Similac Eye-Q with 2'-FL HMO pioneers research of Abbott's scientists

08:00 | 19/10/2018
Recognised as the biggest innovation of pediatric nutrition science in the last decade by Chicago Innovation Awards 2017, Similac with HMO helps to narrow the gap between the immune systems of formula-fed and breast-fed babies, bringing formula closer to gold standard of breastmilk.    
similac eye q with 2 fl hmo pioneers research of abbotts scientists
Low Yen Ling, director of Abbott Nutrition Asia-Pacific Research and Development Center in Singapore

Talking about the research of this innovation, Low Yen Ling, director of Abbott Nutrition Asia-Pacific Research and Development Center (ANRD) in Singapore told VIR about the research of this innovation.

The success in fortifying HMO into Similac formula is one of the most breakthrough innovation of Abbott. Could you please share with us what motivated Abbott’s scientists to devote to HMO research?

Similac with HMO is the result of over 15 years of research, backed by more than 20 clinical and pre-clinical studies. This is the first time ever that HMO – the nutrient has only been present in breast milk – is successfully fortified into infant formula, supporting a strong immunity and narrow the gap between the immune systems of formula-fed and breast-fed babies.

Abbott scientists are motivated by the desire to use the latest science to help consumers live healthier lives. HMO is a major component in human milk which helps babies to build stronger immunity. Many Abbott scientists are parents ourselves. We understand that all parents want their children to be healthy. In pursuing HMO research and achieving the scientific breakthrough to incorporate HMO into formula milk, we can help more children build stronger immunity and be healthier. This brings a great sense of fulfilment to Abbott scientists both as scientists and as parents.

How does the successful addition of HMO in infant formula make a breakthrough in nutrition industry?

Breastfeeding is the gold standard of nutrition for infants and young children and all parents want to know that their child is getting the nutrients they need to grow and thrive healthily.

The discovery of HMOs, a major component in human milk which helps babies build stronger immunity represents one of the biggest scientific discoveries in infant nutrition of the last decade. Abbott is the first to introduce HMO to our formula in the world and in Vietnam. New understanding and scientific developments enabled us to harness the power of 2’-FL HMO by adding it to our infant formula to help support a baby's immune system, narrowing multiple gaps in immune function between formula fed and breast milk fed babies. This exciting discovery is just the beginning of our understanding of how to help support a lifetime of good nutrition and health.

similac eye q with 2 fl hmo pioneers research of abbotts scientists
Abbott is the first to introduce HMO to our formula in the world and in Vietnam

We know that many researches related to HMO and Similac with HMO have been conducted at Abbott R&D center. How many researches has the centre done since its establishment in total?

ANRD is Abbott’s largest nutrition R&D facility outside of the U.S and the first in Asia, focusing on creating science-based nutritional products for people at every stage of life in Asia, including Vietnam.

Abbott’s nutrition R&D center has published more than 500 research papers on various topics ranging from pediatric nutrition to elderly nutrition. Our R&D center has also developed many products which have been launched to market. The most recent examples are the new Similac HMO formula and the new Ensure Gold with HMB which have been launched in Vietnam this year.

What are the next topics to research that ANRD scientists are focusing on?

Pediatric nutrition trend is always about giving babies the best nutrition as a foundation for their development, a good start in life. Since the first day of Similac’s journey we have always been striving to bring innovation to our formula, giving babies the nutrition they need to thrive. Over time we have had many breakthrough innovations in research on bringing science-based nutrition to our formula.

Our latest formula with 2’-FL HMO is one of them. We will continue to work on incorporating the latest science-based ingredients to add to our products such as Similac and Pediasure to help children live healthier lives. We will also continue to work on research to help older adults live healthier lives through incorporating new science-based ingredients in Ensure and Glucerna. Our latest Ensure with HMB is one example.

As a scientist, what is your advice for moms on choosing nutritional products?

When it comes to baby’s nutrition, breastfeeding is the gold standard to nourish your infant. It helps increase your baby’s immune system and reduce infection significantly. Nutrition in breast milk also gives babies the best nutrition for their development at the early stage of life, it includes natural vitamin E, lutein, DHA, nucleotides and HMO.

In cases where formula is needed, the best advice is for the mother to choose a formula backed by strong scientific research and has been tested in clinical trials and clinically proven to be safe and deliver health benefits to their babies.

By Minh Phuong

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