Sugar substitutes are all the rage these days, and there’s a new one on the way, though its origins might surprise you.
It’s the sugar found in human breast milk.
Using a particular type of human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) called 2′-Fucosyllactose, Berkeley-based tech start-up Sugarlogix wants to replicate the sugar found in human milk to produce healthier formula for infants, and explore potential health benefits for adults.
Human milk sugars can’t actually be digested by humans, and don’t make food sweet. But they do feed the good bacteria – called bifidobacterium – found in your gut. A 2016 study shows HMO supplements in adults led to increased levels of bifidobacterium.
“This [sugar] leads to a healthier digestive system, healthier gut, which will then help in boosting your immune system as well,” Chaeyoung Shin, one of the cofounders of Sugarlogix, told Fast Company.
If you’re picturing rows and rows of humans hooked up to pumps, don’t. The new sugar substitute won’t come from actual breast milk, but will be replicated in a lab through yeast fermentation. Sugarlogix is raising initial funds for investment.