So what’s so special about Human Milk Oligosaccharides in breast milk?

Human Milk Oligosaccharides (HMOs) are complex carbohydrates and the third largest solid component found in breast milk. HMOs are relatively new to the ‘breast milk research scene’, but SMA® Nutrition has been studying the unique structure of breast milk for over 70 years.

So far, we’ve found up to 200 HMOs in breast milk. They have a unique structure that’s completely different to other components of breast milk. Unlike fat and protein, which are digested by babies, HMOs are not broken down to provide energy, instead they move into the gut where 70% of your baby’s immune system functions. Here, they support the immune system and help to strengthen baby’s defences.


2'FL is the most abundant of the 200 different HMOs.

It makes up a third of all the HMOs in breast milk.


There are good bacteria in your babies gut.

Like flowers need rain, they need HMOs to flourish.


2'FL protects the baby's gut...

It blocks bad bacteria from causing harm.

Happy gut

...keeping their tummy happy.

A healthy microbiota may contribute to a stronger immune system.

Why is 2’FL important?

  • There are thought to be 200 oligosaccharides in breast milk though most mums' milk contain 10.
  • 2’FL is the most abundant oligosaccharide found in breast milk and 80% of mums have 2’FL in their breast milk.
  • Oligosaccharides such as 2'FL in breast milk are thought to help support the babies immune system.

Discover more about breast milk