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Clin Infect Dis. 2008 Feb 1;46 Suppl 2:S73-5; discussion S144-51. doi: 10.1086/523338.

Current marketplace for probiotics: a Japanese perspective.

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  • 1FreeLife International, Phoenix, Arizona 85040, USA.


In Japan, probiotics are available as both foods and drugs. Unlike in the United States, probiotics have a long history of cultural acceptance and safe use in Japan. Sales are booming, which may reflect the inception of the regulatory category "foods for specialized health use" (FOSHU), which permits labeling with claims that describe health benefits. A total of 65 probiotic products, containing 16 different strains, are listed among the 579 FOSHU products. Since the US market for probiotics is still small, it has substantial room to grow.

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