Japan Focus: Fermented food intake, Suntory’s mist supplement, traffic light food labelling and more.

By Audrey Yow

- Last updated on GMT

Japan Focus: Fermented food intake, Suntory’s mist supplement, traffic light food labelling and more.

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This edition of Japan Focus looks at the benefits of fermented food intake during pregnancy, Suntory’s new mist supplement, traffic light food labelling, and more.

Fermented food intake during pregnancy could reduce the risk of neurodevelopment disorders in children – Japanese study

Researchers analysed data from the Japan Environment and Children’s Study (JECS) and found that that fermented food intake during pregnancy may have beneficial associations with several areas of neurodevelopment in children.

Additionally, accumulating evidence suggests that changes in the composition of intestinal bacterial flora play an important role in the gut-brain axis.

“Therefore, we speculated that the composition of intestinal bacterial flora may be associated with not only neurological diseases but also with neurodevelopment in children,”​ said the researchers.

Spray sensation: Suntory’s in-house venture program creates supplements in aerosol spray format

Suntory’s in-house venture program has developed what it calls the “next-generation mist supplement” for better absorption and convenience. Marketed as “IN MIST”, the range currently consists of three SKUs that support beauty-from-within, general health, and sleep.

Packed in an 80ml aerosol spray dispenser using the Bag-on-Valve (BOV) aerosol technology, IN MIST’s products are sold in Ohlala Ashiya (ウララ芦屋) spa, ikon gym, and Do-Clinic which specialises in orthopaedic and musculoskeletal rehabilitation since February. The brand also came under the spotlight for winning the health tech category at Startup Japan Expo held at Tokyo Big Sight on May 15 to 16. IN MIST will now advance to the finals set to take place in November.

Consumers who eat more vegetables have higher salt intake – Japanese survey analysis

Japanese consumers with higher dietary intake of vegetables tend to have a higher salt intake, prompting a need for policy interventions that encourage vegetable preparation with less sodium, say researchers.

Unlike findings from Western countries, where higher vegetable intake has been reported to have a negative or null relationship with sodium intake, dietary patterns with higher vegetable intake in Japan were often positively associated with higher sodium intake. This may be related to Japanese cooking practices, where salt-containing condiments and seasonings are often added when preparing and preserving foods.

Dietary signals: Traffic light food labelling encourages healthier choices among Japanese students – RCT

Researchers in Japan assessed the influence of Traffic Light Food (TLF) labels on Japanese college students in a randomised controlled trial (RCT) and found that their use encouraged healthy dietary choices.

Displaying FOP nutrition information labels, such as the TLF one, has been implemented worldwide to prevent lifestyle-related diseases. To investigate its potential in influencing healthy dietary choices, the researchers undertook an RCT on 69 Japanese college students between April 11 and May 2, 2022.

Red yeast rice impact: Kobayashi Pharmaceutical records nearly US$25m losses in Q1

Kobayashi Pharmaceutical reported an “extraordinary loss” of nearly US$25m (JPY$3.86bn) in its Q1 results due to the recall of its contaminated red yeast rice products, raw materials, and compensation of medical expenses.

Stung by a string of kidney disease cases linked to its red yeast rice products since late March, the Osaka-headquartered company estimated product recall-related losses to be JPY$3.65bn (US$23m).

The saga also led to a shake up in the red yeast rice industry elsewhere, with authorities from South Korea and Taiwan releasing consumer advisories.

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