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A science-based company

Since Yakult was developed in the 1930s, science has remained at the heart of the company.

A long and scientific history

In the field of probiotics, Yakult has an unparalleled combination of long history of consumption, safety record and scientific research. Lactobacillus casei Shirota, the strain unique to Yakult, was discovered in 1930 and research into this probiotic has been conducted ever since.

Use the search box on the right to find studies in your area of interest.

Research worldwide

YCIMR_1.jpgYakult has research institutes in Japan and Europe. Importantly, the company sponsors independent researchers in hospitals, universities and institutes throughout the world, including the UK, for further investigation of the benefits and use of Yakult and L. casei Shirota.

The Yakult Central Institute, established in Tokyo in 1955, is engaged in a broad research portfolio involving more than 150 scientists. Probiotic investigations are ongoing, particularly with Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains.

The Yakult Honsha European Research Centre was opened in Ghent in 2005. Analysis of the intestinal microbiota of European people is a major research focus, using technology developed by Yakult scientists.

Scientific evidence

Lady_microscope.jpgMore than one hundred peer-reviewed publications describe human studies with Yakult’s probiotic strain Lactobacillus casei Shirota (LcS).  In 2011, for example, there were over 20 peer-reviewed publications describing original research conducted by scientists in research institutes and hospitals in the UK, as well as Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Brazil, Mexico, India, Singapore and Japan.   

The research behind Yakult has led to approval of health claims in five countries; these relate to beneficial effects on the intestinal microbiota and digestive function. In 1998 Yakult was one of the first products to be awarded the Food for Specified Health Use (FOSHU) status in Japan. 


Areas of research include

To learn more, take a look at the different research areas, or contact us for free scientific publications.

A glossary of scientific or medical terms used on this site can be downloaded here.

Available Papers

Gleeson et al (2011) Daily probiotic’s (Lactobacillus casei Shirota) reduction of infection incidence in athletes

Thomas & Ockhuizen (2012) New insights into the impact of the intestinal microbiota on health and disease: a symposium report.

Sur et al (2010) Role of probiotic in preventing acute diarrhoea in children: a community-based, randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled field trial in an urban slum

Barrett et al (2008) Probiotic effects on intestinal fermentation patterns in patients with irritable bowel syndrome

Ishikawa et al (2005) Randomized trial of dietary fibre and Lactobacillus casei administration for prevention of colorectal tumours

Levin (2011) Probiotics – the road map

Nagata et al (2011) Effect of the continuous intake of probiotic-fermented milk containing Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota on fever in a mass outbreak of norovirus gastroenteritis and the faecal microflora in a health service facility for the aged

Stadlbauer et al (2008) Effect of probiotic treatment on deranged neutrophil function and cytokine responses in patients with compensated alcoholic cirrhosis

Hajela et al (2012) Health impact of probiotics – vision and opportunities

Pirker et al (2013) Effects of antibiotic therapy on the gastrointestinal microbiota and the influence of Lactobacillus casei

Gibson et al (2011) The design of probiotic studies to substantiate health claims

Verhoeven et al (2012) Probiotics enhance the clearance of human papillomavirus-related lesions: a prospective controlled pilot study

Rao et al (2009) A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study of a probiotic in emotional symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome

Naito et al (2011) Beneficial effect of oral administration of Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota on insulin resistance in diet-induced obesity mice

Chiba et al (2010) Well-controlled proinflammatory cytokine responses of Peyer’s patch cells to probiotic Lactobacillus casei.

Eguchi et al (2010) Perioperative synbiotic treatment to prevent infectious complications in patients after elective living donor liver transplantation. A prospective randomised study

Matsumoto et al (2010) Effects of a probiotic fermented milk beverage containing Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota on defecation frequency, intestinal microbiota, and the intestinal environment of healthy individuals with soft stools.

Sako T (2011) The World’s Oldest Probiotic: Perspectives for Health Claims

Lewis et al (2009) The potential of probiotic fermented milk products in reducing risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhoea and Clostridium difficile disease

Mitsuyama et al (2008) Beneficial effects of Lactobacillus casei in ulcerative colitis: a pilot study

Shirota M (1937) Live bacterial therapy

Bian et al (2011) Effects of the continuous intake of Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota-fermented milk on risk management of long-term inpatients at health service facilities for the elderly

Naito et al (2008) Prevention of recurrence with Epirubicin and Lactobacillus casei after transurethral resection of bladder cancer

Hajela N et al (2014) Probiotic foods: Can their increasing use in India ameliorate the burden of chronic lifestyle disorders?

Verbeke et al (2008) Improvement of the gut environment by probiotics: possible risk reduction of cancer development?

Nanno et al (2011) Biological effects of probiotics: what impact does Lactobacillus casei Shirota have on us?

Shida & Nanno (2008) Probiotics and immunology: separating the wheat from the chaff

Thomson CH et al (2012) Yakult: a role in combating multi-drug resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa?

Wong SS et al (2014) Do probiotics prevent antibiotic-associated diarrhea in patients with spinal cord injuries?: A randomized controlled trial.

Dong H et al (2013) Immunomodulatory effects of a probiotic drink containing Lactobacillus casei Shirota in healthy older volunteers

Fujita R et al (2013) Decreased duration of acute upper respiratory tract infections with daily intake of fermented milk: A multicentre, double-blinded, randomized comparative study in users of day care facilities for the elderly population

Toi M et al (2013) Probiotic beverage with soy isoflavone consumption for breast cancer prevention: a case control study.

Lee LYW et al (2013) Prevention of relapse following Clostridium difficile infection using probiotic Lactobacillus casei Shirota.

Shida K & Nomoto K (2013) Probiotics as efficient immunopotentiators: translational role in cancer prevention

Wong S et al (2015) Use of probiotics in preventing antibiotic-associated diarrhoea and Clostridium difficile associated diarrhoea in spinal injury centres: an international multicentre study

Motoori et al (2015) Randomized study of the effect of synbiotics during neoadjuvant chemotherapy on adverse events in esophageal cancer patients.

Marotta (2008) International Yakult Symposium 2007. The Gut, Immune Modulation and Probiotics

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