The intestinal microbiota play a key role in postnatal development of the immune system.1,2 Supporting the development of a healthy microbiota and reducing the pathogen load early in life is important to secure a stable and healthy microbiota later in life.
Oligosaccharides are found in abundance within human milk; they are bioactive components that exert a prebiotic effect. In 1998, Danone Nutricia Research launched a unique and patented blend of prebiotics (short-chain galacto-oligosaccharides and long-chain fructo-oligosaccharides – scGOS:lcFOS [9:1]) that were designed to mimic the natural prebiotic effect of the oligosaccharides found in human milk.
Clinical trials in preterm infants have shown that the supplementation of scGOS:lcFOS (9:1) to a preterm formula promotes a microbiota composition more similar to that of breastfed infants by:
- increasing the concentration and proportion of bifidobacteria3
- discouraging the growth of potential pathogens3
- Promoting colonisation with healthy gut bacteria similar to human milk fed infants and reducing presence of potentially harmful bacteria4,5
- Lower incidence of infections6
- Increased stool frequency and softer stools7,8
- Reduced incidence of allergic symptoms, such as atopic dermatitis in term infants9,10