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Yakult, JAXA to test probiotics in outer space

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Beverage maker Yakult Honsha Co. and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency will start an experimental project in fiscal 2017 to examine how probiotics work on human health in outer space.

Under the project, some crew members of the International Space Station will regularly consume capsules of Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota, which is included in the company’s flagship Yakult drinks.

Yakult has developed a technology to freeze-dry the live bacteria and keep them in capsules at ordinary temperatures for as long as nine months. Capsules containing the bacteria will be carried on a U.S. unmanned vehicle to the ISS as early as this month.

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