Did you know that 85% of brain development begins during pregnancy and continues till the first three years of the child’s life? Your child’s early development is a period of rapid growth for their brain. In fact, a huge amount of brain development occurs in the first 5 years — the brain quadruples in size and reaches 90% of its adult volume by the preschool years1. If the mother takes the best care of her child with healthy nutrition and nurturing parenting, the early years are a golden opportunity for brain development in children.
But sometimes that may not be enough. Especially now that we are all witnessing a changing environment and the emergence of new diseases such as COVID-19; developing a healthy immune system is equally essential.
This is possible by providing children with essential nutrients from the all three food groups, so they help to both–develop the brain and strengthen the immune system. And one of these essential nutrients is MFGM.
Image source: iStock
What is MFGM?
MFGM or Milk Fat Globule Membrane is a membrane of fat particles found in milk, helping wrap the fat particles and enabling them to mix well in the aqueous (liquid) part of milk2. MFGM is rich in more than 150 fats and biological proteins, such as sphingomyelin, phospholipids, and ganglioside, which are all beneficial to the body and brain development throughout childhood2.
5 Reasons Your Child Should Have MFGM, The Essential Nutrient
- MFGMs integrate vital and essential nutrients such as:
- Essential fats: These include phospholipids, gangliosides and sphingomyelin, and MFGM supplementation has thus been shown to support cognitive3 and behavioural development4.
- Essential proteins: MFGM contains essential proteins that help strengthen the immune system and keep your child healthy and ready to learn
- MFGM promotes brain cell connectivity
Since children are in the process of establishing a connection between brain cells for intercellular communication, MFGMs complex lipids such as sphingomyelin, phospholipids, ganglioside, help to form a myelin sheath to enhance nerve signal transmission5 .
They also help in creating these connections between brain cells so the brain can work at full capacity and positively towards the enhancement of the child’s intelligence.
In fact, recent 21-day laboratory experiments found that nutrients in MFGM along with DHA helped to increase brain cell connections better as opposed to using DHA alone6.
Image source: iStock
- MFGM helps to strengthen the immune system
In this age, keeping children healthy through a strong immunity is very important.
Studies have found that certain proteins in MFGM help support the body’s immune system against viral and bacterial infections4,7.
It also helps the body fight infections, and as such studies have found that MFGM reduces the risk of acute otitis media7 .
In addition, another study found that children who were fed on formula with MFGM had a fever and other illnesses for shorter duration4. They also took fewer antibiotics than those fed with formula milk without MFGM, and this indicates as healthier immune system.
- MFGM creates balanced development towards future success
Besides helping to promote brain development, studies have proved that MFGM has a beneficial effect on other developments, including emotional, language, and concentration.
- MFGM influences emotional development.
Those who received MFGM received a better behavioral assessment score, which is related to emotional development4. This is important for mothers to promote as well because academic excellence (IQ) is not enough. Children must also have life skills such as communication and the ability to work with others (EQ), among other things.
- MFGM helps to develop more complex languages and communication.
Research found that those who fed with MFGM had better language development and more complex communication skills, as well as improved cognitive and motor skillsthan those withou MFGM8.
- MFGM improves concentration for a longer time.
Research has found that those fed with MFGM had more concentration levels on longer activities than those fed non-MFGM-fed milk.
Image source: iStock
- MFGM can be given by a mother herself
With today’s technology, milk formulations can be enriched with MFGM, providing immune and cognition support throughout childhood9, providing benefits in immunity and brain development in children. By providing key nutrients for your child, you can help to ensure good brain development, a strong immune system, and emotional development for a brighter future.
1 Timothy T. Brown and Terry L. Jernigan, Brain development during the preschool years, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3511633/, Accessed Aug. 3, 2021
2 Javier Fontecha,Lauren Brink, Steven Wu, Yves Pouliot, Francesco Visioli, and Rafael Jiménez-Flores. Sources, Production, and Clinical Treatments of Milk Fat Globule Membrane for Infant Nutrition and Well-Being. Nutrients. 2020 Jun; 12(6): 1607.
3 Timby N et al., Neurodevelopment, nutrition, and growth until 12 mo of age in infants fed a low-energy, low-protein formula supplemented with bovine milk fat globule membranes: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr 2014; 99(4):860-868.
4 Veereman-Wauters G, Staelens S, Rombaut R, et al. Milk fat globule membrane (INPULSE) enriched formula milk decreases febrile episodes and may improve behavioral regulation in young children. Nutrition. 2012; 28: 749-752.
5 Lee H et al. Frontiers in Pediatrics 2018;6:313, www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fped.2018.00313/full, Accessed Aug 3, 2021
6 NeuroProof report
7 Timby N et al. Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2015; 60: 384-389
8 Li F et al., Improved Neurodevelopmental Outcomes Associated with Bovine Milk Fat Globule Membrane and Lactoferrin in Infant Formula: A Randomized, Controlled Trial, J Pediatr. 2019;215:24-31, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31668885/, Accessed Aug. 3, 2021
9 Dewettinck K, Rombaut R, Thienpont N, Le T, Messens. K, Van Vamp J. Nutritional and technological aspects of milk fat globule membrane material. Int Dairy J. 2008; 18: 436-457.