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Human Breast Milk Newest Source Of Sugar

A tech start-up wants to use sugars from human breast milk to make better infant formula and intestinal supplements for adults.

Studies show sugars from human breast milk can increase the amount of beneficial intestinal bacteria.

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.

Read More:

  • The Latest “Healthy” Sugar Is Made from Human Breast Milk (Food & Wine)
  • The Next Thing In Gut Health Is Going To Be Sugar Made From Human Breast Milk (Fast Company)
Taylor Killough

Taylor Killough has degrees anthropology and journalism. She has worked with the oral history project StoryCorps. A nomad at heart, she recently returned to Louisville, Kentucky, where's she's excited to have her own kitchen and garden again.

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