April 14, 2019©
What is the goal of virtue, after all, except a life that flows smoothly?
A Breast Milk Ingredient Is the Hot New Health Supplement for Adults
Ingredient boosts immunity and sharpens brain, makers say
Mother’s milk isn’t just for babies anymore.
Global chemical giants DowDuPont Inc. and BASF SE are investing millions to ramp up production of an indigestible sugar found naturally in breast milk. Infant formula makers like Nestle SA can’t get enough of the synthetic ingredient. Now the companies are eyeing a potentially bigger customer: adults. DuPont estimates the annual market could reach $1 billion.
Commercial production is typically accomplished through a fermentation process using giant vats filled with microbes genetically engineered to produce specific HMO varieties, such as 2’FL. DuPont is already a leader in probiotics, offering the widest variety of bacteria strains and operating the world’s largest probiotics fermentation plant, in Rochester, New York.
80 percent immune cells reside in the gut
Human milk oligosaccharide is the third most common solid in breast milk, after lactose and fat. HMO escapes digestion, allowing it to reach the colon where it feeds beneficial bacteria. HMOs may explain why breast-fed babies tend to fare better than formula-fed, said Rachael Buck, who leads HMO research at Similac formula-maker Abbott Laboratories.
The benefits of breast feeding have been found to be of benefit until at least age 62
In babies, HMOs strengthen the developing immune system, helping fight infection and inflammation while aiding brain development, according to early research. New studies show those benefits may extend to people of all ages, fitting neatly into consumers’ growing fascination with probiotics — the “good” bacteria that can help keep a human body healthy.
Danish biotechnology company Glycom S/A is targeting the adult digestive health market with HMO supplements it began selling in the U.S. and Europe late last year. The company touts its Holigos IBS product as managing symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, including abdominal pain, constipation diarrhea and bloating. It sells 28 doses on Amazon.com for $50.
HMOs nourish bacteria that “train’’ immune system cells
After two decades of research, Abbott was first to bring HMOs to the U.S. baby nutrition market in 2016. It’s now expanded to 15 countries. Nestle last year rolled out HMO formula in Gerber and other brands across 40 countries. HMOs nourish bacteria that “train’’ immune system cells, 80 percent of which reside in the gut, said Jose Saavedra, Nestle chief medical officer.
DuPont is researching how to produce more of the 130 or so HMO varieties found in breast milk as the company identifies those with the most potential health benefits, Mukherjea said. More HMO varieties are already in the commercial pipeline.
“This is just the beginning for HMO,’’ she said.
Synthetic HMOs come from the formula industry’s quest to manufacture a breast-milk substitute that’s as close to the real thing as possible. The purported benefits are still viewed with skepticism by some in the scientific community — especially when they come at a premium price.
“Never assume that the addition of a component of human milk actually makes the formula like human milk,’’ said Steven A. Abrams, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics committee on nutrition. “It’s not,” said Abrams, a Dell Medical School professor at the University of Texas at Austin.
Imagine your immune system 30 years from now without the real thing.
Bovine colostrum is not a synthetic HMO but is over 85% bio identical to HMO’s
The oligosaccharides found in bovine milk (BMO) are structurally similar to those in human milk but much higher amounts are found in colostrum. Both human and bovine milk contain large amounts of the acidic oligosaccharides known as sialyloligosaccharides, especially at the early lactation stage.
Bovine Colostrum 100-1000 fold more potent than HMO’s
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