Science and technology are at the heart of everything we do

HMO Clinical Research and Science

We invest in research

To prove the impact on human health and document the mechanisms of Human Milk Oligosaccharides (HMOs), we lead a rich program of preclinical and clinical studies. Independently, and along with a substantial network of more than 40 research and strategic partners across the world.

Our preclinical studies show that HMOs:

  • Increase the relative abundance of beneficial bacteria, in particular bifidobacteria, while reducing the growth of potentially detrimental bacteria; for example Clostridium difficile and coli
  • More rapidly help the intestinal bacterial composition to recover after antibiotics1
  • Increase the concentration of beneficial bacterial metabolites which are key nutritional components for intestinal barrier and immune cells while reducing detrimental metabolites2.
  • Improve the functioning of the intestinal barrier by reducing gut permeability 3. An impaired intestinal barrier and leaky gut are linked to many health issues.
  • Improve the immune system by inducing the immune balance4,5

Proven results for infants

In infants, our HMOs have been shown in a clinical study6 to:

  • Be safe
  • Increase beneficial bacteria and reduce pathogens, much like mother’s milk does
  • Reduce lower respiratory tract infections by 43% and bronchitis by 63% in the first year of life2
  • Reduce the use of antibiotics and fever medication as compared to standard infant formula

Proven results for older children and adults 

Our HMOs have been shown in a clinical study7 to:

  • Be safe and well tolerated, even at high doses
  • Increase beneficial bacteria, in particular bifidobacteria.

Furthermore, we are specifically investigating the effect of our HMOs on obese children and on patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in blinded and placebo-controlled clinical studies.

Our HiMOexperience test program with ~1600 participants that try one of our lead compounds for 12 weeks indicate that participants are highly satisfied and generally experience improvements on…

  • gastrointestinal symptoms such as pain, diarrhoea, constipation and bloating
  • allergy and food intolerance symptoms
  • quality of life symptoms such as energy levels, irritability and depression

The results are based on self-reported data on web-based five surveys over a period of 12 weeks.

More information at


1. Vigsnæs, L and McConnell, B, “Human Milk Oligosaccharides; a new strategy against post-antibiotic Clostridium difficile?”; UEG J; Oct 2017
2. Vigsnæs, L, Elison, E, and McConnell, B, “Human milk oligosaccharides; now as powerful, specific modulators of the adult gut microbial community”, The 11th Vahouny Fiber Symposium; June 2017
3. Chichlowski, M. et al. Bifidobacteria isolated from infants and cultured on human milk oligosaccharides affect intestinal epithelial function; 2012¸J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 55(3):321-327.
4. Li M et al. Human milk oligosaccharides shorten rotavirus-induced diarrhea and modulate piglet mucosal immunity and colonic microbiota, 2014, ISME J 8(8):1609-20.
5. Comstock et al. Dietary Human Milk Oligosaccharides but Not Prebiotic Oligosaccharides Increase Circulating Natural Killer Cell and Mesenteric Lymph Node Memory T Cell Populations in Noninfected and Rotavirus-Infected Neonatal Piglets, 2017, J Nutr doi: 10.3945/jn.116.243774
6. Puccio, G. et al, Effects of Infant Formula With Human Milk Oligosaccharides on Growth and Morbidity: A Randomized Multicenter Trial; J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2017 Apr; 64(4):624-631
7. 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, 2016, Br J Nutr; 116(8):1356-1368.


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Human Milk Oligosaccharides portfolio

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