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Irritable Bowel Syndrome Takes Center Stage at Yakult's 17th Intestinal Flora Symposium

- Probiotics may offer sufferers non-drug option for symptom relief -

TOKYO, Nov. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Last Friday, the 17th Annual Symposium on Intestinal Flora at Yakult World Headquarters Hall in Tokyo gathered physicians, researchers and company associates from 19 countries, including the U.S. This year's theme, "Intestinal Microbiota and Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders" focused on brain-gut interactions and Irritable Bowel Syndrome, which is believed to be the "entry illness" that leads to various digestive diseases.


IBS affects up to 25% of the world population and roughly one in five Americans. It is caused by an inflammatory reaction in the intestines, often triggered by stress, and results in a change to gut microflora. These mechanisms and other new discoveries about the brain-gut relationship were presented to a packed room of more than 500 attendees.

"Probiotics show promise for manipulating gut microflora," predicated Stephen M. Collins of McMaster University, Canada concluding his presentation, 'The Influence of Commensally Bacteria on the Gut-Brain Axis.' Probiotics are appealing for IBS sufferers since they are not drugs, have no side effects and can help maintain intestinal balance.

Other presentations included: "Stress and brain-gut interactions in IBS," by Shin Fukudo (Tohoku University, Japan); "Intestinal inflammation and motor function," by Hiroshi Ozaki (University of Tokyo); "Effect of stress-related peptides on colonic motility," by Shigeru Yamato (International Medical Center of Japan, Konodai Hospital); "Probiotics and IBS," by Eamonn M. Quigley (Cork University, Ireland); "Stress and intestinal microbiota," by Michael T. Bailey (Ohio State University); and "IBS: medicine and probiotics," by Mitsuhisa Kawai (Yakult Central Institute for Microbiological Research, Japan).

Yakult Honsha Ltd., Co. developed the symposium in 1992 when probiotics research gripped doctors and scientists abroad. Since then, it has become one of the world's most prominent forums discussing the hottest research and advancements in the probiotics field. The symposium is free and open to the public every year; in Japan no registration is required. Interested participants in the U.S. can reserve a seat for future symposia by contacting Yakult USA Inc. at

Founded by Dr. Minora Shirota, Yakult Honsha Ltd., Co. was established in Japan in 1955 and is regarded as the world's pioneer of probiotics. The company produces Yakult, the original probiotic dairy drink containing the exclusive strain Lactobacillus casei Shirota. Scientists all over the world continue to confirm and expand knowledge regarding the health benefits of Yakult and probiotics. Yakult U.S.A. Inc. is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Yakult Honsha Co., Ltd. and is headquartered in Torrance, CA. It supports Yakult's activities in the United States and Canada. For more information, visit

SOURCE Yakult U.S.A. Inc.
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