Benefits of the milk fat globule membranes an update from the annual meeting of European Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN) held in Geneva in May 2018


Einerhand Science & Innovation BV

Historically, and for good reasons, a lot of attention has gone out to omega-3 and other poly-unsaturated fatty acids found in human milk. However, human milk contains all kinds of lipids in the form of large fat droplets coated with milk fat globule membranes (MFGM). If you put the human milk in a glass, you would see that the fat gathers on top and it’s not homogenous. But infant formulas are homogenized, so the fat droplets are small, and you don’t see the fat droplets. These small droplets in infant formulas to date are coated with protein instead of the MFGM. Traditionally, MFGM was absent in infant formulas, but manufacturers are starting to introduce MFGM into formulas, not only to match the composition of human milk, but also because of emerging science showing potential health benefits of MFGM supplementation. Clinical studies suggest that supplementation is safe and indicate positive effects on both neurodevelopment and defense against infections. MFGM supplementation of infant formula may therefore narrow the gap in cognitive performance and infection rates between breastfed and formula-fed infants. However, the structure of MFGM is complex containing many cellula ...