Antimicrobial activity of lipids added to human milk, infant formula, and bovine milk

J Nutr Biochem. 1995 Jul;6(7):362-366. doi: 10.1016/0955-2863(95)80003-u.


Lipids previously shown to have antiviral and antibacterial activity in buffers were added to human milk, bovine milk, and infant formulas to determine whether increased protection from infection could be provided to infants as part of their diet. Fatty acids and monoglycerides with chain lengths varying from 8 to 12 carbons were found to be more strongly antiviral and antibacterial when added to milk and formula than long chain monoglycerides. Lipids added to milk and formula inactivated a number of pathogens including respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), Haemophilus influenzae, and Group B streptococcus. The results presented in this study suggest that increased protection from infection may be provided to infants at mucosal surfaces, prior to the digestion of milk and formula triglycerides, by the addition of antimicrobial medium chain monoglycerides to an infant's diet.