Background: Supplementation of formula with bovine milk fat globule membranes has been shown to narrow the gap in immunological and cognitive development between breast-fed and formula-fed infants.
Method: In a double-blinded randomized controlled trial 160 formula-fed infants received an experimental formula (EF), supplemented with bovine milk fat globule membranes, or standard formula until 6 months of age. A breast-fed reference group was recruited. Lipidomic analyses were performed on plasma and erythrocyte membranes at 6 months and on serum at 4 and 12 months of age.
Results: At 6 months of age, we observed a significant separation in the plasma lipidome between the two formula groups, mostly due to differences in concentrations of sphingomyelins (SM), phosphatidylcholines (PC), and ceramides, and in the erythrocyte membrane lipidome, mostly due to SMs, PEs and PCs. Already at 4 months, a separation in the serum lipidome was evident where SMs and PCs contributed. The separation was not detected at 12 months.
Conclusions: The effect of MFGM supplementation on the lipidome is likely part of the mechanisms behind the positive cognitive and immunological effects of feeding the EF previously reported in the same study population.