New generation of HMOs: From latest Research to Clinical Practice
Current evidence suggests that the structure of an HMO determines its function; in other words, not all HMOs do the same. Various studies have shown that specific HMOs impact immune, gut and brain health. New avenues of potential future benefits now seen in pre-clinical models are the impact of early life HMOs exposure on later bone health and influence on allergic outcomes. HMO research has progressively shown benefits in healthy infants and those with cow’s milk protein allergy (CMPA), specifically relating to two key HMO: 2’-fucosyllactose (2’-FL) and lacto-N-neotetraose (LNnT). These studies demonstrated an important benefit of reducing the frequency of upper respiratory tract infections. In addition, 2’FL and LNnT positively modulate gut microbiota composition. Recently, synthetization of more HMOs has become possible. The first clinical trial, with a blend of 5 HMOs (2’FL, difucosyllactose (DFL), Lacto-N-tetraose (LNT), 3’-Sialyllactose (3’SL), has shown them to be safe and well tolerated by healthy infants.