Probiotics May Help Support Digestive Health and Save Americans Health Care Costs

According to the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, digestive system symptoms prompt approximately 33 million visits to the doctor's office and 3.6 million visits to the hospital each year. But there may be hope for sufferers. Individuals may try probiotics, or "friendly" bacteria, to help quell common digestive discomforts. Clinical studies suggest that probiotic Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota helps to balance the digestive system and regulate motility, therefore potentially reducing the number of trips to the doctor and saving Americans in health care costs. L. casei Shirota, the first cultured probiotic in the world, is exclusive to The Yakult Company and is available in the affordably-priced consumer dairy beverage, Yakult(R). Today, Yakult U.S.A. Inc. launched a new website that includes product information, nutrition facts, recommended use, searchable store locater database as well as the potential health benefits of probiotics.

"We believe that our probiotic, L. casei Shirota, has unique properties that promote good health. Our technology has been studied by scientists globally and embraced by the medical community," says Mr. Teruo Tabuchi, V.P. & C.O.O. of Yakult U.S.A. Inc. "With solid scientific evidence and over 70 years of experience, we are confident that Yakult will positively impact our customers."

In the U.S. and Canada, Yakult's cultured probiotic dairy shot-drink is sold in grocery stores primarily in California and some southwest regions. Around the world, Yakult is the world's leading probiotic beverage and is sold in more than 30 countries and regions. Consumption of the petite probiotic dairy drink exceeds 25 million bottles daily. Yakult was originally produced by microbiologist Dr. Minoru Shirota in 1935 in Japan.

Yakult U.S.A. Inc., a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Yakult Honsha Co., Ltd., is headquartered in Torrance, CA. It supports Yakult's business in the United States and Canada. Sales of the company's signature probiotic drink, Yakult, began in Asian markets in the U.S. in 1999. Last September, Yakult was launched in its first major grocery chain in Southern California. Since then distribution has expanded to Northern California and parts of Arizona and Nevada. Scientists all over the world continue to confirm and expand knowledge regarding the benefits of probiotics and Yakult. Yakult Honsha Co., Ltd. was established in Japan in 1955 and is regarded as the world's pioneer of probiotics.

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