Danone, Yakult roll out new probiotic grants for gut health

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Global probiotics council, Health care

Danone and Yakult are handing out another $100,000 for research into the role of probiotics and gastrointestinal microbiota in health and wellness

This is the fourth consecutive year that young scientists receive grants from the Global Probiotics Council (GPC) – set up by the two dairy firms – in order to encourage research into the healthy bacteria.

The council, which was set up in 2004 by Groupe Danaone and Yakult Honsha, said the grants are designed to stimulate innovative research and advance probiotics and gastrointestinal microbiota, support young investigators, and attract new researchers in the United States into the field of probiotics and gut microbiota.

“Our vision for creating the grant program is to foster scientific research in the United States in this emerging field and, in turn, contribute to building a global foundation of science that will lead to new insights on how probiotics benefit human health,”​ said Sven Thormahlen, executive vice president R&D, Danone Research.

“The success of the grant program over the past three years has confirmed young investigators are interested in the relationship between probiotics, gastrointestinal microbiota, and the body,”​ said Mr. Yoshihiro Kawabata, senior managing director, Yakult Honsha. “We have been extremely impressed by the quality of applications received during the past three grant cycles, and hope to have similar results this year.”

Interest in probiotics has rocketed recently as more people have become tuned into the potential benefits. Global sales, including dietary supplements and ingredients, are expected to reach $19.8bn within four years, according to BCC Research.

The closing date for applications is February 15, 2011, and more information can be found here: www.probioticsresearch.com​.

GPC

The Global Probiotics Council, which was set up in 2004, said its grants are designed to stimulate innovative research, support young investigators, and attract new researchers in the United States into the field of probiotics and gut microbiota.

The GPC has three main goals:

* Raise awareness of probiotics and their health benefits through science-based education and dissemination of information to health care professionals and the public

* Communicate with government bodies, and other relevant interest groups

* Build relationships with leading researchers and research institutions and supporting collaboration research in the area of probiotics and intestinal microbiota.

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