DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences recently released the findings of a first-time new study showing the effects Care4U™ 2’-FL had on dental caries-associated bacterium Streptococcus mutans. Previously, HMOs have not been studied for their effects on oral bacteria, but as HMOs are increasingly being added to infant formula, it is important to evaluate effects on oral microflora and potential impact on oral health.
“Human milk is known to contain factors that protect against caries, so we were interested to know how HMOs, and especially 2’-FL, affect S. mutans, one of the most studied bacteria related to dental caries, said Johanna Hirvonen Ph.D., Senior Scientist, DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences. “This study was a collaboration between University of Turku, Institute of Dentistry and DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences. We evaluated the ability of S. mutans to grow on 2’-fucosyllactose (2’-FL) in comparison to galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS), lactose, and xylitol. The effects of 2’-FL, GOS, lactose, and xylitol on adhesion properties of S. mutans were also evaluated. While this study was done under in vitro conditions, it showed the differences between the studied carbohydrates, especially in S. mutans growth.”
“Though it is known that S. mutans can metabolize many carbon sources, we found that S. mutans was unable to grow on 2’-FL, while it grew well on GOS and lactose. Xylitol, as known before, reduced the growth of S. mutans,” added Krista Salli, M.Sc., Scientist, DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences. “Thus, the data suggests that addition of 2’-FL to infant formula would not support the growth of S. mutans. The results highlight the selectivity of 2’-FL consumption by oral bacteria.”
Adhesion to tooth surfaces is the first requirement for a biofilm—dental plaque–formation, 2’-FL decreased the adhesive properties of some of the studied S. mutans strains. In infancy, oral microbiota develops, and delays colonization of potentially pathogenic bacteria is vital. DuPont is expanding on this line of research with other oral bacteria and additional HMOs.
For more information on the study: DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007114520001956