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What make HMOs unique?

What make HMOs unique?
What make HMOs unique?
What make HMOs unique?

  • HMOs are unique bioactive oligosaccharides, produced by the mammary glands and naturally present in human breast milk, being the third most abundant solid component after lactose and lipids.1,2
  • Levels and composition of HMOs are unique to human milk.2,3
  • Over 150 types of HMOs have been identified, of which 2'FL and LNnT are amongst the most common.3-6
  • Beneficial effects of HMOs are highly structure specific, and it is unlikely that other oligosaccharides, such as those derived from plants, can mimic these effects.4


    1. Jantscher-Krenn E, Bode L. Human milk oligosaccharides and their potential benefits for the breast-fed neonate. Minerva Pediatr. 2012 Feb;64(1):83-99.
    2. Bode L. Human milk oligosaccharides: every baby needs a sugar mama. Glycobiology. 2012 Apr;22(9):1147-62.
    3. Bode L, Contractor N, Barile D, Pohl N, Prudden AR, Boons GJ et al. Overcoming the limited availability of human milk oligosaccharides: challenges and opportunities for research and application. Nutr Rev. 2016 Sep;7(4):635-44.
    4. Bode L, Jantscher-Krenn E. Structure-function relationships of human milk oligosaccharides. Adv Nutr Int Rev J. 2012 May;3(3):383S-91S.
    5. Austin S, De Castro CA, Bénet T, Hou Y, Sun H, Thakkar SK et al. Temporal change of the content of 10 oligosaccharides in the milk of Chinese urban mothers. Nutrients. 2016 Jun;8(6):346.
    6. Smilowitz J, Lebrilla C, Mills D, German J, Freeman S. Breast milk oligosaccharides: structure-function relationships in the neonate. Ann Rev Nutr. 2014 Jul;34(1):143-69.

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