ESPGHAN, a leading international paediatric nutrition and medical conference in Geneva showcased new NZMP SureStart™ findings on supplementation of pregnant women and infants.
Parents want the best start in life for their children. Cognitive development is an important focus for parents from the very beginning of life. The brain is a lipid rich organ, and complex lipids such as phospholipids and gangliosides are important for the optimal development of the brain.
In breast milk and cow’s milk, lipids are present as globules surrounded by a unique milk fat globule membrane (MFGM). While present in small quantities, the MFGM is an important source of key complex lipids. Technological advances have meant we can now develop dairy ingredients that provide MFGM complex lipid components including gangliosides and phospholipids to supplement maternal milk and infant formula.
This allows infant formula to more closely match the levels of these components found in human breastmilk. Cow’s milk provides the closest phospholipid profile to breast milk and is the only alternative source of gangliosides. SureStart™ MFGM Lipid 100, a source of phospholipids and gangliosides, is inspired by the milk fat profile of human breast milk for use in paediatric applications.
New research from two clinical studies has looked at supplementation using NZMP’s SureStart™ MFGM Lipid 100 ingredient during pregnancy and separately in healthy infants up to 12 months of age.
The two research studies, building on the work of over 15 years of pre-clinical and clinical studies out of Fonterra’s Research and Development Centre, were presented by research experts at ESPGHAN last week.
The first, an infant study looked at the effect of incorporating MFGM components (SureStart™ MFGM Lipid 100) into infant formula on cognitive development, compared to a standard formula. With only a handful of studies conducted on MFGM, these findings are crucial to determining the effect that MFGM supplementation has on healthy infants up to 12 months old.
Fonterra Senior Researcher, Dr Sophie Gallier, says “The preliminary findings from the study found that supplementation with MFGM in healthy infants in the first 12 months of life helped to improve some measures of normal cognitive development in infancy.
The findings showed that MFGM supplementation improved General Adaptive Behaviour scores. This measure is based on the development of a combination of functions such as social and motor skills, self-direction, communication and self-care. The study also shows that MFGM supplementation in early life can help to support normal growth in healthy infants and is well tolerated.”
The second study was the first of its kind and looked at the incorporation of MFGM components (SureStart™ MFGM Lipid 100) into maternal milk for consumption during pregnancy.
Dr Yin-Yin Xia, of Chongqing Medical University in China says, “Ganglioside and phospholipid supplementation with SureStart™ MFGM Lipid 100 during pregnancy was well tolerated and helped to support normal, healthy pregnancy outcomes. There were differences in the ganglioside levels in maternal blood between the control group and the MFGM supplemented group, which could help to increase ganglioside availability to help support fetal brain development.”
Breast milk is the ideal source of nutrition for infants. Breast milk is the best nutrition you can give to your baby. It’s full of everything a baby needs to grow and develop in a healthy way and gives children the very best start in life. Breast milk substitutes are recognised by the World Health Organisation as safe and nutritious alternatives to breast milk for infants whose mothers cannot, or choose not to, breastfeed.