Probiotics for work performance: Kirin-Yahoo joint study reveals labour gains in Japan

By Tingmin Koe contact

- Last updated on GMT

Results showed that consuming Lactococcus Lactis strain Plasma improved absolute presentation of labour productivity by about 5%. ©Getty Images
Results showed that consuming Lactococcus Lactis strain Plasma improved absolute presentation of labour productivity by about 5%. ©Getty Images

Related tags: Kirin, Influenza, Immune health

A joint study conducted by Kirin and Yahoo showed that consuming Lactococcus Lactis Plasma improves work performance by boosting immunity and preventing influenza symptoms from developing.

The study claims this it has been demonstrated how food products can bring about subjective changes in labour performance.

Results of the study were presented at the Japanese Society of Public Health.

226 employees from Yahoo! Corporate office participated in the study which took place in November last year to February this year. Subjects were between the age of 20 and 65.

They were divided into two groups.

During the eight week study, one group consumed Lactococcus Lactis strain Plasma in the first four weeks and stopped the consumption in the next four weeks.

The second group did not consume Lactococcus Lactis strain Plasma in the first four weeks and only started to consume it in the next four weeks.

The physical condition, mood, and labour productivity were assessed during the period of study.

Results showed that consuming Lactococcus Lactis strain Plasma 1) improves overall physical condition, 2) reduces cough, throat pain, runny nose, and nasal congestion from developing, 3) improves mood vitality, and 4) improves absolute presentation of labour productivity by about 5%.

This is because consuming Lactococcus Lactis strain Plasma activates the plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs).

These cells play a crucial role in protection against viral infections. 

In other words, consuming Lactococcus Lactis strain Plasma helps reduces absenteeism in employees.

Better skin flora, less fatigue 

Besides employee productivity, Kirin has conducted three other clinical studies involving the Lactococcus Lactis strain Plasma.

They include the prevention of flu, maintaining the balance of skin flora, and reducing fatigue.

So far, Kirin has launched products containing Lactococcus lactis strain Plasma under its iMuse brand. These include chew-able supplements, lactic acid drinks, and yogurt.

Moving forward, it plans to develop and launch more products​ containing the ingredient from its investment in New York-based Thorne Research.

Supplements for employees in Japan

With more attention placed on employees’ health and wellbeing in Japan, some firms have come out with products meant to improve employees’ health.

An example is Dricos, a firm that sells the biosensor machine “healthServer” to both corporate audience and individual households.

The machine is able to “read” the users’ physical wellbeing when they press their fingertips against the machine’s biosensor. Alternatively, the machine can also provide nutritional advice based on dietary information that users have keyed in.

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