Yogurt researchers

Top page > Yogurt researchers > Tomotari Mitsuoka: Comments to mark the launch of this website
Tomotari Mitsuoka Mechnikov Grigorov Girginov

Tomotari Mitsuoka: Comments to mark the launch of this website

Tomotari MitsuokaIt was 1953 when I started studying intestinal bacteria. In 1964, I had a chance to travel to Germany to continue my research in the field. Unlike Japan at the time, there were various yogurt products in the shops everywhere in Germany, so I regularly enjoyed them for lunch. After eating them, I noticed that the condition and function of my gut improved significantly, which made me start thinking there might be a close relationship between yogurt consumption and health.
After returning to Japan from Germany in 1967, I started devoting my career to conducting research on the bacteria that were used in yogurt making.
As I was also simultaneously studying intestinal bacteria, which was still an area where not much research had been done, it became increasingly clear that the intestinal microbiota and its health were related to each other at a fundamental level.

After the government of Japan instituted the system for certifying a Food For Specified Health Use (FOSHU) in 1991, yogurt came to account for roughly 70% of all approved items under the system, which is yet further evidence that yogurt is a food that offers great health-enhancing benefits.

As research on intestinal bacteria made significant progress, it became clear that yogurt had the function not only of regulating the intestinal condition and activity but also of improving one’s overall physical condition and immune system.

For example, some scientists are planning to use yogurt in experiments to test its efficacy in treating pollen allergy, which basically occurs due to a malfunction in one’s immune reaction. Also, in Europe there are reports that yogurt might be effective in treating atopic dermatitis and other similar diseases, which is apparently a secondary positive effect of improving the patients’ intestinal condition by consuming yogurt.
In any case, if one’s intestines improve with a lower pH level, that is a positive and healthy state overall. More research is being done on this and has revealed that yogurt consumption can be effective in preventing various lifestyle diseases.

When I consider how yogurt and its study will evolve in the future from my vantage point, one of the areas where yogurt has high potential might be for preventing postoperative secondary infection after disease onset, by using yogurt’s known function of boosting immunity.
Through this sort of approach, I expect that the positive effects of yogurt will be increasingly leveraged in medicine. Also, as one’s immune strength deteriorates with age, I would like to see more elderly people actively include yogurt in their diet. I recommend that people start consuming yogurt on a regular basis upon reaching adulthood.

I understand that this website has been created to promote yogurt consumption and provide useful and interesting information on yogurt to the public. I sincerely hope the website will encourage consumer education and the evolution of yogurt.

Tomotari Mitsuoka