Babies’ immunity needs a helping hand. We define ‘Protection’ as supporting babies’ digestive and immune systems to help them defend against illness.
Protection is important because new-born babies are at a vulnerable stage of life. This is because their gut wall is not fully matured. Furthermore, new-born babies have inexperienced immune systems, with limited exposure to pathogens. The adaptive part of the immune system relies on this previous exposure to pathogens to develop defences against them. Until the gut wall and immune system begins to reach maturity, breast milk is the ideal nutrition for infants, as it provides important protective components.
When a baby is breastfed, their gut is colonised by certain types of beneficial bacteria which are thought to play an important role in a healthy, balanced gut. Other breast milk components such as lactoferrin and complex milk lipids, may help to speed up gut maturation and may protect gut membrane integrity (Demmelmair et al. 2017, Park et al, 2010; Park et al, 2007).
Why we’ve chosen to focus on this area?
SureStart™ ingredients address ‘Protection’ as a key focus area, because we have identified this is an area which could be supported by paediatric nutrition solutions.
The microbiota of a breastfed baby has a characteristic profile of gut bacteria, typically higher in Bifidobacteria. This is believed to help account for lower rates of sickness in breast fed infants (Arboleya et al., 2016).
Although breast milk is the ideal nutrition for infants, in some cases breastfeeding is not possible. In these situations, parents may want a paediatric nutrition solution which may help to support the infant immune system.
Ingredients Supporting Protection
Probiotics are live micro-organisms which can provide health benefits when consumed in adequate amounts. Research supports the role of some probiotics in strengthening the immune system and providing protection against sickness (Dekker et al., 2012; Sazawal et al., 2010; Dekker et al., 2009). Both SureStart™ probiotic strains (LactoB 001 and BifidoB 019) deliver these benefits, and unlike many other probiotics on the market are underpinned by decades of rigorous research.
Complex Milk Lipids
Complex Milk lipids naturally contain MFGM and its components (Gangliosides, Phospholipids including Sphingomyelin, ceramides and MFGM-proteins). May help provide a barrier to infection in the gut. They have been shown to bind to bacteria and viruses such as Rotavirus, preventing them from attaching to the baby's gut wall and starting an infection (Sprong et al., 2001, Rueda, 2007, Moeller et al., 2008).
Lactoferrin is an iron-binding glycoprotein found in high concentration in human breast milk. Research suggests lactoferrin may have a probiotic effect and could stimulate gut maturation (Valenti P & Antonini G, 2005; Lonnerdal B & Iyer S, 1995). Lactoferrin has been shown to promote the growth of bifidobacteria in preterm infants, contributing to the development of the immune system (Wakabayshi H, et al. 2003).
SureStart™ BifidoB 019
BifidoB 019 offers benefits that are important to parents.
BifidoB 019 is patented for its immune enhancing benefits and excellent stability in formulation.
Our clinical research shows BifidoB 019 reduces incidence of common childhood sickness and the use of antibiotics (Dekker et al 2012; Sazawal et al.,2010; Dekker et al.,2009).
BifidoB 019 has a beneficial effect on the balance of gut microbiota, increasing levels of beneficial Bifidobacteria (Oswari et al., 2013).
BifidoB 019 also promotes a healthy infant digestive system by supporting the health of the intestinal wall (Rivière et al. (2016).
Our Probiotic Discovery Programme
Fonterra began a probiotic discovery programme in 1990.
This began with a pool of 2000 probiotic strains derived from dairy cultures.
Through careful study and research, the two most beneficial strains were commercially developed.
These are SureStart™
LactoB 001 and SureStart™
Our probiotic clinical research
Our clinical research has shown that both strains are safe and well tolerated across all age groups, including infants and pregnant women. Furthermore, we have evidence of the following health benefits:
SureStart™ BifidoB 019: ability to colonise the intestinal tracts of infants and children, protecting them from common infections such as respiratory tract infections, and boosting immunity (Dekker et al 2012; Sazawal et al.,2010; Dekker et al.,2009).
SureStart™ LactoB 001: demonstrated anti-allergy efficacy, and has been shown to be effective in the prevention of eczema (Wickens et al., 2012).
Our continued research is still uncovering further health benefits and helping us to better understand the mechanisms underlying these.
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