To read about fourty-eight studies conducted with VSL#3, and IBS patients.

Does VSL#3 really improve symptoms in patients with Ulcerative Colitis? YES It Does!

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To read about a study showing remission in 77% of patients with UC, with no adverse affects – Study conducted by Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Read testimonials from others who use VSL#3
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VSL#3 Research Studies have been published in a variety of prestigious medical journals.

New Ideas about Chronic Inflammation

The San Diego Chapter of Crohns and Colitis Foundation Association – CCFA – held a patient and family education workshop on Saturday, April 12th. It was an extremely informative and well attended workshop. Some of the attendees were people who had just recently been diagnosed, with both Crohns Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, while others had been suffering with symptoms of IBD for years. Some were in remission, other now. There were family members of patients who came as well. The common theme was
their desire to know more about the causes of IBD and how to control diarrhea, pain, bloating and other uncomfortable associated symptoms. Lots of pertinent questions were asked and fortunately, many were
well answered.

The meeting was held at La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology. Dr. Mitch Kronenberg PhD, who welcomed us, told us that he was the one to actually start it in 1997. He is now the head of the division of Developmental Immunology. Mitch Kronenberg PhDDr. Kronenberg’s research focuses on what they call ‘natural killer T cells’, known as NKT. He studies their responses to bad (or pathogenic) bacteria. Most importantly, his laboratory also studies the causes and development of inflammatory bowel disease. He
told us that he has authored more than 250 publications. In fact, he is known as an Institute for Scientific Information “Highly Cited Scientist”.

It was very interesting to hear that his studies of Crohn’s and colitis investigate how these conditions are brought about by immune responses. What intrigued me the most is that he has found that it is the
uncontrolled response of white blood cells in the intestine that leads to chronic inflammation.

I was thrilled to see that Sigma Tau, the manufacturers of VSL#3 probiotics, was one of the sponsors included in the event. I have been advocating the use of VSL#3 for well over 10 years now. 30SachetsUnflavoredFront_2_274x218There are
lots of studies accumulated over the years to support the beneficial use of VSL#3 for IBD patients. Yes, research shows how loading doses of VSL3 are used to effectively control symptoms of ulcerative colitis as well as pouchitis.

You may not know that there are several kinds of VSL#3 now. We sell boxes of 30 sachet powders that contain 450 billion strains, convenient VSL 60 capsules of 122.5 billion strains each and VSL#3 Junior which are delicious watermelon flavored 30 powder sachets well suited for kids. I get great results using all three.

How much VSL#3 should you take?

Clinical studies that have evaluated VSL#3 for the dietary management of ulcerative colitis (UC), an ileal pouch or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) used varying daily amounts of VSL#3. Daily intake usually ranges from 225 (1/2 packet or 2 capsules) to 3,600 (8 packets of VSL#3 billion bacteria. Daily intake based on studies are as follows:
For Adults:
VSL#3 Capsules (112.5 billion in each): Consume 2-8 capsules daily or as directed
VSL#3 Packets (450 billion in each): Consume 1-8 packets daily or as directed

For Children:
VSL#3 Capsules (112.5 billion in each): Consume 1-8 capsules daily or as directed
VSL#3 JUNIOR packets (225 billion in each): Consume 1-4 packets daily or as directed
VSL#3 Packets (450 billion in each): Consume 1-4 packets daily or as directed.

Chronic inflammation, that’s what I’ve been talking about for years. Now, finally, medical research has progressed enough to validate the understanding that we, who have used a functional medicine model long before it even had a name, have known about for a long time. Sometimes, new concepts are hard to welcome into our way of thinking. Fortunately, we are seeing this type of verification from many different reliable sources now and that makes it easier.

Dr. Leonard Smith MD who is a retired general, vascular, and cancer surgeon as well as an expert on nutrition and natural supplementation talks about chronic inflammation as well. Dr Leonard Smith MDHe is currently on the volunteer faculty of the Department of Surgery and is a medical advisor and lecturer for the Division of Integrative Medicine at the University of Miami, Florida. Acknowledging the effectiveness of whole organic foods and nutritional supplementation, Dr. Smith stays on the cutting edge of research and
keeps pace with the latest advances in the field of functional nutrition.

