As sugar compounds in breast milk play a crucial role in the development of a healthy gut bacterial community; and contribute to the maturation of the immune system in infants. But the study explaining that transport proteins provide key to improve infant formula; the function of key transport proteins that mediate the uptake of nutrients from the mother’s breastmilk; to an important group of bacteria in the child’s intestines.
These proteins transport human milk oligosaccharides or HMOs, which are complex sugars produced by the mother, to nourish important bifidobacteria associated with the development of good health. The study establish a clear link between the type of sugars in the mother’s milk and the health-promoting bacteria in the infant’s gut. More importantly, our work allows mapping the best sugar from mothers milk on the menu of infant health-beneficial gut bacteria based on the transport proteins.
Key transport proteins
As milk formula producers to synthesize new sugar additives in a rational manner, thereby ensuring that children who drink milk formula receive similarly beneficial sugars as children who are breast-fed do. broad collaboration between researchers with expertise in microbiology, protein and carbohydrate chemistry as well as bioinformatics. A part of the study involving analyses of fecal bacteria and mother’s milk from mother-infant pairs and a control group of human adults has been conducted.
The establishment of the gut microbiota begins at birth and this bacterial community develops until the age of 2-3 years. During this critical window, before maturation of the immune system, large changes can occur in the gut microbiota. After weaning, the immune system is programming for a specific structure of the gut community, which persists throughout adulthood. A well-developed infant bacterial community reduces the risk factors for immune and metabolic disorders such as allergy, asthma, diabetes, obesity and a variety of other diseases.
The gut microbiota
It is crucial to establish the right gut microbiota early in the child’s life. Conversely, factors that interfere with the development of the “right” microbiota; are associating with life-long health disorders. If we get the wrong organisms from early life and we get using to them and they are accepting as part of the microbiota, it will be very difficult to re-select the normal and beneficial bacteria afterwards. Evolutionary adaptation in fucosyllactose uptake systems support bifidobacteria-infant symbiosis; the scientists reveal and comprehensively analyze two functionally distinct but overlapping human milk sugar (oligosaccharides); HMO, transporters of Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis.
Mother’s milk contains the essential nutrients for neonates; including fats proteins and carbohydrates (lactose or milk sugar). Notably, the third most abundant component in milk comprises a complex mixture of oligosaccharides termed human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs). These HMOs are not digestible by infants but are exclusively synthesizing; as “nutrient sugars” to attract a healthy gut microbiota, dominated by members of Bifidobacterium.