Human milk oligosaccharides (HMO) are multifunctional components in breast milk that shape the infant’s developing gut microbiota and influence the developing immune system.
The human gut is colonised by a wide diversity of microbes and they exhibit highly evolved synergistic relationships to provide essential biological functions to the host and how the gut microbiome is influenced by many factors in early life. It is important to establish a stable gut microbial community, which closely tracks host growth and immune development. The mechanisms whereby delays or alterations in the establishment of these communities can lead to microbiome immaturity, raise the risk of allergy development including cow’s milk protein allergy (CMPA).
Addition of HMO in the dietary management of CMPA offers a new way to shape the gut microbiome in infants with CMPA that for any reason cannot be breastfed.