He quotes a study to show that with aging there are marked reductions of several important species of probiotics, especially Bifidobacterium and Bacteroides, as well as a reduction in short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs).

He explains how these bacterial imbalances lead to improper immune sensing by what they call, ‘the gut-associated lymphoid tissue’ (GALT). This is what leads to increased inflammation and leaky gut symptoms. What happens is that the inflammatory proteins increase and so your gut and immune system is kept out of balance. Then widespread inflammation is found everywhere.

Because the origin of chronic inflammation is in the gut, this is where the balancing out begins. Did you know that two-thirds of the body’s defenses live in the digestive (GI) tract? Intestinal bloating, frequent bouts of diarrhea or constipation, gas and pain, heartburn and acid reflux are all early signs of an inflamed digestive tract.

Your immune system first manifests ‘over work’ in your digestive tract. It was designed to get rid of viruses and bacteria in your food before they infect your body. It has to take nutritional value from the food you eat and get rid of the rest. Now it has to do a whole lot more.

Today we give our digestive systems a lot more work to do. We have changed from eating a hunter-gatherer type diet to eating convenience and fast foods. This overwhelms our metabolism and GI tract. This breeds chronic inflammation. The modern diet gives us an eating pattern that has an upside-down ratio of fatty acids, high levels of wheat, dairy, and other common allergens and of course, way too much sugar and carbohydrates.

So the first step in reducing inflammation on a cellular level is to pay attention to your diet, in particular your glycemic load, your intake of essential fatty acids, and being aware of food sensitivities. Unfortunately, as we get older, foods that never bothered us before, like dairy and wheat, may trigger chronic low-grade indigestion or other seemingly minor symptoms that put our immune system on guard — with additional inflammatory concerns to follow.

I am a firm believer in the use of probiotics on a daily basis. They help reduce chronic inflammation in all types of digestive complaints. In fact, there was a recent study on the effectiveness of probiotics by Yoonl et al published in Dec 2013 to show how the proportion of patients whose symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome – IBS – were substantially relieved, were significantly higher in the probiotics group than in the placebo group.

So, start taking probiotics on a regular basis today to reduce pain, increase energy and relieve chronic inflammation. You’ll feel the benefits immediately.

Uceris for treatment of Ulcerative Colitis

Uceris for treatment Ulcerative Colitis

Is Uceris a good choice?

Uceris fro ulcerative colitisSeveral clients have mentioned that they have been using Uceris for treatment of  Ulcerative Colitis. Its thought to be a different kind of treatment for UC as it specifically targets the colon and helps eliminate the symptoms of colitis. Because of the way Uceris is absorbed and processed in the body, most of it does not actually enter the bloodstream.

Uceris is said to heal the lining of the colon, decreasing the severity of inflammation in the colon, and so helps to eliminate symptoms of ulcerative colitis. Its taken once daily in the morning with or without food for up to 8 weeks. They say it has a safety profile similar to placebo. But do read on and tell me what you think.

The most common side effects while taking Uceris for treatment of Ulcerative colitis are headaches, nausea, decreased blood cortisol levels, stomach-area pain, tiredness, stomach or intestinal gas, bloating, acne, urinary tract infection, joint pain, and constipation.

As a corticosteroid medicine you can only get Uceris by prescription. The fine print says that it can’t be used if you’re allergic to budesonide or any of the ingredients in Uceris. You also have to notify your physician if you have liver problems, are planning to have surgery, have chickenpox or measles or have recently been near someone with chickenpox or measles, have or had a family history of diabetes, cataracts or glaucoma, have high blood pressure i.e.hypertension, decreased bone mineral density (osteoporosis), stomach ulcers, are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, or breastfeed or plan to breastfeed.

You also need to inform your physician about all the medications you’re taking, which includes prescription, over-the-counter vitamins and herbal supplements because Uceris and other medicines may affect each other causing further side effects.

