It’s well known that the probiotic bacteria included in Yakult, a popular fermented milk drink, are essential to maintaining a healthy digestive system.

After its 1996 debut in the United Kingdom, the drink has since expanded to forty other countries and regions.

Each little container contains at least 20 billion individual members of the rare bacterial strain L. casei Shirota, named after the researcher Dr. Shirota.

An urban legend has circulated on social media for the past year that Yakult contains cow sperm. We’re here to debunk your claim.


what is yakult made of

Yakult consists of these ingredients: water, skim milk, glucose-fructose syrup, sugar, and live Lactobacillus casei Shirota bacteria.

Although this strain was once thought to belong to Lactobacillus casei, it was reclassified as L. paracasei in 2008.

In order to make Yakult, glucose is added to skim milk, and then the combination is heated to between 90 and 95 degrees Celsius for around 30 minutes.

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The mixture is inoculated with lactobacillus after cooling to 45°C and then incubated for 6–7 days at 37–38°C. Water, sugar, gums, and lactic acid are added after fermentation.

There are at least 20 billion rare types of bacteria discovered by Dr. Shirota in just one bottle of Yakult. Scientific studies have shown that the strain survives the journey to the gut, as claimed by Yakult.

The strain name ‘L. casei Shirota’ means:

L. (genus): Lactobacilli are small rod-shaped bacteria, often found in dairy products.

casei (species): This is Latin for “cheese.”

Shirota (strain): Named after Dr. Shirota.

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Is There Cow Sperm in Yakult?

what is yakult made of

In April 2021, a Facebook screenshot of a Google Search snippet claimed that Yakult was created from cow sperm and quickly went viral.

Rappler, a website dedicated to verifying information, reports that the screenshotted post has received over 27,000 likes and 67,000 shares.

The search results page includes text from an unconfirmed post on the “Just For Fun” Facebook page DYK from July 31, 2020.

You can keep drinking Yakult with complete peace of mind, as cow sperm is not listed as an ingredient on the official website.

Yakult consists of the following ingredients: water, reconstituted skim milk, glucose-fructose syrup, sugar, maltodextrin, and flavorings. L. casei Shirota is present.

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