Natural sugars in breastmilk may influence early childhood growth

Natural sugars in breastmilk may influence early childhood growth

FDA approves first oral immunotherapy treatment for peanut allergy in children, teens Researchers evaluated approximately 800 pairs of mothers and children in a Finnish study of child development. The researchers analyzed the content of HMOs in breastmilk samples (collected when the children were 3 months old), among them two HMOs that are now added to some commercial infant formulas: 2'-fucosyllactose (2'FL) and lacto-N-neo-tetraose (LNnT). Breastmilk from mothers of taller and heavier infants and children tended to have less diverse HMO composition, higher concentrations of 2'FL and lower concentrations of LNnT. Breastmilk from overweight and obese mothers also tended to have less diverse HMO composition, higher concentrations of 2'FL and lower concentrations of LNnT. According to the authors, these results confirm findings of two of their previous smaller studies. Together, the three studies found similar patterns of HMO composition and child growth among three different groups of mothers. The authors noted that, although their study linked HMO composition with early childhood growth, it couldn't prove that variations in HMO patterns cause differences in children's growth. If additional studies confirm their findings, specific HMOs might one day provide a treatment for early childhood growth problems and obesity. Source: NIH/Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Journal reference: Lagström, H., et al. (2020) Associations between human milk oligosaccharides and growth in infancy and early childhood. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition . doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqaa010 .



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