Dannon Launches New Web-Based Information Center to Provide 'News You Can Use' About Probiotics

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Dec. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- In conjunction with the Third International Convention on Probiotics, an unprecedented two-day gathering of more than 110 physicians, researchers and experts from 30 countries sponsored by Danone Vitapole in Paris, France, The Dannon Company Inc. today announced the launch of The Dannon Probiotics Center (http://www.dannonprobioticscenter.com), a new comprehensive online resource designed to bring the latest news and developments about probiotics to consumers, healthcare professionals and the media.

Literally meaning "good for life," probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help impact the balance of bacteria in the digestive tract, where around 70 percent of the body's immune system is located. As a natural component of
cultured milk products, probiotics are a "functional food" that has been around for thousands of years, but they first came under the modern microscope in the early 20th century, when Nobel prize winning scientist Eli Metchnikoff discovered a possible correlation between Bulgarians' renowned longevity and their regular consumption of yogurt.

Through the years, research has shown that probiotics offer important health benefits, including strengthening the protective barrier of the intestinal lining, and improving bodily functions, such as digestion, regularity and detoxification.

Today, interest around the world is growing as scientists uncover new facts about the role of probiotics in good health. At this year's International Convention on Probiotics, leading experts in the field are addressing such topics as: the mode of action of probiotics; the famous "cross-talk" theory, the dialogue between flora, probiotics and their host; probiotics and the immune system; and the cultural differences between Europeans and Americans when it comes to probiotics use.

As this health and science news about probiotics spreads, the enthusiasm Europeans have for probiotics is starting to catch on in America. In fact, probiotics are among the top food trends for 2005, according to Datamonitor's NPD database Productscan Online.

The new Web resource contains a wealth of "easy to digest" probiotics information, including:

-- Science for Healthcare Professionals - the latest scientific research,
including an archive of scientific data, information for patients, and
Web seminars.

-- News for Media - where journalists can find the most recent news.

-- Basics for Consumers - history, health benefits, and answers to
frequently asked questions, including an explanation of how probiotics
strengthen the body's immune system.

"According to a survey we conducted earlier this year, nearly a third of Americans said they were very concerned about the strength of their immune system, yet 65 percent did not know the beneficial impact probiotics can have on immunity," said Miguel Freitas, Ph.D., Medical Marketing Manager, The Dannon Company Inc. "Dannon created the Probiotics Center to be the ultimate destination for information about probiotics, including serving as a portal for the latest scientific studies about the important role probiotics can play in promoting good health."

In addition to creating The Probiotics Center, Dannon will assemble a scientific advisory board, comprised of leading medical experts, and fund new research in the probiotics arena.

About Dannon
The Dannon Company Inc., is a leading national producer of yogurt products in the United States with corporate headquarters in White Plains, NY, and plants in Minster, OH; Fort Worth, TX; and West Jordan, UT. With a strong commitment to high-quality, wholesome, nutritious and innovative products, Dannon produces about 6 million cups of yogurt each day in 100 flavors, styles and sizes. For more information about Dannon, visit the company's Web site at http://www.dannon.com.

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