November 16, 2022 6 min read
This tasty booster will help restore and build your gut bacteria whilst providing so many other benefits. It’s 250ml of pure power
2g Layer Origin HMOs
40g chopped spinach
40g pineapple chunks
40g mixed berries
40g live culture yogurt
Colour will vary from picture
1 x 250ml serving
This shot will not only provide you with your bacteria-boosting, pathogenic bacteria-blasting HMOs, but will also deliver 2g of antioxidant-rich cocoa powder…
2g Layer Origin HMOs
2g Dark cocoa powder (no additives)
100ml oat milk (no sugars)
1 x 100ml serving
It’s time to wake up, so why not recharge your polyphenols, feed your gut bacteria, and top up the vitamins with this HMO sprinkle on porridge oats with a fresh fruit compote dish?
2g Layer Origin HMOs
50g Porridge oats
50g Mixed fruit
1 x 300g serving
The rationale behind the recipes:
Since the mid twentieth century, human milk oligosaccharides, (HMOs), the third most abundant part of human milk, have been at the centre of many research studies and trials, and the evidence showing how important they are to our health, continues to unfold almost relentlessly.
These evidenced based studies and trials have produced results that show HMOs to be instrumental in several processes of our development. These include, the establishment of the gut microbiota, anti-adhesive protection against pathogens, encouraging intestinal epithelial response and development of the immune system[i]. There is ongoing research into to their involvement in combating many chronic diseases like obesity, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, dementia, the list continues.
This article provides an overview of HMOs and their functions, highlighting how current research is showing they are not just for infants. In fact, using them as we journey throughout life could give us that extra guard against pathogens.
We will also look at where to obtain them, as well as provide a few delicious health boosting recipes to boot.
Our first encounter with HMOs is during breastfeeding. Our mother’s milk delivers everything we need to survive, from nutrition through to protection. And protection is what comes from the HMOs. This protection has been seen to extend beyond the neonate and even into adulthood.
This is via two ways, firstly this group of non-conjugated glycans provide vital food for our good gut bacteria, like Bifidobacteria, a species of bacteria that live within the gastrointestinal tract (GI-Tract). This is a species we want to grow in numbers as fast as we can. Their growth generates short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) that are essential in gut health[ii].
The more our GI tract is populated with these good bacteria, the less room there is for what is termed ‘bad bacteria’ to set up camp. In high numbers, the likes of Bifidobacteria keep the numbers of potential pathogenic bacteria down and thus, keep the gut microbiome in balance.
Secondly, they protect the mucosal cells by making them problematic for pathogenic bacteria to invade. This happens as the HMOs create protective effects via cell-to-cell recognition, a way of communicating or reacting[iii], and cell signalling[iv]
This seeming gift from nature appears to just keep on giving as it changes to suit the relevant needs of the neonate[v].
HMOs have been found to contain around 200 characters, all of which play an important role in the development, protection, and growth of the neonate. Since their discovery and the advancements in technology, two HMOs, namely, 2’-fucosyllactose (2’-FL) and Lacto-N-neotetraose (LNnT), have been identified as being able to help combat a number of pathogenic bacteria associated chronic diseases including, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)[vi], and Clostridioides difficileinfection (CDI)[vii]. Studies have shown both diseases saw improvement when 2’-FL and LNnT were mixed in the right concentrations and administered as part of supplementation treatment.
There are also instances where our gut bacteria can be knocked out, like in the case of antibiotics where both good and bad bacteria are targeted. Unfortunately, in some cases, pathogenic bacteria have become antibiotic-resistant. If this is the case, they will likely repopulate faster than the good bacteria and leave the individual at risk of disease. Once again HMOs have been used in supplementation treatment to help reinstate the gut microbiota to a balanced order[viii].
In a study by Iribarren et al (2021), 60 participants all of whom suffered from IBS symptoms were split into three groups, (n = 20) receiving a placebo dose, (n=20) receiving a 5g dose of 4:1 ratio mix of 2’FL and LNnT, and (n=20) receiving a 10g dose of 4:1 ratio mix of 2’FL and LNnT. 58 of the participants completed the study with one from each placebo and 10g dose dropping out.
Biological samples were taken at baseline and four weeks. These samples were analysed to assess and determine the metabolite profiles and gene expression related to the host’s mucosal response. The results from the 4-week samples showed there were moderate changes to the faecal sample in the 10g dose group when compared to the placebo group. There were also greater changes in the microbial composition when compared to the placebo group.
