Breastmilk contains a diverse number of bioactive compounds that nature has designed to specifically support the developing infant. Human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) account for the third largest fraction of breastmilk 1. They are a complex mixture of indigestible carbohydrates with multiple functions 2. Increasing evidence shows the exceptional role HMOs play in supporting the developing gut and microbiome, immunity and in defence against harmful pathogens 3. This short talk by Hayley Kuter, Medical Science Liaison for Abbott Nutrition outlines HMO functions in breastmilk.
1. Ayechu-Muruzabal V et al (2018). Diversity of human milk oligosaccharides and effects on early life immune development. Front Pediatr; 6:239 doi: 10.3389/fped.2018.00239.
2. Lis-Kuberka J, Orczyk-Pawiłowicz M (2019). Sialylated oligosaccharides and glycoconjugates of human milk - the impact on infant and newborn protection, development and well-being. Nutrients; 11:306-8.
3. Donovan SM, Comstock SS (2016). Human milk oligosaccharides influence neonatal mucosal and systemic immunity. Ann Nutr Metab; 69(2):42-51.