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Effects of infant formula composition on long-term metabolic health

  • M. Lemaire (a1) (a2), I. Le Huërou-Luron (a1) and S. Blat (a1)


Early nutrition may have long-lasting metabolic impacts in adulthood. Even though breast milk is the gold standard, most infants are at least partly formula-fed. Despite obvious improvements, infant formulas remain perfectible to reduce the gap between breastfed and formula-fed infants. Improvements such as reducing the protein content, modulating the lipid matrix and adding prebiotics, probiotics and synbiotics, are discussed regarding metabolic health. Numerous questions remain to be answered on how impacting the infant formula composition may modulate the host metabolism and exert long-term benefits. Interactions between early nutrition (composition of human milk and infant formula) and the gut microbiota profile, as well as mechanisms connecting gut microbiota to metabolic health, are highlighted. Gut microbiota stands as a key actor in the nutritional programming but additional well-designed longitudinal human studies are needed.


Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: S. Blat, INRA, INSERM, Univ Rennes, Nutrition Metabolisms and Cancer (NuMeCan), 16 Le Clos, Saint-Gilles, 35590, France. (Email


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