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University of Shizuoka and Kao Establish Industry-Academia Collaboration Course

- To Become a Research Base for Polyphenols Studies including Tea Catechin -

The University of Shizuoka (President: Naohide Kinai) and Kao Corporation (President and CEO: Michitaka Sawada) established an industry-academia collaboration course and initiated joint research. The course aims to reveal the "MOA (mechanism of action) by polyphenols including tea catechin on metabolic syndrome such as adiposity, and the beneficial effects of polyphenols to address reduced muscle and brain functions that accompany aging."

Background of joint research

Shizuoka Prefecture is proud to record Japan's longest healthy life expectancy, and it is well known that the percentage of people affected by metabolic syndrome is the lowest nationwide in Japan (Appendix 1). The fact that Shizuoka residents intake more green tea than any other region in Japan is regarded as the main factor for this result. Against this backdrop, the University of Shizuoka has performed many studies on the beneficial effects of green tea in preventing lifestyle-related diseases and countering the effects of aging. The university has published more than 230 research papers to date (Appendix 2).

At Kao, as well, many research activities have been conducted centering on studies showing that tea catechin, a high quantity ingredient contained in green tea, helps reduce body fat. More than 40 research papers have been presented, and approximately 360 applications for patents related to tea catechin have been filed (Appendix 2).

Through collaboration by the two parties who have achieved these abundant research results, it is expected that studies on polyphenols including tea catechin will be further advanced.

Outline of joint research

An industry-academia course was newly established at the University of Shizuoka. From Kao four researchers (one full-time and three part-time) and from the University of Shizuoka four teaching staff from the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences and School of Food and Nutrition Sciences and a newly employed researcher will be involved in the joint studies. The course is planned to be held for three years, during which period of time joint research will be carried out promptly, while regularly confirming research progress.

Period of research: October 1, 2014 -September 30, 2017
Venue: School of Food and Nutrition Sciences, University of Shizuoka
Research theme: Studies related to physiological effects of polyphenols

Expected results through joint research

The new results achieved through the research will be actively released worldwide jointly by the two parties. While expecting that the results will promote further development of functional foods including tea beverages, we strive to contribute to prevention of lifestyle-related diseases and elucidate age-related decrease in muscle and brain functions.

Media inquiries should be directed to:

Corporate Communications Department
Kao Corporation

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