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About EFI > Iichiroh Ohhira Ph.D.
Dr. Iichiroh Ohhira, award-winning microbiologist and developer of Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotic formulations was born in Osaka, Japan in 1936. He attended Okayama University, receiving his initial post-graduate degree from the school of agriculture. Upon graduation, Dr. Ohhira worked as a landscape architect, which provided him with his first exposure to lactic acid bacteria.
While early in his architectural landscape career, Dr. Ohhira was assigned to a major project being planned and constructed in Malaysia and while there became ill after consuming a locally brewed beverage. To help ease his digestive discomfort, a local resident offered him a "magic elixir" that “mysteriously and quickly” eased his distress while at the same time spurring his professional curiosity. What was this concoction?
After studying the Malaysian product as an amateur scientist, Dr. Ohhira was determined to learn its secrets and how it may benefit mankind, so he returned to Okayama University to earn his post-graduate degree in microbiology. During and subsequent to his studies leading to a doctorate degree in microbiology, Dr. Ohhira continued his studies of the "magic elixir”. He discovered that the drink was a fermented food containing various strains of lactic acid bacteria. He also learned that the strength of the lactic acid bacteria in the drink was derived from the many years of natural temperature fermentation that permitted the strong bacteria to get stronger, while the weak bacteria died off.
After more than ten years of scientific studies, Dr. Ohhira and his team of research scientists from Okayama University concluded that they sufficiently understood the “secrets” of lactic acid bacteria and were ready to begin their efforts to duplicate the ”concoction’s” ingredients, thus enabling them to offer people the curative effects of the mixture that had made such an impact on Dr. Ohhira years before. This was the humble origin of what has become known in North America as, Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics®.
In 1991, The Japanese Dairy Science Association honored Dr. Ohhira for his paper describing a special strain of lactic acid bacteria – E. faecalis TH10. This strain was determined to be 6.25 times stronger than any other strain of lactic acid bacteria known to bacteriologists. It is found only in Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics® and other probiotic products formulated by Dr. Ohhira.
Dr. Ohhira’s thirst for knowledge has led him to pursue additional studies related to lactic acid bacteria. He also received a doctorate degree in Veterinary Medical Science from Azabu University in Japan.
Dr. Ohhira has authored or coauthored more than 20 scientific articles on lactic acid bacteria. His main areas of scientific research include:
Dr. Ohhira is a distinguished member of the New York Academy of Sciences, Japanese Society of Bacteriology, Japan Health Food & Nutrition Food Association, Brewing Society of Japan, Japanese Society for Food Science and Technology, Japanese Society of Food Microbiology, Japan Society for Bioscience, Biotechnology and Agrochemistry, Japanese Dairy Science Association, Japanese Society of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, Japan Society for Lactic Acid Bacteria, Japanese Society of Veterinary Science, Japanese Society for Virology and Society for Antibacterial and Antifungal Agents. He has lectured at universities in Japan, Korea, and Malaysia and has consulted with various governmental entities in China. He is a 2004 recipient of the prestigious Gusi Award.