The 4-week samples also showed increases in the proportions of the Bifidobacteriastrains, Bifidobacterium adolescentisand Bifidobacterium longum.
The study concluded that supplementation treatment using 2’FL and LNnT was seen to boost the gut microbiota as well as show beneficial changes in the faecal and plasma metabolite profiles of patients suffering from IBS.
For those who were breastfed, they most likely will have had an interaction with HMOs from being a neonate. HMOs provide us with the biological armour needed to sustain life whilst, it would appear, always being at risk of attack from pathogenic bacteria hell-bent on taking over.
No doubt most of us will at one time or another need antibiotics, after which it will be a race as to who populates first, the good or the bad. We are, however, lucky as we have advanced to the point of knowing supplementation can work.
So, if you have had any instance where the balance of your microbiota could have been affected, why not give some of our tasty recipes a go and see if these seeming little gifts from nature can help?
Written by Nu-Tee who is passionate about all things nutritional and bacterial, especially in the gut.
[i] Hegar B, Wibowo Y, Basrowi RW, Ranuh RG, Sudarmo SM, Munasir Z, Atthiyah AF, Widodo AD, Supriatmo, Kadim M, Suryawan A, Diana NR, Manoppo C, Vandenplas Y. The Role of Two Human Milk Oligosaccharides, 2'-Fucosyllactose and Lacto-N-Neotetraose, in Infant Nutrition. Pediatr Gastroenterol Hepatol Nutr. 2019 Jul;22(4):330-340. doi: 10.5223/pghn.2019.22.4.330. Epub 2019 Jun 25. PMID: 31338308; PMCID: PMC6629589.
[ii] Walsh C, Lane JA, van Sinderen D, Hickey RM. Human milk oligosaccharides: Shaping the infant gut microbiota and supporting health. J Funct Foods. 2020 Sep;72:104074. doi: 10.1016/j.jff.2020.104074. Epub 2020 Jul 3. PMID: 32834834; PMCID: PMC7332462.
[iii] Obrink B, Ocklind C. Cell-cell recognition: relation to cell adhesion with special reference to adhesion of hepatocytes. Blood Cells. 1983;9(2):209-19. PMID: 6661558.
[iv] Plaza-Díaz J, Fontana L, Gil A. Human Milk Oligosaccharides and Immune System Development. Nutrients. 2018 Aug 8;10(8):1038. doi: 10.3390/nu10081038. PMID: 30096792; PMCID: PMC6116142.
[v] Vandenplas Y, Berger B, Carnielli VP, Ksiazyk J, Lagström H, Sanchez Luna M, Migacheva N, Mosselmans JM, Picaud JC, Possner M, Singhal A, Wabitsch M. Human Milk Oligosaccharides: 2'-Fucosyllactose (2'-FL) and Lacto-N-Neotetraose (LNnT) in Infant Formula. Nutrients. 2018 Aug 24;10(9):1161. doi: 10.3390/nu10091161. PMID: 30149573; PMCID: PMC6164445.
[vi] Iribarren C, Magnusson MK, Vigsnæs LK, Aziz I, Amundsen ID, Šuligoj T, Juge N, Patel P, Sapnara M, Johnsen L, Sørensen N, Sundin J, Törnblom H, Simrén M, Öhman L. The Effects of Human Milk Oligosaccharides on Gut Microbiota, Metabolite Profiles and Host Mucosal Response in Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Nutrients. 2021 Oct 27;13(11):3836. doi: 10.3390/nu13113836. PMID: 34836092; PMCID: PMC8622683.
[vii] Vigsnaes LK, Ghyselinck J, Van den Abbeele P, McConnell B, Moens F, Marzorati M, Bajic D. 2'FL and LNnT Exert Antipathogenic Effects against C. difficile ATCC 9689 In Vitro, Coinciding with Increased Levels of Bifidobacteriaceae and/or Secondary Bile Acids. Pathogens. 2021 Jul 22;10(8):927. doi: 10.3390/pathogens10080927. PMID: 34451391; PMCID: PMC8402123.
[viii] Yoon MY, Yoon SS. Disruption of the Gut Ecosystem by Antibiotics. Yonsei Med J. 2018 Jan;59(1):4-12. doi: 10.3349/ymj.2018.59.1.4. PMID: 29214770; PMCID: PMC5725362.
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