How 2′-FL Has Changed Childhood Nutrition

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2′-FL (2′-fucosyllactose) is a special nutrient, and the third most abundant component of breast milk. In the last two decades, how these prebiotics benefit children and why it’s important for them to be included in a child’s diet has become more widely understood. 

Breakthrough research by Abbott shows that 2′-FL can provide health benefits to a growing child and plays a role in supporting the development of a strong body defense system. Abbott was the first company in the world to include this important ingredient in growing-up milk, bringing about one of the biggest advances in children’s nutrition in the last decade. 

Probiotic and Prebiotic Basics About 70% of the body’s defense system resides in the gut, so it’s crucial to give your growing child the building blocks they need from the start. 

Probiotics, also known as beneficial bacteria, are live microorganisms located in the intestinal tract. Prebiotics are not bacteria, but they provide the food source that probiotics need to survive. 

2′-FL acts as a prebiotic that feeds the beneficial bacteria in a child’s gut, helping them to flourish, and supports the development of the body’s defense system in the early years of life1. 2′-FL has also been shown to support the defense system beyond the gut. 

Developing a Strong Body Defense System A child’s body defense system develops rapidly early in life, and nutrition is critical to that development. 

The new Similac Gold Gain Plus (Stage 3) with 2′-FL and Gain Kid (Stage 4) with 2′-FL can help your child’s developing body defense system. 2′-FL and nucleotides (an essential building block in the body) found in Similac Gold support a child’s digestive system as well as strengthen their body defense system. 

2′-FL supports the innate body defense system of children, like their skin and stomach lining, acting like gates and walls to protect them. It acts as a decoy for germs, preventing it from affecting the cells and causing illness1

On the other hand, nucleotides support children’s adaptive body defense system, which consist of specialized cells that eliminate pathogens in the body. 

Strong Children Learn Faster Science has shown that a child’s body defense system can also have a significant effect on their brain development2. And research has shown that a strong body defense system goes hand-in- hand with better cognition to help children learn faster3

Keeping children strong during their formative years is important for their development. If children frequently fall sick, they may not be able to concentrate and learn. 

Research has found that the longer children suffer from illnesses, the worse they perform on developmental tests2. In the absence of illnesses, nutrients are utilized for brain development, which encourages stimulation that promotes learning4

When children fall sick, the body diverts nutrients to fight the illness. This leads to reduced stimulation that interrupts learning and compromises cognitive development. Every sick day can reduce a child’s learning, growth and developmental potential5

Since 85% of a child’s brain growth occurs in the first three years of life, it is crucial to keep children strong so that they can learn faster. 

“By harnessing the unique qualities of 2′-FL, we can nourish the developing digestive and body defense systems in children, which then contributes to their overall brain development for faster learning. We want to support parents in enabling them to give their children the strongest possible start with good nutrition and health,” says Dr Nina Mazera Mohd Said, Medical Director of Abbott Nutrition Malaysia. 

1 Vandenplas Y, Berger B, Carnielli V et al. Human Milk Oligosaccharides: 2′-Fucosyllactose (2′-FL) and Lacto-N- Neotetraose (LNnT) in Infant Formula. Available from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6164445/. Last accessed December 5, 2019. 2 Psych Central. Immune system strongly tied to children’s brain development. Available from https://psychcentral.com/news/2014/03/02/immune-system-strongly-tied-to-childrens-brain- development/66562.html. Last accessed July 6, 2019. 3 Marin I, Kipnis J. Learning and memory… and the immune system. Available from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3768198/. Last accessed December 5, 2019. 4 Georgieff M, Cusick S. The Role of Nutrition in Brain Development: The Golden Opportunity of the “First 1000 Days”. Available from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4981537/. Last accessed December 5, 2019. 5 Eppig et al. Proc. R. Soc. B. 2010; 277:3801–3808. 


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