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Nutrients. 2018 Aug 24;10(9). pii: E1161. doi: 10.3390/nu10091161.

Human Milk Oligosaccharides: 2'-Fucosyllactose (2'-FL) and Lacto-N-Neotetraose (LNnT) in Infant Formula.

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KidZ Health Castle, UZ Brussel, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, 1090 Brussels, Belgium.
Department of Gastro-Intestinal Health, Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences, Nestlé Research, Nestec Ltd., 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland.
Neonatal Pediatrics, Polytechnic University of Marche, 60121 Ancona, Italy.
Department of Paediatrics, Nutrition and Metabolic Diseases, The Children's Memorial Health Institute, 04-730 Warsaw, Poland. J.Ksiazyk@IPCZD.Pl.
Department of Public Health, University of Turku and Turku University Hospital, 20014 Turku, Finland.
Neonatology Division, Research Institute University Hospital Gregorio Marañón, Complutense University, 28009 Madrid, Spain.
Department of Pediatrics, Samara State Medical University, 443084 Samara, Russia.
Citadelle For Life, 1000 Brussels, Belgium.
Neonatology, Croix-Rousse Hospital, Lyon and CarMen Unit, INSERM U1060, INRA U197, Claude Bernard University, 69100 Lyon 1, France.
Nestlé Nutrition Institute, 60528 Frankfurt/Main, Germany.
Paediatric Nutrition, UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, London WC1N 1EH, UK.
Department of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Division of Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes, Centre for Hormonal Disorders in Children and Adolescents, Ulm University Hospital, 89075 Ulm, Germany.


The authors reviewed the published evidence on the presence of oligosaccharides in human milk (HMO) and their benefits in in vitro and in vivo studies. The still limited data of trials evaluating the effect of mainly 2'-fucosyllactose (2'-FL) on the addition of some of HMOs to infant formula were also reviewed. PubMed was searched from January 1990 to April 2018. The amount of HMOs in mother's milk is a dynamic process as it changes over time. Many factors, such as duration of lactation, environmental, and genetic factors, influence the amount of HMOs. HMOs may support immune function development and provide protection against infectious diseases directly through the interaction of the gut epithelial cells or indirectly through the modulation of the gut microbiota, including the stimulation of the bifidobacteria. The limited clinical data suggest that the addition of HMOs to infant formula seems to be safe and well tolerated, inducing a normal growth and suggesting a trend towards health benefits. HMOs are one of the major differences between cow's milk and human milk, and available evidence indicates that these components do have a health promoting benefit. The addition of one or two of these components to infant formula is safe, and brings infant formula closer to human milk. More prospective, randomized trials in infants are need to evaluate the clinical benefit of supplementing infant formula with HMOs.


2′-fucosyllactose; Lacto-N-neotetraose; bifidobacteria; breast feeding; formula feeding; human milk oligosaccharide; microbiota

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