The importance of gut ﬂora
The intestinal microbiota, also known as the gut flora, is an essential organ that serves numerous important functions, including a continuous and dynamic effect on the immune system. Gut colonization begins after birth in a critical process that is heavily influenced by the newborn’s nutrition. It is believed that human milk is an important factor in the initiation, development and composition of the gut flora. Human milk provides a source of microorgnisms such as lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria that are considered to be beneficial for human health. INFAT® containing infant formula was shown to support colonization of the gut with both lactobacilli and bifidobacteria.
INFAT® containing infant formula increases levels of healthy gut bacteria
A double blind, randomized controlled study on 36 term infants demonstrated that feeding with INFAT® formula for the first 6 weeks of life beneficially affected infant gut microbiota by increasing the lactobacillus and bifidobacteria counts in fecal stools compared to a control formula. This clinical study demonstrated that INFAT® may affect the intestinal microbiota composition during the first weeks of life.
Colonization of the gut with lactobacillus and bifidobacteria are considered to be promoting good health, growth, and ability to fight off infections.
A preclinical study revealed the potential protective role of INFAT® in a colitis mice model, showing that a low sn-2 palmitate diet increased intestinal damage while a high sn-2 palmitate diet limited the damage, though both diets contained the same palmitic acid content. This data suggests a crucial role for INFAT® in limiting intestinal inflammation.
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INFAT ® controls intestinal inflammation damage
An animal knock out model for intestinal inflammation (Muc2 deficient mice), which is a well-described model of enterocolitis, was used to address the possible role of INFAT® on intestinal inflammation. Muc2 deficient mice (Muc2-/-) lack mucin2, which is a major component of the mucus layer that separates and provides a barrier for the intestinal epithelial cells from the intraluminal contents, and forms a physical barrier protecting the underlying epithelium against luminal substances and microbes . The deficiency of mucins in the Muc2-/- mice affects the protective capacities of the mucus layer, and as a consequence, bacteria are in direct contact with the intestinal epithelial cells. This in its turn leads to the development of spontaneous colitis in Muc2-/- mice. In this study mice fed diet with INFAT® demonstrated a lower extent of intestinal inflammatory damage compared with mice fed the control diet.