Long drives, gusty winds, jumping in puddles and enjoying savouries can be anybody’s longing desire to enjoy the monsoon. However, monsoon also marks the onset of diarrhoea, food poisoning, common cold and cough and allergies that can ruin your day and spoil the celebrations. Taking quick fixes with pills and home remedies further aggravate health issues.
Globally the concept of Functional Foods is more acceptable as it rests on one sole pillar:Prevention being better than Cure. This isnow a welcome addition for the overall improvement of health and prevention of diseaseworld over. In India too, the popularity of functional foods is fast catching on with consumers.
The unique properties of LcS in Yakult, the globally acclaimed probiotic drink has created a new edge in the functional foods space as it works on reducing the risk ofdiarrhea, controls food poisoning, gives relief from cold and cough and increases the activity of the Natural Killer cells thereby building overall immunity.
According to Dr Neerja Hajela,General Manager – Science and Regulatory Affairs, Yakult Danone India Pvt. Ltd. “It is shocking to know that in India more than three lakh children die every year due to diarrhoeaowing to poor hygiene and lack of clean drinking water. Diarrhoeal disease is the second leading cause of death in children under five years old. It is both preventable and treatable.
Hence our studies are based on a host of clinical trials over a period of time to build a strong scientific backing of LcS for its safety and efficacy .”
Elaborating further on the various clinical trials, Dr Hajela said, “The study conducted by the National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases is among one of the largest community based trials that has been conducted in the area of probiotics. It pertained to iarrhea among children under 5 years in Kolkata where 2000 children drank one bottle of Yakult [with the probiotic bacteria Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota (LcS)] for 12 weeks and the other group consumed the nutrient drink without the probiotic bacteria. The children who consumed the probiotic had 14% lesser incidence of diarrhea as compared to the other group. This study was published in the “International Journal of Epidemiology and Infection” in 2011.” (Sur D et al (2011) Epidemiology and Infection 139: 919-926)
Similarly, food poisoning can be curbed substantially with LcS which is caused by harmful bacteria such as E-Coli O157 as it produces poisonous substances in the intestine and lead to intestinal pain, serious diarrhea, vomiting and fever. One animal study conducted showed the effect of LcS in suppressing E-Coli O157 and reducing poisonous substances remarkably. (Ogawa M et al(2001))
Even common cold and coughwhich impacts one’s immunity can be boosted with LcS consumption especially in cases of athletes and fitness freaks as low immunity affects performance and also reflects badly on their fitness levels. The results of a trial in Loughborough University in UK carried out by Prof. Michael Gleeson showed a clear benefit of LcS in reducing incidence of common colds in athletes. Here 84 athletes were divided into two groups and were given either two bottles of Yakult or the fermented drink without the probiotic bacteria for 16 weeks. The consumption of the probiotic resulted in 50 % lower cases of upper respiratory tract infections likein cold and cough. Moreover when the athletes who were consuming the probiotic experienced stomach disorders, the number of days that they suffered were much lesser than the group that did not get the probiotic.It was observed that the salivary IgA (an immune cell that is found in saliva which kills flu causing viruses) was much higher in the probiotic group.This study has been published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise metabolism in 2010.Ref: Gleeson M et al (2011) International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism 21(1): 55-64.
Most importantly, owing to infection, stress, inadequate sleep and poor nutrition, the activity of Natural Killer (NK) cells decline. The consumption of LcS in monsoon will help to increase the activity of NK cells and ward off viruses. Studies among healthy adults and elderly who consumed the fermented milk drink containing LcS for 3 weeks showed that Natural Killer cells cell activity was significantly increased in those individuals whose NK cell activity was low. This was seen especially in the elderly who are prone to infections like pneumonia because of a weak immune system. Source – Takeda K et al (2006) Clan Exp Immunol 146 : 109 – 115
So while the rains pour and wind roars, rely on Yakult’s scientifically proven LcS to stay fit, keep your immune strong and enjoy the weather.