Editor(s): Storm HM, Shepard J, Czerkies LM et al..
A recent study suggests that 2’fucosyllactose (2’FL) when added to a partially hydrolysed whey protein infant formula, with Bifidobacterium animalis ssp lactis strain Bb12 (B. lactis) is well tolerated. A validated multi-symptom index was used to confirm this finding.
HMOs are unique and functional components of breast milk that play an essential role in the development of the baby’s immune system. 2’FL is one of the most predominant HMOs found in human milk. It contributes to the selective growth of beneficial gut microbiota, acts as an antiadhesive against pathogens and plays a role in modulating cellular immunity. 2’FL when added to infant formula is safe and has potential clinical benefits.
Storm and colleagues conducted a randomised, controlled, double-blinded multicentre study to evaluate the tolerance of 2’FL in a partially hydrolysed whey protein infant formula with the probiotic B. lactis. Seventy-nine healthy full-term babies with a mean age of 14 days were randomly assigned to the test and control groups who were fed partially hydrolysed 100% whey protein formula containing B. lactis, with the addition of 2’FL in the test formula as the only distinct feature from the control formula. The Infant Gastrointestinal Symptom Burden Questionnaire (IGSQ) was used by the parents/caregivers to assess signs and symptoms related to stooling, spitting up/vomiting, flatulence, crying, and fussing.
After 6 weeks of formula feeding the IGSQ scores were similar in both the test and the control groups. A trend towards fewer infections and infestations in the test group could suggest a role of 2’FL in the development of immunity in babies.
The researchers concluded that 2’FL when added to a 100% partially hydrolysed whey protein formula with B. lactis is well tolerated by babies.