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Importance Of Hmos In Breast Milk For Your Child'S Immune System

As a parent, you want to protect your child now and in the future. That includes shaping his or her immune system to make it strong.

4 mins to read Apr 1, 2021

Human Milk Oligosaccharides (HMOs), the third largest solid component of breast milk after fat and carbohydrates are a special type of prebiotics due to the diversity and complexity of their structures.1,2

HMOs feed the healthy bacteria in a baby's gut where about 70 percent of the immune system resides.2,3 For this reason, the presence of HMOs in growing-up milk is particularly important as they contribute to the development of the immune system, which rapidly evolves in early life. 2,4

Discover how HMOs work, and how last-generation growing-up milk with combined HMOs can help get closer than ever to breast milk’s immune properties.


4 ways HMOs work for child’s immunity


Human Milk Oligosaccharides serve as food for probiotics (friendly bacteria), supporting your child's immunity in very specific ways. 2,5


A 5-HMO blend in growing-up milk helps get closer to breast milk composition and supports childrens' immune systems




No less than 200 HMOs, belonging to three major families, have been identified, with 2’FL, LNT and 6’SL being the most predominant ones in each family.6,7

To date, growing up milk has had up to 2 HMOs in its composition and supported infant’s immunity with clinically shown results. However, getting closer to breast milk may also mean getting closer to HMO diversity in breast milk.

Recently, a unique 5-HMO complex has been developed: 2'FL, DFL, LNT, 6'SL and 3'SL. Its HMO proportions are based on HMO ratios in breast milk8. Together, the 5 HMOs quantitatively account for more than 40% of the HMOs* in breast milk9-13 and represent the three major HMO families7.

This 5-HMO complex is now included as part of a groundbreaking growing-up milk. This is the first time in history that a growing-up milk contains HMOs from each of the 3 major families found in breast milk.

In 2018, the first-ever clinical study of a formula with 5-HMO Complex was launched to study its effects from infancy to toddlerhood. Initial results have shown the formula to be safe, well tolerated and to support age-appropriate growth up to 4 months of age. It also supports digestive health by promoting a soft stooling pattern as in breastfed infants. And last but not least, this formula supports immune health by supporting the development of the gut immune system and shaping the gut microbiome closer to that of breastfed infants.14,15

*43.5% of the sum of the 20 major HMOs generally measured in human milk.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: We believe that breastfeeding is the ideal nutritional start for babies and we fully support the World Health Organizations recommendation of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life followed by the introduction of adequate nutritious complementary foods along with continued breastfeeding up to two years of age.

NAN® Supreme Pro 3 is not a breast-milk substitute. We recommend that you speak to your healthcare professional about how to feed your baby and seek advice on when to introduce this product.

References: 1. Zivkovic AM, et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci US A. 2011;108(suppl 1):4653-4658. 2. Bode L, Glycobiology. 2012;22:1147-1162. 3. Perdigón G, et al. Curr Issues Intest Microbiol. 2001 Mar;2(1):27-42. 4. Niers L, et al. Nutr Rev. 2007;65(8):347–60. 5. Walsh C, et al. J Funct Foods 2020;72:104074. 6. Ninonuevo MR, et al. J Agric Food Chem 2006;54(20):7471-80. 7. Donovan SM, et al. Ann Nutr Metab 2016;69 (Suppl 2):42-51. 8. Internal data. Nestlé Nutrition. 9. Samuel TM, et al. Sci Rep 2019;9(1):1-10. 10. Austin S, et al. Nutrients 2016:8;8(6). 11. Austin S, et al. Nutrients 2019;11(6):1282. 12. Sprenger N, et al. Eur J Nutr 2017;56(3):1293-1301. 13. Lefebvre G, et al. Front Nutr 2020;7:574459. 14. Bauer V, et al. Abstract at Pediatric Academic Societies Conference 2021. 15. Bauer V, et al. Abstract at Nutrition & Growth Conference 2021.

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