publication

Presence and Levels of Galactosyllactoses and Other Oligosaccharides in Human Milk and Their Variation during Lactation and According to Maternal Phenotype

Title: Presence and Levels of Galactosyllactoses and Other Oligosaccharides in Human Milk and Their Variation during Lactation and According to Maternal Phenotype

Authors: S. Eussen et al
Published: 2021
Journal:

Nutrients

Human milk is the best possible nutrition for all infants.
The unique composition of human milk provides specific short- and long-term health benefits for the infant such as, amongst others, optimal growth and maturation, and protection against infections and illnesses.

Human milk contains a relatively large amount of oligosaccharides, Human Milk Oligosaccharides (HMOS), that represent the third largest solid component of milk.
There are more than 200 individual and unique HMOS in human milk and new ones continue to be identified.
The total pool of HMOS as a collective group supports immune health, as they prevent pathogens to cause infection, and increase the number and activity of immune cells. HMOS have a prebiotic effect, primarily through stimulating a balanced gut microbiota.
The concentrations of HMOS vary in human milk, among women and are influenced by various factors, including the stage of lactation, parity, maternal diet, body mass index, ethnicity, socioeconomic status and genetic predisposition.

Among the HMOS, the galactosyllactoses (GLs) are only limitedly studied and, although they appear in low concentrations, 3′-GL and 6′-GL have recently been reported to contribute to the to support the maturation of infant’s immune system.

This study, recently published in Nutrients, aims to describe the presence and relative levels of HMOS, including GLs, in human milk according to maternal Secretor and Lewis (SeLe) phenotype and lactation stage.

Simone Eussen, Senior Nutrition Scientist Human Milk Research at Danone Nutricia Research, comments “The usage and development of new methodologies allow us to dive even deeper in the complex composition of human milk, thereby allowing us to discover new components and helping us to understand the underlying mechanisms.”

715 human milk samples, from 371 mothers across Europe were analyzed during different stages of lactation (1-12 months postpartum).
This study is one of the largest studies to date that describes the presence and relative levels of the most abundant and prominent HMOS in a large number of human milk samples.

The outcome of the study confirms the unique and variable composition of human milk. Some HMOS were heavily dependent on maternal genetics or lactation stage, whereas other HMOS behaved very similar across the board.
3′-GL and 6′-GL were present in low concentrations in over 75% of the analyzed human milk samples and their levels remained stable across the lactation stages.

Please read the full publication here: Nutrients | Free Full-Text | Presence and Levels of Galactosyllactoses and Other Oligosaccharides in Human Milk and Their Variation during Lactation and According to Maternal Phenotype | HTML (mdpi.com)

Danone Nutricia Research has been studying the composition of human milk for 50 years and we continue to study it to unravel its complexity.

Find out more about our Human Milk Research here: Human Milk Research | Nutricia Research