ALL parents worry about their children’s health, probably even more so in these trying times. We know that a strong immune system is important to protect children against infectious diseases, but maybe it will also be even more helpful to know why and how the immune system works to begin with.
The immune system’s main function is to protect the body against bacteria and diseases. It has two main components – innate immunity and adaptive immunity. The innate immune system refers to nonspecific defense mechanisms that come into play immediately or within hours of the pathogen’s appearance in the body. These mechanisms include physical barriers such as skin, substances in the blood, and immune system cells that attack foreign cells in the body.
Adaptive immunity meanwhile refers to pathogen-specific immune response and also means that the adaptive immune response is more complex than the innate. The pathogen first must be processed and recognized. Once it has been recognized, the pathogen is attacked by immune system cells.
Abbott Nutrition has dedicated years of research to finding the right nutrients that will boost the immune system of children. Their findings reveal the powerful benefits of human milk oligosaccharides, specifically, 2’-FL HMO, and nucleotides in strengthening a child’s innate and adaptive immunity, respectively.
2’-FL HMO is an immune-nourishing prebiotic that serves as food for the good bacteria in the gut and prevents bad bacteria from attaching to gut cells. In a study by Abbott, it was revealed that children who consumed a formula with 2’-FL HMO experienced significantly fewer respiratory tract infections, compared to those who did not receive 2’-FL HMO .
Abbott discovered that children fed with nucleotides at a level close to human milk developed enhanced immune responses to infections due to the production of antibodie . Thus, nucleotides provide support for the adaptive immune system as it protects pathogens that enter a child’s body.
“Good nutrition provides a strong foundation for all children to grow and thrive. With Abbott’s breakthrough science, nutrients such as 2’-FL HMO and nucleotides have now been added to the Similac GainSchool growing up milk. This means parents now have access to a product that will really benefit their kids by giving protection through stronger immunity,” says Dr Jose Rodolfo Dimaano Jr., medical director, Abbott Nutrition.
“HMO helps strengthen the immune system by nourishing the good bacteria in the gut, where 70% of the immune system is located. Keeping your child’s digestive system healthy also means strengthening their immunity,” Dr Dimaano added.