New Insights on Probiotics reinforce the co-relation between Probiotics and robust health
Over last few years we have seen India growing up with an accelerated speed. With the latest trends in, the lifestyle of most of the Indians in urban areas has seen a gigantic change. But this change has bought in a lot of health related concerns. A lot of lifestyle disorders and health issues have surfaced due to factors like unbalanced diet, stress, lack of sleep, inadequate physical activity, irregular working hours and improper nutrition.
We now urgently need to find solutions that can counter the growing threat. Fascinating insights have shown that the largest immune organ of our body or the intestine is vital in determining our state of health because it contains more than 70% of the immune cells of the human body which improve our overall immunity and keep us protected.
Yakult Danone India Pvt. Ltd., a 50:50 joint venture between Yakult Honsha, Japan and Groupe Danone, France, both global leaders in probiotics has come forward to the rescue and have concerted plans to spread the health benefits of Probiotics and Yakult among Indian consumers through their premiere product Yakult, the world’s No 1 probiotic drink.
Yakult Danone India Pvt. Ltd. recently announced Bollywood celebrity Shilpa Shetty Kundra as their new Brand Ambassador during a recent press conference, with Shilpa being present on the stage with Mr Minoru Shimada, Managing Director, Yakult Danone India Pvt. Ltd., and Dr Neerja Hajela, General Manager – Science and Regulatory Affairs, Yakult Danone India Pvt. Ltd.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Minoru Shimada, Managing Director, Yakult Danone India Pvt. Ltd. remarked, “India with a population of more than 1.2 billion ranks very high in our list of priorities”. With growing consumer interest in holistic health, the concept of Functional Foods that provide a health benefit besides basic nutrition is becoming increasingly important. The Functional Food concept focuses on prevention of disease through foods rather than treatment with medicine. Our Founder, Dr. Minoru Shirota, a Microbiologist from the Kyoto University in Japan, firmly believed that a healthy intestine was key to a long disease free life. Intrigued by the fact that 100 trillion bacteria are present in the intestine which play a very important role in determining health, he successfully isolated a probiotic bacteriaLactobacillus casei strain Shirota (LcS) that significantly improved intestinal health and immunity. He introduced it in a fermented milk drink called Yakult which was launched in Japan in 1935. The introduction of Yakult was very useful in improving the health of people in Japan who were suffering from diarrhoea, dysentery and other infectious diseases.Yakult is being consumed by more than 35 million people in 33 countries and regions across the world.
In India, Yakult is being manufactured in a state of the art production facility in Sonepat Haryana. While Yakult is the most iconic brand in Japan, China and Indonesia, India is a challenging market for us because of limited awareness about the benefits of probiotics.Our focus has therefore been on education and we are pleased to see that more and more Indian consumers are making Yakult a part of their daily diet for its health benefits. This is also being reflected in the sale trend which is growing year on year and our business which operates across 13 cities presently will see a faster growth in the coming years because of Yakult’s well established health benefits.We operate through our Retail route and unique Home Delivery system with about 260 Yakult Ladies in India.
Speaking on Yakult’s association with Bollywood celebrity Shilpa Shetty Kundra, Mr Shimada said, “We are proud to have Shilpa Shetty as our brand ambassador as she is synonymous with good health, fitness and an active lifestyle. Having carved a niche for herself in the health and fitness space, Shilpa is completely in sync with “Shirota-ism” our core ideology which focuses on the idea of“prevention being better than cure”and “a healthy intestine leads to a long life”.
Excited about associating with Yakult, Bollywood celebrity Shilpa Shetty Kundra remarked that “I was over awed by the scientific revelation about probiotics and intrigued to know that a healthy intestine is the key to good health not only because it is responsible for absorption of nutrients but also for the fact that more than 70% of the immune cells are found there.
According to Dr Neerja Hajela, General Manager – Science and Regulatory Affairs, Yakult Danone India Pvt. Ltd., “the intestine is being recognized as a very important organ for determining your state of health because it harbours 100 trillion organisms(intestinal flora) which weigh almost 2 kg and are referred to as the “Forgotten Organ”. Unbalanced diet, Stress, unhygienic conditions, antibiotics, lack of sleep and pollution can disturb the balance of the intestinal flora which negatively influences our immunity making us prone to infection. Scientific evidence has shown that “Probiotics” which act by favourably modulating the intestinal flora help in restoring the balance and thereby improve health and prevent disease.
Globally, Probiotics have been recognized as promising gastrointestinal and immune targets that include maintenance of a healthy intestinal function, improved tolerance to antibiotics and an overall reduced risk for different diseases.