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Interest Surging in Probiotic Foods that Promote Health
Date:5/27/2009

SAN DIEGO, May 27 /PRNewswire/ -- A growing body of research was presented at the symposium, "The Health Benefits of Probiotics" at the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) 37th Annual Conference. PAs from around the world who attended are an educational bridge to consumers and they desire to know more about these "friendly" bacteria and how to recommend them to their patients.

The symposium brought together scientific experts and medical doctors in the fields of gastroenterology, nutrition, microbiology and pediatrics to share cutting-edge research on the health effects of probiotics.

A world class panel of speakers, including Mary Ellen Sanders, PhD (International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics), W. Allan Walker, MD (Harvard Medical School), Yehuda Ringel, MD (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), and Martin Floch, MD (Yale University School of Medicine) shared their extensive knowledge of the science of probiotics and their understanding of clinical applications for current preventive practices, treatments, and health promoting approaches.

Physician Assistants are increasingly asked to explain how probiotics like those in cultured dairy products and other foods or supplements can benefit the gastrointestinal tract, immunity, and health throughout the lifespan. This symposium provided the scientific evidence to help them do that.

Dr. W. Allan Walker, Director of the Division of Nutrition at Harvard Medical School, presented data on some of the mechanisms by which probiotics are having their effect. "In infants, gut bacteria are acquired up until about 2 years of age. 'Good' bacteria consumed during this time can therefore promote the right type of bacterial colonization and can lead to enhanced immunity," said Walker.

Probiotics are a diverse group of live microorganisms. They are
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SOURCE The Dannon Company, Inc.; Yakult Honsha Co., Ltd.
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