World Digestive Health Day 2018 -Probiotics Enhances Digestive Health and Immune System, Vitagen Malaysia

July 18, 2018

Every year, VITAGEN Malaysia will take the effort to create the important of your digestive system during World Digestive Health Day. This year, VITAGEN put more efforts to create awareness to the public in term of education and roadshow. The final results of a landmark local research conducted at Pusat Perubatan Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (PPUKM) were revealed recently. The research was over a one-and-a-half year period and its results were highly relevant as it was based on Malaysians as research subjects.

The research team, led by Principle Investigator and Consultant Physician and Gastroenterologist Assoc Professor Dr Raja Affendi Raja Ali, found scientific evidence linking regular consumption of probiotics with significant enhancement to the research subjects’ immune system. The probiotics were provided in the form of cultured milk drinks that contain Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus paracasei.

Assoc Professor Dr Raja Affendi shares, “The results of this study clearly prove that these two probiotic strains also significantly enhance immune system homeostasis, meaning that the immune system’s ability to sustain a favourable balance is maintained.”

Three pro-inflammatory markers that related to the chronic inflammatory diseases or even cancers, namely tumour necrosis factor-alpha, Interleukin 6, and Interleukin 8, were examined in detail among the healthy subjects and patients with irritable bowel syndrome. The researchers found significant reductions in all three markers among the majority of the research subjects.

The research had already determined that probiotics provided Malaysian research subjects with positive benefits to their digestive health. Significant improvements were reported:
➢ 96% of research subjects reported improvements in constipation symptoms,
➢ 45% of research subjects spent less than 10 minutes in the toilet,
➢ 36% of research subjects experienced less straining when going to toilet,
➢ 31% of research subjects reported softer stools,
➢ Food digestion time is faster by 33% whereby it normally takes 20-45 hours, which was reduced by 5-15 hours.

All the results of this landmark local research were also presented at the premier International Digestive Disease Forum in Hong Kong earlier this month.

Celebrating digestive health The results were announced at the launch of the World Digestive Health Day (WDHD 2018) celebrations on June 30 at Sunway Velocity Mall. On hand to officiate the launch was Deputy Director General of Health (Public Health), Ministry of Health Malaysia, YBhg Dato’ Dr Hj Azman Bin Hj Abu Bakar. During his opening speech, he acknowledged the significance of the study’s results when taking into account the dire state of the digestive health of many Malaysians.

“The Health Facts 2017 released by the Ministry of Health shows that diseases of the digestive system were the fourth principal cause of hospitalisation in private hospitals, seventh principal cause of hospitalisation in MOH hospitals, and sixth principal cause of death recorded in both MOH and private hospitals,” he reveals. 

He went on to add that many factors contributed to this, such as colorectal cancer and obesity. “Both the private and government sectors must work together actively in order to successfully tackle this problem. Persistent and focused efforts are necessary if we are to succeed in lowering the incidence of digestive diseases in the future,” he divulges.

Educating and empowering the public The organisers of WDHD 2018, namely the VITAGEN Healthy Digestion Programme together with Digestive Health Malaysia Society (DHM), hope to encourage and promote optimal digestive health amongst the Malaysian public through community education campaigns and initiatives.

DHM is an expert-driven, digestive health body that seeks to empower all Malaysians to manage their digestive health with confidence and optimism, thereby reducing the prevalence of digestive health diseases. Other collaborators of the WDHD 2018 celebration include Nutrition Month Malaysia, Positive Parenting Programme, and National Cancer Council.

Datuk Dr Muhammad Radzi Bin Abu Hassan, the Chairman of DHM, elaborates, “It is our hope that the results of this study is useful in creating greater synergy among the government, academia, industry and the community, thus producing solutions to the poor digestive health that many Malaysians currently face.”

Support from industry Mr Poh Eng Lip, General Manager of VITAGEN, reveals, “We have always been a strong advocate of prevention and a staunch supporter of various community programmes that focus on raising awareness of the importance of digestive health.”

“This year, we are pleased that by collaborating closely with experts from PPUKM, we have gained a better understanding of how probiotics can improve digestive health and enhance the immune system. The study found evidence on the efficacy of the probiotic strains in our cultured milk drinks, namely Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus paracasei. We are greatly encouraged by the positive results of this research, which was proven by the research and is backed by scientific data and statistics.”

Family-friendly fun WDHD is an annual event that caters to the whole family, and this year, it was held at Main Atrium, Ground Floor, Sunway Velocity Mall from 28 June-1 July 2018, 10am-10pm. Members of the public learned more about digestive health from the experts. It showcased many exciting activities such as free health screenings, distribution of free stool test kits, interactive 3D mural, public video screening, expert consultations, kids colouring contest, and exhilarating fitness demonstration.

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