Japan Focus: Oleamide for improving memory, food aid for elderly, taurine intake, Japanese overseas expansion, and functional foods review

By Audrey Yow

- Last updated on GMT

Japan Focus: Oleamide for improving memory, food aid for elderly, taurine intake, Japanese overseas expansion, and functional foods review

Related tags Japan

This round of Japan Focus features Japanese overseas expansion via M&A, oleamide intake for improving memory, food aid for the elderly, dietary taurine for knees, and functional foods review.

Long-term consumption of oleamide could improve memory and cognitive function of elder Japanese – Meiji-funded RCT

Findings from a new study suggest that continuous consumption of oleamide, produced during the fermentation process of camembert cheese, could potentially preserve or improve cognitive function of elderly Japanese individuals.

Camembert cheese, a dairy product fermented using the white mould Penicillium camemberti ​(P. camemberti​), has been shown in vivo to enhance cognitive function.

According to the researchers, this is the first clinical trial to report the effect of oleamide on cognitive function and human sleep.

They highlighted that further studies to provide more evidence on the efficacy of MCW and oleamide on working memory and short-term memory, as well as sleep function, are warranted for future applications.

Food ‘refugees’ in Japan: Government survey reveals strong need to improve food access aid for elderly consumers

Close to 90% of municipalities in Japan need to improve accessibility to food for elderly consumers amid the country’s shift to an ageing population, according to new government data.

Consumers who are experiencing difficulties have been dubbed ‘shopping refugees'’, “people with limited shopping needs'’, and ‘”people with shopping difficulties, and their number is increasing, so much so that this ‘food access issue’ has become a social problem in Japan.

Dietary taurine intake may contribute to maintenance of knee extension muscle strength in older adults – Taisho-funded study

A study has found that dietary taurine intake was significantly and positively associated with maintenance of knee extension muscle strength over an eight-year period among middle-aged and older Japanese individuals.

Studies have shown that taurine is beneficial for diverse biological functions, including antioxidant activity and regulation of osmotic pressure. It is also reported to improve anaerobic exercise performance, endurance, and muscle strength.

There is also evidence that tissue taurine depletion accelerates muscle ageing. Importantly, taurine depletion predisposes the heart to fibrosis, which leads to cardiac fibrosis upon ageing.

WATCH: Japanese firms pursuing overseas expansion via M&A – the case of Rohto and Eu Yan Sang

Japanese companies are actively seeking overseas expansion through mergers and acquisitions, as seen in Rohto’s and Mitsui’s acquisition of Eu Yan Sang recently.

On April 4, Rohto Pharmaceutical and Mitsui & Co announced their intention to acquire 86 per cent shares of Singapore-headquartered Chinese herbal medicine firm Eu Yan Sang, making it one of the most high-profile M&A in the health and nutrition sector in recent months.

Across different sectors, Japanese companies are bucking the global trend where M&A deals have been on the decline.

Japan functional foods review: More than 110 health hazards on 18 FFC products reported

Japan’s Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA) said more than 110 health hazards involving 18 Foods with Function Claims (FFC) products were declared by FFC businesses in recent weeks.

Recent death cases linked to the consumption of Kobayashi Pharmaceutical’s red yeast FFC had prompted the inquiry into FFC businesses.

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