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HMO: A major immune component of human milk

Helping build one’s child’s natural defenses is at the core of every parent’s nutritional choices. Understanding how immunity works and particularly, the key role of Human Milk Oligosaccharides (HMOs) is a good way to start.

3 mins
to read Apr 1, 2021

The recent discovery of HMO’s contribution to human milk immune properties was, in itself, a great scientific breakthrough. However, the ability to synthesize and introduce HMOs in milk formulae is now opening a whole new world of possibilities for a child’s health.

Discover why......

HMO: A nutrient with incredible properties

HMOs are the third largest component in human milk after lactose and lipids.1-3 They serve as food for probiotics (friendly bacteria) and support them and other microorganisms in the gut.4 More than 200 HMOs have been identified so far, with 2’-FL being the most abundant one found in human milk.1,5-7

4 ways HMOs work for child’s immunity

The vast majority of HMOs reach the lower gut unchanged and ready to help support your child’s immunity.3,8


2’-FL: An amazing HMO to include in your child's milk

2’-FL is one of the few HMOs that have been clinically shown to support child’s gut and immune health:

Moreover, a formula with 2’-FL was clinically shown to help the development of the gut microbiota towards a more beneficial composition (more bifidobacteria, limited growth of some pathogens).17

This HMO is now included as an immunity support at the heart of a highly innovative formula.


Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended during the first 6 months of life followed by the introduction of adequate nutritious complementary foods, along with sustained breastfeeding up to two years of age and beyond. NAN® Supreme H.A. 3 is not a breast-milk substitute. As babies grow at different rates; seek advice with your health professionals on the appropriate time when your baby should start receiving this product.

1. Zivkovic AM, et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci US A. 2011;108(suppl 1):4653-4658.

2. Bode L. Glycobiology. 2012;22(9):1147-1162.

3. Donovan S, et al. Ann Nutr Metab. 2016;69(Suppl 2):42-51.

4. Institute of Medicine (US) Food Forum. The Human Microbiome, Diet, and Health: Workshop Summary. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2013. 5, Influence of Diet and Dietary Components on the Microbiome. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.

5. Bode L. Early Hum Dev. 2015;91(11):619-622.

6. Vandenplas Y, et al. Nutrients. 2018;10(9). pii: E1161.

7. Moossavi S, et al. Front Nutr. 2019 May 16;6:58.

8. Ruhaak L, et al. Anal Bioanal Chem. 2014;406(24):5775-5784.

9. Turroni F, et al. PLoS One. 2012;7(5):e36957.

10. Angeloni S, et al. Glycobiology. 2005;15(1):31-41.

11. Jantscher-Krenn E. Minerva Pediatr. 2012;64(1):83-99.

12. Smilowitz J, et al. Annu Rev Nutr. 2014;34(1):143-69.

13. Sprenger N, et al.Eur J Nutr. 2017; 56(3):1293-301.

14. Morrow AL, et al. J Pediatr. 2004 Sep;145(3):297-303.

15. Storm HM, et al. Glob Pediatr Health. 2019 Mar 15;6:2333794X19833995.

16. Goehring KC, et al. J Nutr. 2016;146:2559-66.

17. Lewis ZT, et al. Microbiome. 2015 Apr 10;3:13.

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