Human Milk Oligosaccharides
and Gastrointestinal Health - Workshop


Date: 20th June 2016               Place: Marriott Hotel, Budapest

The workshop will focus on current advances in the research of human milk oligosaccharides. Further the role of HMOs in maintaining health and preventing disease will be discussed by leading scientists.

Chaired by: 

David A. Mills, Peter J. Shields Endowed Chair in Dairy Food Science, University of California, Davis, USA

Title of presentation:  "Human Milk Oligosaccharides and Their Role in Shaping the Infant Intestinal Microbiota"


Recent studies suggest the diversity of the intestinal microbiota and the quantity of specific microorganisms is critically important for maintaining intestinal health, assisting in nutrient absorption and immune homeostasis. The gut microbiota is affected by multiple factors such as the host’s genetic background, types of delivery (cesarean section vs. vaginal birth), degree of antibiotics exposure and vaccination, life style, and types of food consumption. Dysbiosis of the microbiota is associated with many different disorders such as abnormal brain development, autoimmunity, allergy, neuronal disease, and psychological disorders. To better understand the link between the human microbiome and the development of diverse human disorders, the human microbiome project was launched, and the data so far suggests the loss of diversity in the microbiome and the enrichment of a specific population of microorganism are the two key features associated with the different disorders. Now the critical question is, how can we restore the gut microbiota to good shape? Consumption of probiotics and prebiotics, collectively known as synbiotics, may help the survival and revitalization of a healthy intestinal microbiota thereby restoring human health.

Prebiotics are typically defined as non-digestible fiber-compounds that stimulate the growth or activity of intestinal microorganisms. Among the different prebiotics, human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs), found uniquely in human breast milk, help to establish the commensal bacteria in babies which prevent the attachment of microbial pathogens to mucosal surfaces. In addition, recent studies suggest that HMOs have unique functions as immune regulators by modulating responses of the epithelium and of the immune cells through various mechanisms. In addition, the chemical structures of individual HMOs seem closely related to its unique functions. 

In order to learn more about this growing field, you are highly recommended to attend the “Prebiotic workshop” as a pre-conference programme. In this session, Prof. Davis Mills (UC Davis, USA), one the of the most influential scientists in the HMO field, will give a lecture. You will have plenty of time to discuss with him and other specialists in this field. More information on Prof. Davis Mills is available on the following website.


Speakers at Human Milk Oligosaccharides Workshop

We are pleased to announce the confirmed speakers of HMO Workshop.

Koen Venema, Maastricht University, The Netherlands

Title of presentation:  "Fermentation of 13C-labeled 6’-sialyl Lactose by Microbiotas Originating from Babies, Adults and Elderly – Tracing the Label"


Wim Soetaert, Inbiose - Speciality Carbohydrates, Belgium

Title of presentation: "Efficient Synthesis of Specialty Carbohydrates and Human Milk Oligosaccharides Through Industrial Biotechnology"


Norbert Sprenger,  Nestlé Research Center, Switzerland

Title of presentation: "HMO biology, lessons from preclinical models"


Gert Folkerts, Faculty of Science, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

Title of presentation: "Early Supplementation of Human Milk Oligosaccharides Suppresses Spontaneous Autoimmune Diabetes in Non-obese Diabetic Mice Later in Life"