SAN DIEGO, May 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Groundbreaking efforts to study and map human gut microbiota and to explore how probiotics can promote gut health were presented during the Symposium "The New Microbiota & Probiotics Paradigm" organized by Dr. Allan Walker, MD of Harvard Medical School's Division of Nutrition. The program explored real-world applications for managing gut disorders by utilizing the microbiota and probiotics paradigm.
Probiotics are living organisms that can provide benefits to human health when administered in adequate amounts, which confer a beneficial health effect on the host. Current challenges in gastrointestinal disease prevention and health promotion underscore the importance of mapping the genetic makeup of gut microbiota. The Symposium placed this new area of research into context as to how the use of probiotics can be optimized to maintain the stability of beneficial microbiota and disrupt the colonization of the gut by harmful microorganisms.
"We should know how host genes determine microbial populations in the human gut and how to better define a healthy microbiota," said Dr. Walker. "Linking this understanding to probiotic research and application in areas such as IBS represents a new frontier for promoting health and preventing and managing certain disorders."
"This new knowledge," Dr. Walker added, "will enable clinicians, nutritionists, and gastroenterologists to understand the microbiota and how probiotics may be used to optimize intestinal health."
Dr. Walker was joined by a world-class panel of experts who shared insights about the latest research and clinical applications for how probiotics may be used effectively in clinical practice to promote a stable, healthy balance of gut microbiota. Panelists included:
- Patrick Schloss, PhD (Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, University of Michigan): "Stability of the Microbiome"
- Stephen M. Collins, MBBS, FRCP(UK), FRCPC (Associate Dean for Research, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University): "Intestinal Dysbiosis as a Basis for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders"
- R. Balfour Sartor, MD (Director, Multidisciplinary Center for IBD Research and Treatment and Co-Director for Gastrointestinal Biology and Disease, University of North Carolina Department of Medicine/Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology): "Restoring a Healthy Microbiota: What Tools Do We Have?"
The program was sponsored by an educational grant from Danone Research and Yakult Honsha Co., Ltd.
About Danone & Danone Research:
Danone is the world's leading producer of yogurt products. These products are sold under the Dannon and Danone brand names. Since its founding, Danone has built its business on product offerings, which combine health benefits and taste. Danone Research is the organization responsible for all Danone R&D activities (1200 employees worldwide). Its mission is to formulate Danone products with health benefits based on scientific evidence. It also studies the effects of food on health and aims to continuously improve the nutritional profile of Danone products worldwide.
Among others, probiotic research is a key expertise of Danone Research. Over the past 90 years, Danone has amassed a collection of approximately 4,000 lactic bacteria strains or "cultures." In addition to taste and texture, some of these cultures provide probiotic health properties. Such is the case of Bifidobacterium lactis DN-173 010, used to make Activia, and Lactobacillus casei DN-114 001, used to make Actimel (known as DanActive in the US and Canada). Because this culture collection holds considerable potential for product innovation, Danone Research is carefully studying it using state-of-the-art technologies to select the probiotic bacteria of the future. For more information, please visit www.danone.com/en/research-innovations.html, www.dannon.com.
About YAKULT HONSHA CO., LTD.:
From our earliest research on lactobacilli, through the development of our food, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical businesses, Yakult has retained its commitment to improving human health. Today our responsibilities extend beyond basic health to embrace global social and environmental challenges.Yakult's Central Institute works to elucidate the relationship between human health and intestinal microbiota, focusing on basic research into the structures and functions of microbiota. 'YIF-SCAN', Yakult's state-of-the-art intestinal flora analysis system, selectively quantifies bacteria based on the unique gene sequences of individual microbiota. Synbiotic treatments (combining probiotics and prebiotics) have already been shown to promote the recovery of immune functions, prevent septic complications, promote absorption and digestion, improve nutritional status, and enhance recuperative powers by improving the balance of the microbiota.Yakult's network extends through Asia, Oceania, the Americas and Europe and our products are sold through 27 overseas operations and consumed in 32 countries. Daily global consumption of Yakult dairy products numbered 30 million in June 2010. We will continue to strive to deepen our understanding of lactobacilli and support good health for all. Yakult U.S.A. Inc., the subsidiary of YAKULT HONSHA CO., LTD., is stationed in Torrance, CA. For more information, please visit http://www.yakult.co.jp/english and http://www.yakult.co.jp/institute.
SOURCE Yakult Honsha Co., Ltd.; Danone & Danone Research