Getting the right things to grow
Digestible only by beneficial bacteria
Human Milk Oligosaccharides can potentially impact the body in many positive ways. Only very beneficial bacteria in our intestines can digest them. Our intestines contain approximately 100,000 billion bacteria (corresponding to ~750 gram of bacteria). These bacteria are necessary for human health as they digest food, produce vitamins, control bowel movements, regulate our immune system and keep pathogens under control. An imbalance of these bacteria has been linked to many gastrointestinal disorders and various diseases1.
When breastfeeding her baby, a mother provides the baby with Human Milk Oligosaccharides, which feeds the beneficial bacteria and makes sure that they, rather than harmful bacteria, colonize the baby's intestines2.
Developing the Immune system
Babies have very delicate, under-developed intestines and immune systems. Problems arising during the development of the intestines and immune system can have lasting consequences. The human milk oligosaccharides in mother’s milk play key roles in the development of a good intestinal barrier and the immune system. They may also play a role in the development of the baby’s brain. Human Milk Oligosaccharides are nature’s way of giving us a healthy start in life3.
The science available indicates that Human Milk Oligosaccharides have similar functionalities for adults as for babies: increasing beneficial bacteria4, helping to build strong intestinal barriers5, and regulating the immune system to both protect and reduce damaging inflammation6.
1. Selber-Hnatiw, S. et al, 2017, Front Microbiol Jul 17:8:1265 'The human gut microbiota: Towards an ecology of disease'
2. Lewis, ZT el al, 2017, NNI Workshop Ser., 88:149 'Differential establishment of bifidobacterial in the breastfed infant gut'
3. Hennet, T et al, 2016, Trends Biochem Sci Jun:41(6):502 'Breast Fed at Tiffany’s'
4. Elison, E. et al, 'Oral supplementation of healthy adults with 2'-O-fucosyllactose and lacto-N-neotetraose is well tolerated and shifts the intestinal microbiota'; Br J Nutr. 2016 Oct; 116(8):1356-1368.
5. Holscher, 2014; J. Nutr 144:586
6. Kulinich, A, et al (2016), Carbohydr Res. Sep 2;432:62