A healthy gut is like a well-orchestrated symphony
Yakult Europe and the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra celebrated Dr. Shirota Day on Monday April 24th. The celebration took place with a meeting in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam and a concert by the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by chief conductor Lorenzo Viotti. Yakult Europe has been the main sponsor of the orchestra since 1993; the Japanese scientist Dr. Minoru Shirota is the founder of Yakult. The meeting was attended by scientists, nutritionists, journalists and influencers from all over Europe as well as scientists from Yakult.
We prioritize taking care of ourselves. We monitor our vitamin and vegetable intake, we exercise regularly and practice mindfulness to regulate our stress levels. But did you know that good health starts from within?
According to Yakult, the gut is seen as the centre of our wellbeing. It is therefore important that we prioritize our gut health and listen to what our gut has to 'say'. Your gut, and the microbiota that live there, are unique to you as a person. A healthy gut affects your immune system and even your mood and brain. Did you know that your brain and gut constantly communicate with each other to keep this in optimal balance?
This goes through for example your vagus nerve, a kind of network of nerves that runs throughout your body. This network is called the gut-brain axis and represents the close cooperation between these two organs, which allows them to communicate with and influence each other.
In recent years, much attention has been paid to the connection between the gut and the brain. Professor Bruno Pot, expert in microbiology and Yakult Science Director, explains: 'The gut and brain must be in perfect balance, like a well-orchestrated symphony. The state of our gut and brain influences our immune system, our mental well-being and even our mood. Keeping our intestinal flora healthy can be done in various ways, for example by consuming the right nutrients, but also by listening to music.'
Research has shown that music influences the activity of the autonomic nervous system, which in turn controls various organs in the body, including the gut and brain. Listening to music releases oxytocin, also known as the 'cuddle hormone'. Oxytocin lowers stress levels, which in turn has a positive impact on your intestinal microbiota.
A valuable long-standing partnership for a healthy body and a healthy mind
Research shows that both gut bacteria and music have a positive influence on the functioning of our gut-brain axis. It is therefore not surprising that two organizations joined forces, and that this partnership led to a long-term collaboration in which Yakult became the main sponsor of the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra in 1993, a year before the first Yakult bottle was produced in Europe in 1994.
'At Yakult, our mission is to inspire well-being and happiness for everyone around the world. We value investing in local communities and culture. The long-term collaboration with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra is invaluable to Yakult because the beautiful music enhances people's mental well-being', Hiroyasu Matsubara, Managing Director of Yakult Europe.
'Music is not just a collection of sounds that enter our ears and evoke emotions. It is a force that can pulse through our bodies, altering our physical state in ways both subtle and profound. It can raise our heart rates, quicken our breath, and even bring a flush to our cheeks. But it can also soothe us, slow our breathing, and ease tension from our muscles. In this way, music is not just an art form, but a medicine for the body and soul', says Lorenzo Viotti, chief conductor of the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, about the relationship between music and health.
Delivering the joy of good health and happiness to people all over the world
It soon became clear to Dr. Shirota, the founder of Yakult, that a healthy gut is the basis of a long life. For more than 85 years, this has been the driving force behind Yakult's mission, which is to help people improve their gut health for a happier and longer life. Because a healthy and well-functioning gut affects our immune system, our mood, and our mental well-being. That's why Yakult continues to focus on research into beneficial microorganisms, especially those in the gut, and the link between gut health and our overall health.
The Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra is considered one of the best orchestras, for opera and the symphonic repertoire, in the world. On countless stages, the orchestra brings people together through music and thus ensures the most beautiful music experience for both classical connoisseurs and new listeners. The orchestra is at the heart of society and wants to make classical music accessible to everyone who is open to it.