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Japanese Food Article

Yakult (ヤクルト)

If you care about your health, you’ve probably heard of Yakult. The probiotic-rich fermented milk drink is a staple in Japan and is becoming increasingly popular around the world. Many people have a daily ritual of enjoying a refreshing Yakult after their meals. Today we are going to talk about Yakult, its history, health benefits and more.

What is Yakult?

Yakult is a fermented milk drink from Japan. It contains a unique probiotic strain called Lactobacillus casei Shirota. Each bottle of Yakult contains billions of these live bacteria. Many people drink Yakult regularly as part of their daily routine because they believe it helps support good gut health. The refreshing, slightly sweet taste makes Yakult a popular choice for those looking to add probiotics to their diet.


Yakult’s history began in 1935 when the company’s founder, Dr Minoru Shirota, was conducting microbial research at Kyoto Imperial University. During his studies, Dr Shirota successfully cultivated a strain of lactic acid bacteria called Lactobacillus casei Shirota (now known as Lactobacillus paracasei Shirota).

Dr Shirota believed that preventing disease was better than treating it. He also believed that maintaining a healthy gut was the key to a long, healthy life. With these ideas in mind, Dr Shirota launched a fermented milk drink called “Yakult” in Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Prefecture. His aim was to make the beneficial Shirota strain of bacteria easily available to as many people as possible at an affordable price.
After the war, the company that sold Yakult expanded nationwide. In 1955, Yakult Honsha was established to oversee all Yakult sales companies.

In 1967, Yakult moved its research base from Kyoto to Tokyo to strengthen its R&D capabilities. Around this time, the company also began to diversify its business by introducing new products such as fermented milk and soft drinks, as well as expanding into cosmetics and medical products.
Yakult also expanded aggressively overseas. Today, the company sells its products in 39 countries and regions around the world.

Yakult refers to Dr Shirota’s core beliefs as “Shirotaism”. These ideas – preventive health care, the importance of intestinal health, and making beneficial products available to everyone – remain the foundation of Yakult’s business to this day.

出典: Yakult 公式サイト

Varieties of Yakult Family

Yakult 1000

Yakult 1000
出典:Yakult サイト

Yakult, the renowned probiotic beverage brand, has outdone itself with the launch of Yakult 1000. This latest offering boasts the highest density of the acclaimed Lactobacillus casei Shirota strain in the history of the Yakult range.

Each 100ml bottle of Yakult 1000 contains an impressive 100 billion live Lactobacillus casei Shirota probiotics. This unprecedented concentration ensures that the hardy bacteria survive transit through the digestive system and arrive alive in the intestines to provide their many health benefits.


出典:Yakult サイト

This fermented milk drink contains 10 billion live Lactobacillus casei Shirota probiotic bacteria per 1ml.
This product is a functional food with labelling claims. Studies have reported that the Lactobacillus casei Shirota strain has the functions of ‘relieving temporary mental stress and improving sleep quality in situations where temporary mental stress is experienced.

Yakult 400

Yakult 400
出典:Yakult サイト

This is a fermented milk drink that contains 40 billion cells of the Shirota strain of lactic acid bacteria in each 80ml bottle. The Shirota strain can survive and reach your intestines, where it helps to improve your intestinal environment.

New Yakult

New Yakult
出典:Yakult サイト

This is a fermented dairy drink that contains 20 billion cells of the Shirota strain of lactic acid bacteria in each 65 mL bottle. The Shirota strain can survive and reach your intestines, where it helps improve your gut environment.

Health Benefit

Supports Gut Health

The Shirota strain is known for its ability to survive the harsh acidic environment of the stomach and reach the intestines alive. Once in the gut, the Shirota strain helps maintain a healthy intestinal environment by promoting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria.

Potential Benefits for Digestion

Regular consumption of Shirota can also help with digestive problems such as constipation, diarrhoea and bloating by regulating bowel movements and improving nutrient absorption.

Boosts Immunity

By supporting intestinal health, the Shirota strain is thought to help strengthen the immune system. The gut is closely linked to immune function, so maintaining a balanced gut environment can have a positive effect on the body’s overall defences.


Yakult is a probiotic fermented milk drink containing the proprietary Lactobacillus paracasei Shirota strain. This unique culture of bacteria helps maintain a healthy gut environment, supports immune function and may improve digestion. For those looking for a convenient way to incorporate beneficial probiotics into their daily routine, drinking Yakult regularly is an easy and delicious way to support overall well-being.

If you are a fan of Japanese cuisine and looking for other drinks, click here or see below!

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