Early Life Nutrition

The Science Behind HMO and 2’-FL


Human breast milk is known to be associated with a number of health benefits over formula,1-4 with recent evidence suggesting that many of these benefits are likely to be associated with human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs).5 The composition of human milk, and particularly the types and relative abundance of various oligosaccharides comprising the HMO fraction, varies substantially between individuals, and also varies throughout the duration of lactation.6,7  

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A growing body of evidence has demonstrated that HMOs exhibit a number of characteristics suggestive of an important role in maintenance of health and prevention of disease.5 Such studies prompted researchers to investigate the ability of supplemental HMOs to produce positive health benefits. One important and abundant HMO, 2’-fucosyllactose (2’-FL), has been investigated in a number of studies, with recent studies in human infants showing supplemental 2’-FL to be well tolerated with promising signs of efficacy.8,9

Download the full scientific report to discover the health benefits of HMOs and results from clinical studies with 2′-FL. 



  1. Blaymore Bier, J.A., et al., Human milk reduces outpatient upper respiratory symptoms in premature infants during their first year of life. J Perinatol, 2002. 22(5): p. 354-9.
  2. Duijts, L., et al., Prolonged and exclusive breastfeeding reduces the risk of infectious diseases in infancy. Pediatrics, 2010. 126(1): p. e18-25.
  3. Ip, S., et al., Breastfeeding and maternal and infant health outcomes in developed countries. Evid Rep Technol Assess (Full Rep), 2007(153): p. 1-186.
  4. Sisk, P.M., et al., Early human milk feeding is associated with a lower risk of necrotizing enterocolitis in very low birth weight infants. J Perinatol, 2007. 27(7): p. 428-33.
  5. Bode, L., Human milk oligosaccharides: every baby needs a sugar mama. Glycobiology, 2012. 22(9): p. 1147-62.
  6. Bode, L. and E. Jantscher-Krenn, Structure-function relationships of human milk oligosaccharides. Adv Nutr, 2012. 3(3): p. 383S-91S.
  7. McGuire, M.K., et al., What’s normal? Oligosaccharide concentrations and profiles in milk produced by healthy women vary geographically. Am J Clin Nutr, 2017. 105(5): p. 1086-1100.
  8. Puccio, G., et al., Effects of Infant Formula With Human Milk Oligosaccharides on Growth and Morbidity: A Randomized Multicenter Trial. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr, 2017. 64(4): p. 624-631.
  9. Marriage, B.J., et al., Infants Fed a Lower Calorie Formula With 2’FL Show Growth and 2’FL Uptake Like Breast-Fed Infants. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr, 2015. 61(6): p. 649-58.

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