DENMARK – Human milk oligosaccharides can help bring infant formula closer to breast milk – considered to be the gold standard of infant nutrition, a new study by Chr. Hansen has revealed.

According to the study, infants receiving human milk oligosaccharides HMOs showed a remarkable shift in their gut microbiome composition, resembling that of infants fed with breast milk.

Another important finding was that HMOs were found to be safe and well tolerated by infants, which has an important bearing on their incorporation into a wider range of infant formula products.

The study was based on a comprehensive review of 26 clinical studies, Chr. Hansen says provides compelling evidence on the safety, toleration and positive effects of HMO supplementation during infancy.

It builds on an earlier study by Chr. Hansen which demonstrated how infant formula enriched with a blend of five HMOs can reshape the fecal microbiome of formula-fed infants, bringing it closer to that of breastfed infants.

Chr. Hansen states it is at the forefront of HMO research and production and has played a pivotal role in advancing the understanding of these complex compounds.

“Our aim is to support the healthy development of infants that cannot be breastfed by providing HMOs as an ingredient for infant formula,” explains Dr. Katja Parschat, the head of research and development at Chr. Hansen HMO.

The latest study also shed light on the numerous health benefits that these natural compounds can offer to individuals beyond their infancy stage.

According to Chr. Hansen, HMO supplementation has shown promising results in many and varied populations, with the findings indicating that the ingredients have the potential to bolster gut health and immune function in children and adult.

“With the publication of the in-depth systematic review, Chr. Hansen contributes to building knowledge on the beneficial effects of HMO, assessing the current study level,” Parschat concludes.

“We are happy to provide this to customers and researchers to facilitate and to collaborate on further insight building around HMOs.”

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