Remember, too, that while you’re taking Uceris fro Ulcerative Colitis you can’t eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice because these can increase the level of Uceris in your blood. Long-time use of Uceris can also cause having too much glucocorticosteroid medicine in your blood or hypercorticism, so its important to tell your doctor if you have any of the following signs and symptoms of hypercorticism:

  • acne,
  • bruise easily,
  • rounding of your face (moon face),
  • ankle swelling,
  • thicker or more hair on your body and face,
  • a fatty pad or hump between your shoulders (buffalo hump), or
  • pink or purple stretch marks on the skin of your abdomen, thighs, breasts, and arms.

Unfortunately, when you take Uceris for a long period of time, your adrenal glands do not make enough steroid hormones, so tell your physician if you are under stress or have any symptoms of adrenal suppression which includes tiredness, weakness, nausea and vomiting, and low blood pressure.

Uceris is known to weaken your immune system. When you take medicines that weaken your immune system it makes you more likely to get infections. This means that you need to avoid contact with people who have contagious diseases like chickenpox or measles when you’re using Uceris. Your physician needs to be told about any signs or symptoms of infection, including fever, pain, aches, chills, feeling tired, or nausea and vomiting.

Switching to Uceris may cause your allergies to come back. Again, if you take certain other corticosteroid medicines to treat allergies like eczema or rhinitis, your doctor needs to know of your allergies becoming worse when you’re on Uceris.

What’s a safe alternative?
Can you treat Ulcerative colitis naturally?
Did you know that the probiotics VSL#3 has been shown to put patients with ulcerative Colitis into remission when they take loading doses? Yes, you build up to the number of sachets per day that will control your symptoms. Probiotics are absolutely safe, with no side effects and they achieve long term recovery. Here’s the study  – so why not try VSL#3 today?

Probiotics Symposium San Antonio, TX. Oct 24th, 2013

I flew in to San Antonio Texas last night for the 7th Annual Probiotics Symposium, held at Embassy Suites on the River Walk, sponsored by the The Institute of Medical Studies and supported by an educational grant from Klaire Labs. I’m happy to say that I have attended them all, knowing that they provide us with the latest development in the use of probiotics in clinical practice. San Antonio RiverWalk

The plane from Phoenix to San Antonio was a small one, so the attendants took our ‘rollies’ at the entrance to the plane to store in the hold as they would not fit in the overhead compartments. When we got to San Antonio, we waited at the plane entrance for our ‘rollies’ to arrive. To my horror, I watched a lady grab my suitcase and quickly walk away, wheeling my luggage, instead of her own, and, I was unable to catch up to her in time to stop her. The good news is that her phone number was clearly marked on her luggage, which was the only one left, unclaimed. The phone call was made and she immediately came back to the airport so we could exchange cases. It made me wonder if this was some kind of omen… I was truly grateful for the outcome!

The Symposium started off with a ‘pre-symposium day’ of information, presented by Dr Stephen Olmstead, Chief Science Officer for Prothera Inc and David Quig, PhD VP Scientific Support from Doctor’s Data Labs.

Dr Olmstead is very knowledgeable about probiotics and the role they play in keeping us healthy. He also gave us lots of incredibly detailed information about of the role of pathogen-associated biofilm dysbiosis in our bodies, the biofilm being the place where very often, candida and other pathogenic organisms, may hide out, often for long periods of time, and why it’s so difficult to get rid of the problems that arise as a result of their mere existence. Its fascinating to learn how innately ‘intelligent’ pathogen-associated biofilm is, and what’s more, it’s not that the concept of biofilm is new. We have known about biofilm every since we knew that microbiota even existed, however, its only recently that we are discovering how biofilm functions. Dr Olmstead recommended including 2 enzyme products that he formulated, Interfase and Interfase Plus, to be used in any protocol to break down pathogenic biofilm in the gut. (If you’d like to order Interfase or Interfase Plus – let us know by sending us a message –
Click Here
)

Talking about probiotics, he stressed how the normal central nervous system needs gut flora to develop. He stressed how probiotics protect us from pathogens, regulate our immune response and also give us nutritional support. Of course, it all starts with mom … the maternal probiotics are delivered to breast milk and then to the infant; so if Mom is healthy, that’s all the infant would need. Probiotics in mother’s milk is mainly made up of bifidus, so that’s why its always a good idea to supplement with bifidus for infants and kids struggling to get rid of any digestive complaints.

