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Research: Yakult’s Bifidobacterium eases gastrointestinal symptoms

In a preliminary open-label trial by a group led by A. Gomi, Bifidobacterium bifidum YIT 10347 (YIT10347) relieved gastric symptoms in patients with functional gastrointestinal disorders. Hence, in this study, the effects of YIT10347 on gastrointestinal symptoms in healthy adults were investigated.

In the GSRS evaluation, the YIT10347 group had significantly higher relief rates of overall gastrointestinal symptoms, upper gastrointestinal symptoms, flatus, and diarrhea than the placebo group. The researchers detected no significant differences in scores or relief rates of mental symptoms and quality of life, a salivary stress marker, or gastric emptying between the 2 groups. No severe adverse events associated with test beverage consumption were observed in either group. These findings suggest that daily consumption of YIT10347-fermented milk exerts beneficial effects on gastrointestinal discomfort and symptoms such as postprandial discomfort and epigastric pain in healthy adults.

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Danone completes the sale of part of its stake in Yakult for €1.3 billion

Danone announces that, as a successful outcome to the transaction previously communicated on February 14th, 2018, it has sold a total of 24,600,000 shares of Yakult Honsha Co., Ltd. (“Yakult”), for an aggregate amount of JPY175 billion gross proceeds, representing c.€1.3 billion, and corresponding to a valuation multiple of 39 times Yakult’s 2017 net income. In line with Danone’s capital allocation priorities, proceeds from the transaction will be used to continue on its deleveraging path and to invest in accelerating organic growth and maximizing efficiencies towards 2020 for sustainable value creation.
 
As a result of the transaction, Danone’s stake in Yakult’s outstanding share capital is reduced from 21.29% to 6.61%. The investment will continue to be accounted for using the equity method under IFRS. 
 
Danone and Yakult will maintain their long-term partnership and enhance their collaboration activities. Danone remains Yakult’s largest shareholder and will nominate two directors for approval at the Annual General Meeting of shareholders.

Yakult To Construct New Plant In Guangdong, China

This will be the the group’s sixth production plant in China, having started with its Guangzhou facility in 2002.

The company says that the Guangdong province is witnessing strong demand for its product in its central cities, but it also expects sales to rise in suburban areas as health awareness grows.

The Foshan plant is planned to be operational by March 2019, and will have the capacity to produce 1.2 million bottles of Yakult and Yakult Light per day.

Yakult, JAXA to test probiotics in outer space

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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