Infant formulas with synthetic oligosaccharides and respective marketing practices

Creators: Bührer, Christoph and Ensenauer, Regina and Jochum, Frank and Kalhoff, Hermann and Koletzko, Berthold and Lawrenz, Burkhard and Mihatsch, Walter and Posovszky, Carsten and Rudloff, Silvia
Title: Infant formulas with synthetic oligosaccharides and respective marketing practices
Item Type: Article or issue of a publication series
Journal or Series Title: Molecular and Cellular Pediatrics : official journal of The German Society of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine
Page Range: Article No. 14
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Date: 2022
Divisions: Gesundheitsmanagement
Abstract (ENG): Human milk contains more than 150 different oligosaccharides, which together are among to the quantitatively predominant solid components of breast milk. The oligosaccharide content and composition of human milk show large inter-individual differences. Oligosaccharide content is mostly influenced by genetic variants of the mother’s secretor status. Oligosaccharides in human milk are utilized by infants’ intestinal bacteria, affecting bacterial composition and metabolic activity. Maternal secretor status, and respective differing fucosylated oligosaccharide content, has been associated both with reduced and increased risk of infection in different populations of breastfed infants, possibly due to environmental conditions and the infant’s genotype. There are no safety concerns regarding the addition of previously approved oligosaccharides to infant formula; however, no firm conclusions can be drawn about clinically relevant benefits either. Therefore, infant formulas with synthetic oligosaccharide additives are currently not preferentially recommended over infant formulas without such additives. We consider the use of terms such as “human milk oligosaccharides” and corresponding abbreviations such as “HMO” in any advertising of infant formula to be an inappropriate idealization of infant formula. Manufacturers should stop this practice, and such marketing practices should be prevented by responsible supervisory authorities. Pediatricians should inform families that infant formulas supplemented with synthetic oligosaccharides do not resemble the complex oligosaccharide composition of human milk.
Forthcoming: No
Language: English
Link eMedia: Download
Citation:

Bührer, Christoph and Ensenauer, Regina and Jochum, Frank and Kalhoff, Hermann and Koletzko, Berthold and Lawrenz, Burkhard and Mihatsch, Walter and Posovszky, Carsten and Rudloff, Silvia (2022) Infant formulas with synthetic oligosaccharides and respective marketing practices. Molecular and Cellular Pediatrics : official journal of The German Society of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (9). Article No. 14. ISSN 2194-7791

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