Dr Olmstead reminded us the term acidophilus had been used for a long time to refer to any probiotics and it was only in the 1970’s that it was reclassified. We know that this particular strain of lactobacillus is resistant to bile acids, helps break down casein and gluten and also keeps pathogens away.

He spoke, too, about Bacillus, the Gram-positive aerobes. We used to think that they were not part of microbiota, but now we know they are. They can actually function as anaerobes if need be. They are soil based organisms and are spoken about as ‘transient commensals’ as they are only in the gut for a short time. But, even though they are in the gut for a short time, they can be very effective in getting rid of bad bacteria (pathogens).

Dr Olmstead mentioned how probiotics were not regarded as very effective in treatment with IBD, even though, in his opinion, they are extremely effective. I was thrilled to hear that, as, in my private practice and managing Crohns.net as an e-commerce site for purchase and education about probiotics for the past 15 years, I know, too, from my clinical practice and experience that probiotics, have helped tens of thousands of patients world wide.

Probiotics are one of the key supplements included in my suggested protocol to deal with the signs and symptoms of Crohns disease and Ulcerative colitis. Olmstead mentioned that he found s boulardii particularly helpful in probiotic combinations for Crohn’s Disease patients. This is verified by clinical studies (Campieri et al 2000, 118, 781).  He also mentioned studies done by Gionchetti (2000 and 2003) and Mimura (2004) using VSL#3 probiotics that were very effective in reducing the number of relapses of pouchitis.

IMG_20131024_171806_328It was delightful to meet Dr Josephine Ruiz-Healy M.D. a local, San Antonian Integrative Pediatric physician who shared how her dad had been a surgeon practicing in Mexico and how she was introduced to integrative alternatives by him. She uses probiotics in her practice all the time.

More to come tomorrow!

 

‘Pouchitis’ after ulcerative colitis surgery linked to changes in gene expression

I read a very interesting article that talks about how genes change after Pouchitis surgery – isn’t that fascinating

pouchitis

Pouchitis developing after surgery for ulcerative colitis (UC) is associated with changes in gene expression, which increase along with disease severity, reports a study in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, official journal of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA). The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health.

“Gene alterations in pouch inflammation and Crohn’s disease overlap, suggesting that inflammatory bowel disease is a spectrum, rather than distinct diseases,” according to the new research by Dr S. Ben Shachar and colleagues of Tel Aviv University, Israel. They believe the occurrence and progression of gene changes in previously normal intestine after UC surgery provides a useful model for studying the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

After UC Surgery, Gene Expression Changes in Patients with “Pouchitis”

he researchers analyzed gene expression changes in different groups of patients who had undergone “pouch” surgery for UC. In this procedure (restorative proctocolectomy), the entire large intestine is removed and a portion of small intestine (the ileum) is used to create a reservoir, or pouch, to restore bowel function.

Up to one-fourth of patients with UC need surgery because of unmanageable disease or complications. Surgery is effective, but has a substantial rate of complications—especially the development of inflammation in the newly created pouch, called pouchitis.

By definition, the small intestine is normal in UC—in contrast to Crohn’s disease (CD), which can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract. The development of pouchitis after UC surgery thus provides an opportunity to study the “molecular events” associated with the development of IBD in previously normal tissue.

The researchers found no significant changes in gene expression in normal samples of ileum from patients with UC. In contrast, in patients who had undergone UC surgery, nearly 170 significant changes in gene expression were found in samples of tissue from the surgically created pouch—even though the tissue still appeared normal.

In patients who had developed inflammation and other signs of pouchitis, the number of gene abnormalities increased to nearly 500. For those who progressed to develop “Crohn’s-like” changes of the pouch tissue, the number of gene abnormalities increased to well over 1,000. Thus as the severity of pouch disease increased, so did the number of gene expression changes.

VSL#3

VSL#3

Vsl#3 (one of the most potent probiotics on the market) research shows how taking these probiotics on a daily basis will reduce occurrence on pouchitis.

Source: Wolters Kluwer Health

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