HMOs are a collection of carbohydrate structures and the third most abundant solid component of human milk after fats and lactose. In infants, HMOs help to develop the desired microbiota by serving as a food source for the good bacteria in the intestine. Naturally occurring in breast milk, HMOs have evolved over thousands of years, with clinical and preclinical studies now suggesting that specific HMOs and levels may provide us with unique health benefits. In particular, they may help support both immunity and a healthy gut, with a potential role in cognitive development, which may open future innovation opportunities.
Global consensus supports breastfeeding as the gold standard to give newborns the best start in life. When mothers cannot breastfeed, or choose not to breastfeed, whatever the reason may be, a safe and suitable breastmilk substitute should be available and fed to the newborn. Together, DSM and Glycom support their customers in developing innovative solutions to help set formula-fed infants on a path to a long, healthy life, which is part of DSM’s promise to help keep the world’s growing population healthy.
We support independent science through free donations of our products. We have already donated our Human Milk Oligosaccharides to +55 research programs in more than 40 research institutions across the world. These programs have so far led to 15 publications. For a list of publications, click here.
Emerging evidence from our preclinical research suggests that HMOs:
Results from a clinical study using Glycom’s HMOs, 2’FL and LNnT indicate (8):
Furthermore, we are specifically investigating the effect of our HMOs on obese children and on participants suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in blinded and placebo-controlled clinical studies.
Next-generation HMOs are part of Glycom’s exciting innovation roadmap, with four new HMOs becoming available this year for innovation trials to further catalyze the already fast-growing HMO market.
We currently offer HMOs from two HMO structural classes: 2'-fucosyllactose (2'FL), the most abundant fucosylated HMO in breast milk, and Lacto-N-neotetraose (LNnT), one of the most abundant neutral core HMOs in breast milk.
The five articles listed here offer good insights into Human Milk Oligosaccharides and their benefits for human health. If you wish to dig deeper, you can find a more comprehensive list of articles here.
Further reading - Nestlé Nutrition Institute
If you are a healthcare professional, you can also find several articles on the website of the Nestlé Nutrition Institute via the following link: NNI/human-milk-oligosaccharides.
Further reading – National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine
You may also visit the PubMed website for further biomedical literature and publications on HMOs
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. Šuligoj, T.; Vigsnæs, L.K.; Abbeele, P.V.; Apostolou, A.; Karalis, K.; Savva, G.M.; McConnell, B.; Juge, N. (2020). Effects of Human Milk Oligosaccharides on the Adult Gut Microbiota and Barrier Function. Nutrients, 12(9), 2808.
5. 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.
6. 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
7. 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
8. 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.