New Research Highlights Effects of MFGM Lipids During Pregnancy and Infancy

17-05-2018

NZMP SureStart™ releases new findings into the use of MFGM lipids during pregnancy and in the cognitive development of infants at ESPGHAN, Geneva 

NZMP, the global ingredients brand of Fonterra, has released new research showing the impact of NZMP SureStart™ MFGM Lipid100 (also known as NUELIPIDTM) supplementation to provide milk fat globule membrane (MFGM) complex lipids such as gangliosides (GA) and phospholipids during both pregnancy and separately during infancy. The latter research presents the effect this has on normal cognitive development of infants at 6 and 12 months.

Researchers Dr Yin-Yin Xia, of Chongqing Medical University in China and Dr Sophie Gallier of Fonterra presented new research findings at the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN), 9-12 May 2018. Both studies were carried out in China and aimed to investigate the effects of providing additional MFGM GA and phospholipids during pregnancy and in infancy.

The research into pregnancy (CLIMB study) compared the outcomes of complex lipid-enriched maternal milk that had been supplemented with SureStart™ MFGM Lipid 100 with a control milk and a reference group. 1500 pregnant women, in Chongqing, China, participated in the CLIMB study starting in their first trimester (11-14 weeks pregnant) and were followed until delivery.

Dr Yin-Yin Xia says the research built on previous reports which suggested that consuming MFGM sources of complex lipids may increase levels of fetal GA with the potential to improve fetal brain composition and cognitive outcomes.

“The findings show that GA and phospholipid supplementation with SureStart™ MFGM Lipid 100 during pregnancy was well tolerated and supported normal, healthy pregnancy outcomes. The supplementation also increased GA levels in maternal blood, which could increase GA availability to support fetal brain development.”

The second piece of research (CLING study) investigated infant formula with or without enrichment in MFGM complex lipids. The study assessed whether the enriched formula supports brain development outcomes at 12 months old in healthy infants compared to a standard formula. It also looked at whether this supplementation improves brain development outcomes at 6 months, as well as other measures of growth and development, immunity and gut maturity during the first year of life.

The preliminary findings from the CLING study found that supplementation in healthy infants in the first 12 months of life, supports adequate growth and is well tolerated.

Fonterra Senior Research Dr Sophie Gallier, explained “the study also shows that MFGM supplementation in early life improves some measures of normal cognitive development in infancy using the validated Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development®, Third Edition (Bayley-III®).

“The Bayley-III® assessment monitored progress at both 6-months and 12-months of age. At 12-months of age, the MFGM-supplemented group had a statistically significantly higher general adaptive score. The results of the assessment at 6 months of age already pointed to the trend that the MFGM-supplemented group had higher cognitive, language, motor, social emotional and general adaptive scores.”

The MFGM stabilises the milk fat globules[1] but also provides bioactive components such as complex milk lipids including GA and phospholipids, as well as MFGM proteins. The CLING study supports previous studies[2],[3] which have shown that the supplementation with MFGM in infancy supports normal cognitive development in infants.

MFGM is included in ANMUM™ formulations within Asia to help support mothers, infants and toddlers.

Breast milk is the ideal source of nutrition for infants. Breast milk is the best nutrition you can give to your baby. It’s full of everything a baby needs to grow and develop in a healthy way and gives children the very best start in life. Breast milk substitutes are recognised by the World Health Organisation as safe and nutritious alternatives to breast milk for infants whose mothers cannot, or choose not to, breastfeed.


[1] Gallier et al. Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerface 136 (2015) 329-39.

[2] Gurnida et al. Early Human Development 88 (2012) 595-601.

[3] Timby et al. AJCN (2014) 860-8.