What are HMOs?
Breast milk is
the best, evolutionary engineered nutrition for infants and prolonged
breastfeeding decreases the risk of infections, diabetes and obesity. One group
of core beneficial nutrients for these extraordinary benefits are human milk
are a family of complex carbohydrates found in high concentrations in human
milk. They are the third largest solid component of mother’s milk after lactose
and lipids. More than 200 different HMOs have been discovered so far. Each HMO has a different structure which enables them to perform different beneficial functions.
Why are they
concentration and diversity of HMOs in human milk is unique and no other mammal
can compare to these extraordinary levels.
The infant is not able to digest them and therefore the evolutionary
purpose of HMOs is to provide food for specific beneficial bacteria in the
infant’s intestines. This results in
beneficial changes to the intestinal bacteria (the microbiota). Remarkably HMOs also prevent the attachment
of harmful bacteria to baby’s intestinal wall, improve overall intestinal
health, boost the immune system, and support brain development in babies.
biotechnological advances, Glycom is leading the world’s large scale production
of HMOs under GMP conditions. Glycom’s
HMOs are soon to be added to leading infant formulas.
We and our
partners have conducted placebo-controlled, parallel,
blinded, randomized, clinical
studies showing HMOs are safe and well tolerated in infants and adults. The studies reveal
that HMOs positively change the microbiota by specifically promoting the growth
of beneficial bacteria and indicate significant health benefits to
children and adults. Additionally, it was shown that HMOs have
anti-infective properties reducing risk of respiratory infections
we have an active pre-clinical and clinical program to investigate and prove
the beneficial properties of HMOs.
Further, we encourage research on HMOs and their properties by donating
material to research groups around the world. Groups interested should visit
our HMO donations page.