|YB Dato’ Sri Dr Hilmi B Haji Yahaya, Deputy Minister of Health Malaysia checked out new interactive VITAGEN vending machine at World Digestive Health Day 2017 Celebration|
Today, sharing with you the topline results of a landmark Clinical Study Research by Pusat Perubatan Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia revealed that consumption of cultured milk drinks that contain Lactobacillus Acidophilus and Lactobacillus casei, has various overall health benefits.
This year-long study spearheaded by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) is the first of its kind conducted in Malaysia, and is highly relevant as it uses Malaysians as research subjects against the local backdrop of Malaysian diet and lifestyle habits. The research team, led by Principle Investigator and Senior Consultant Gastroenterologist, Professor Dr Raja Affendi Raja Ali, will continue to monitor and record the results of the study until its completion.
Digestive health is a concern
The preliminary result of the study is set to be announced in conjunction with World Digestive Health Day 2017 (WDHD), which will be officiated by the Deputy Minister of Health Malaysia, Yang Berhormat Dato’ Seri Dr Hilmi Bin Haji Yahaya.
He highlights, “I truly hope that the WDHD celebration will serve as a reminder to all Malaysians to take care of their digestive health.The state of the rakyat’s digestive health is apparent when looking at the Health Facts 2016 released by the Ministry of Health. It was revealed that diseases of the digestive system were the #4 principal cause of hospitalisation in private hospitals, #7 principal cause of hospitalisation in MoH hospitals, and #6 principal cause of death recorded in in both MoH and private hospitals.”.
“Further to this, in the 2011 annual report issued by the Ministry of Health, it was revealed that colorectal cancer was the second most common cancer among Malaysians. It accounted for 15.7% of cancers among men, and 10.4% of cancers among women. The incidence of cancer was found to occur at all ages but the risk increases with age. It was also found that the after the 60 years of age, the incidence rate in men exceeded that of women,” he adds.
He also commended the efforts of the research team in finding ways to delve deeper into the factors that affect the digestive health of Malaysians and their attempts of finding ways to positively affect it. He comments, “Thus far, the results they have obtained show that consuming probiotics is effective in helping to lower intestinal transit time, meaning your body can absorb the nutrients in your food more effectively and in a shorter time. It appears that the preliminary findings of the HUKM research team, which is led by Associate Professor Dr Raja Affendi Bin Raja Ali, are very promising!”
Educating and empowering the public
WDHD is organised by the VITAGEN Healthy Digestion Programme together with Digestive Health Malaysia Society (DHM). As Malaysia’s number 1 cultured milk drink, VITAGEN, is a staunch believer and supporter of the need to encourage and promote optimal digestive health amongst the Malaysian public through community education campaigns or 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 celebration include Nutrition Month Malaysia, Positive Parenting Programme, and National Cancer Council.
Dato’ Dr Muhammad Radzi Bin Abu Hassan, the Chairman of DHM, elaborates, “There are many studies by academia in collaboration with the industry and expert bodies which have helped science to answer many of the questions surrounding the function of our gut and how it works. As such, DHM plans to expand its role from being the nation’s leading expert-driven, digestive health body, to helping build a bridge between educational institutions and the industry.”
“Our collaborative research is also in line with the government’s call for more ‘translational research’ in which the government, academia, industry and the community, through expert bodies like DHM, synergise to produce solutions to national and international issues. We are certainly looking forward to unveiling the results of our study later on,” he divulges.
Support from industry
Mr Michael Ong, Deputy General Manager of Malaysia Milk Sdn Bhd, reveals, “We have always been a strong advocate of prevention, and as a part of our ongoing efforts to create greater awareness on the importance of good digestive health, we are continuously supporting 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 UKM, we will be able to gain a better understanding and appreciation of a healthy digestive system. The study found evidence on the efficacy of probiotics in our cultured milk drinks. We are greatly encouraged by the positive results of this research which is proven scientifically and is backed by scientific data and statistics.”
The WDHD 2017 celebration caters to the whole family and is held at Lower Ground Centre Court, One Utama Shopping Centre from 17-21 May 2017, 10am-10pm. Admission is free and members of the public are welcome to visit to learn more about digestive health from the experts. It showcases many exciting activities such as free health screenings, distribution of free stool test kits by gastroenterology nurses, expert consultations, kids colouring contest, and exhilarating fitness demonstration.
If you would like to learn more about how to improve your digestive health, stay tuned for updates or visit http://digestivehealthmalaysia.org/.