Prolacta Bioscience Offers A Wide Spectrum of HMOs

A Wide Spectrum of Human Milk Oligosaccharides (HMOs)

HMO Overview

Human milk contains many diverse and naturally occurring bioactive substances, including human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs). HMOs were discovered as a prebiotic “bifidus factor” that serves as a metabolic substrate for Bifidobacterium spp. and shapes intestinal microbiota composition, with health benefits for the breast-fed neonate.1 In modulating the microbiome, HMOs counteract dysbiosis in the infant’s intestine, which leads to the prevention of coinciding diseases.

Approximately 200 different HMOs with unique structures have been identified to date.2 Human milk contains higher amounts and more complex structures of soluble oligosaccharides than any other mammalian milk.3

HMOs are a family of structurally diverse sugars that are highly abundant in and unique to human milk. They constitute the third-most abundant component in human milk, following lactose and lipids. 4 HMOs are more abundant than protein in human milk.5


Figure 1: HMOs Structure Combinations

Human Milk Oligosaccharides structure

Note. Modified from Bode L. Human milk oligosaccharides: every baby needs a sugar mama. Glycobiology. 2012;22(9):1147-1162. doi:10.1093/glycob/cws074

HMO in Prolacta Bioscience Products

Prolacta’s 100% human milk-based neonatal nutritional products are the FIRST and ONLY to contain a wide spectrum of HMOs.6 The immunity, prebiotic, and gut maturation benefits that HMOs promote may have a role in the health outcomes attributed to an exclusive human milk diet (EHMD), of which Prolacta’s neonatal nutritional products are a part.2

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Chat With an HMO Expert

  1. Bode L. Human milk oligosaccharides: every baby needs a sugar mama. Glycobiology. 2012;22(9):1147-1162. doi:10.1093/glycob/cws074
  2. Moukarzel S, Bode L. Human milk oligosaccharides and the preterm infant: a journey in sickness and in health. Clin Perinatol. 2017;44(1):193-207. doi:10.1016/j.clp.2016.11.014
  3. Smilowitz JT, Lebrilla CB, Mills DA, German JB, Freeman SL. Breast milk oligosaccharides: structure-function relationships in the neonate. Annu Rev Nutr. 2014;34:143-69. doi:10.1146/annurev-nutr-071813-105721
  4. Ayechu-Muruzabal V, van Stigt AH, Mank M, et al. Diversity of human milk oligosaccharides and effect on early life immune development. Front Pediatr. 2018;6:239. doi:10.3389/fped.2018.00239
  5. Plaza-Díaz J, Fontana L, Gil A. Human milk oligosaccharides and immune system development. Nutrients. 2018;10:1038. doi:10.3390/nu10081038>
  6. Barile D, Lebrilla CB, German B, Rechtman DJ, Lee ML. Oligosaccharide prebiotics present in a breast milk based human milk fortifier. Presented at Hot Topics in Neonatology. Washington DC December 2008

Chloe Autran, PhD


Dr. Chloe Autran received her Ph.D. in Life Sciences from the Technical University of Munich where she participated in a joint program at the University of California San Diego. Within UCSD’s Department of Pediatrics, she conducted research in the lab of Dr. Lars Bode, where she studied human milk oligosaccharides and their natural anti-inflammatory properties.