Prolacta Bioscience, the first and only company to offer human milk fortifier (HMF) made from 100% human breast milk for premature and critically ill infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), has announced that a poster presentation at the Hot Topics in Neonatology conference concluded that the oligosaccharide content of Prolacta human milk fortifier product samples, H(2)MF, did not differ substantially with respect to size and composition as compared to typical mother's breast milk.
Oligosaccharide prebiotics are any of a group of carbohydrates consisting of a small number (two to ten) of simple sugar molecules. When oligosaccharides are consumed, the undigested portion serves as food for some of the bacteria in the intestine. Oligosaccharides can increase the number of beneficial bacteria in the large intestine while possibly also reducing the population of harmful bacteria. They also have other protective effects directed at pathogens in the gut.
"These conclusions continue to underscore the fact that human milk fortifier derived from 100% human milk, as opposed to bovine milk, is a better choice for infants in the NICU," said Scott Elster, CEO of Prolacta Bioscience. "Human milk and Prolacta's human milk derived products are the only ones that contain human oligosaccharides that interact with the bacterial population of the human gut."
The poster presentation is being led by University of California, Davis researchers Daniela Barile, Carlito B. Lebrilla, and J. Bruce German. Entitled "Oligosaccharide Prebiotics Present in a Breast Milk Based Human Milk Fortifier," the poster concluded the following:
-- The oligosaccharide content of the Prolacta product samples (natural and concentrated) did not differ substantially with respect to size and composition as compared to typical mother's milk.
-- As a result of pooling, more discrete molecular forms may be found in H(2)MF as compared with any individual mother's milk.
-- Based on the known prebiotic and anti-infective functions of Human Milk Oligosaccharides (HMO), the oligosaccharide content of H(2)MF posits a partial mechanism for some of the benefits seen in the use of human milk derived HMF in VLBW infants.
Premature infants have nutritional needs that are not met by breast milk alone. Human milk fortifier is important for premature babies because they miss out on significant growth that occurs in the third trimester of pregnancy. Prolacta offers the first and only human milk fortifier made from 100% human milk, H(2)MF.
Annually, about 62,000 babies in the United States are born very low birth weight, and nationwide, approximately 500,000 babies are born prematurely each year, which is equal to nearly 12% of all U.S. births. The rate of preterm birth has increased almost 35 percent between 1981 and 2005 (9.4 to 12.7 percent).
Most babies that use Prolacta products are born weighing less than three pounds, five ounces (1,500 grams). These infants are considered very low birth weight, and are at substantial risk of serious health problems, lasting disabilities, and even death. Prolacta's products are formulated to meet specific criteria as prescribed by neonatologists. Therefore, Prolacta standardizes their products with precise calories, nutrients, and proteins. A mother's breast milk is not deficient in any nutrients, however it is not able to support the growth that preterm infants need to catch-up with their full-term peers. Feeding these babies more volume is not an option since their stomachs are too small, therefore a solution to this problem is to concentrate their food.
Hot Topics in Neonatology has been the premier neonatology conference for over 27 years. This year it was held December 7th - 9th, 2008, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington D.C.
Prolacta Bioscience ( www.prolacta.com) is a life sciences company that is dedicated to improving quality of life by Advancing the Science of Human Milk(TM). Prolacta creates specialty formulations made from human milk, therefore containing purely human protein, for the nutritional needs of premature and critically ill infants in neonatal intensive care units. The company is the first and only provider of a human milk fortifier made from 100% human milk, H(2)MF. Prolacta operates a pharmaceutical grade processing plant and has designed and patented processes unique to the science of human milk. Prolacta is committed to advancing the science of human milk with research in the areas of human milk and premature infant nutrition in order to assist health care professionals in providing the best possible care for the most fragile babies.