• Symposium review: Dairy-derived oligosaccharides—Their influence on host–microbe interactions in the gastrointestinal tract of infants

      Quinn, Erin M.; Joshi, Lokesh; Hickey, Rita M.; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme; 2013059 (Elsevier, 2020-02-20)
      Oligosaccharides are the third most abundant component in human milk. It is widely accepted that they play several important protective, physiological, and biological roles, including selective growth stimulation of beneficial gut microbiota, inhibition of pathogen adhesion, and immune modulation. However, until recently, very few commercial products on the market have capitalized on these functions. This is mainly because the quantities of human milk oligosaccharides required for clinical trials have been unavailable. Recently, clinical studies have tested the potential beneficial effects of feeding infants formula containing 2′-fucosyllactose, which is the most abundant oligosaccharide in human milk. These studies have opened this field for further well-designed studies, which are required to fully understand the role of human milk oligosaccharides. However, one of the most striking features of human milk is its diversity of oligosaccharides, with over 200 identified to date. It may be that a mixture of oligosaccharides is even more beneficial to infants than a single structure. For this reason, the milk of domestic animals has become a focal point in recent years as an alternative source of complex oligosaccharides with associated biological activity. This review will focus specifically on free oligosaccharides found in bovine and caprine milk and the biological roles associated with such structures. These dairy streams are ideal sources of oligosaccharides, given their wide availability and use in so many regularly consumed dairy products. The aim of this review was to provide an overview of research into the functional role of bovine and caprine milk oligosaccharides in host–microbial interactions in the gut and provide current knowledge related to the isolation of oligosaccharides as ingredients for incorporation in functional or medical foods.