Source of Publication
Human milk represents a cornerstone for growth and development of infants, with extensive array of benefits. In addition to exceptionally nutritive and bioactive components, human milk encompasses a complex community of signature bacteria that helps establish infant gut microbiota, contributes to maturation of infant immune system, and competitively interferes with pathogens. Among bioactive constituents of milk, human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) are particularly significant. These are non-digestible carbohydrates forming the third largest solid component in human milk. Valuable effects of HMOs include shaping intestinal microbiota, imparting antimicrobial effects, developing intestinal barrier, and modulating immune response. Moreover, recent investigations suggest correlations between HMOs and milk microbiota, with complex links possibly existing with environmental factors, genetics, geographical location, and other factors. In this review, and from a physiological and health implications perspective, milk benefits for newborns and mothers are highlighted. From a microbiological perspective, a focused insight into milk microbiota, including origins, diversity, benefits, and effect of maternal diet is presented. From a metabolic perspective, biochemical, physiological, and genetic significance of HMOs, and their probable relations to milk microbiota, are addressed. Ongoing research into mechanistic processes through which the rich biological assets of milk promote development, shaping of microbiota, and immunity is tackled.
Medicine and Health Sciences
Breastfeeding, Human milk, Human milk benefits, Human milk oligosaccharides, Maternal diet, Milk microbiota
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Moubareck, Carole Ayoub, "Human milk microbiota and oligosaccharides: A glimpse into benefits, diversity and correlations" (2021). All Works. 4115.
Indexed in Scopus
Open Access Type
Gold: This publication is openly available in an open access journal/series