Together with Marijke M. Faas and Paul de Vos Renate Akkerman, PhD-student within the CCC program CarboKinetics published a paper on “Non-digestible carbohydrates in infant formula”. This paper reviews current knowledge of HMO functions in the newborn in view of possible replacement of HMOs by NDCs in infant formulas.
Non-digestible carbohydrates in infant formula
Human milk is the golden standard for nutrition of newborn infants. Human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) are abundantly present in human milk and exert multiple beneficial functions. Unfortunately, for many valid reasons, not all newborn babies can be fed human milk. These babies depend either totally or partly on infant formulas derived from cow milk without any HMOs.
These cow-milk formulas are supplemented with non-digestible carbohydrates (NDCs) that have functional effects similar to that of some HMOs. However, NDCs cannot substitute all HMO functions. More efficient NDCs may be developed and customized for specific groups of newborns, such as pre-matures and allergy prone infants.
Paper reviewing HMO functions and possible replacement
The paper by Renate Akkerman, Marijke M. Faas, and Paul de Vos from the University Medical Center Groningen reviews current knowledge of HMO functions in the newborn in view of possible replacement of HMOs by NDCs in infant formulas. Since it is impossible to conduct in vivo studies in babies, this paper also reviews methods used to expedite identification of suitable NDCs and structure and function relationships.
For the complete paper, please see Renate Akkerman, Marijke M. Faas, and Paul de Vos (2018): Critical reviews in food science and nutrition,