Patent-pending Mead Johnson formula boasts potential 'unexpected' brain benefits

By Mark ASTLEY contact

- Last updated on GMT

Patent-pending Mead Johnson formula boasts potential 'unexpected' brain benefits

Related tags: Mead johnson nutrition, Nutrition

US infant formula giant Mead Johnson Nutrition has applied to patent a "nutritional composition" it claims can provide "novel benefits...not possible with current offerings."

The application, filed by Illinois-based Mead Johnson Nutrition in July 2013 but published this month, details an infant or follow-on formula with a nutritional composition that "can lead to certain unique benefits."

The patent-pending formulae contain a "synergistic combination"​ of polar lipids, a prebiotic blend, lactoferrin, and long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs). 

Combined, these components "may exhibit additive and/or synergistic beneficial effects,"​ the patent application reads.

“Recently, it has been found that combining polar lipids with prebiotics, especially polydextrose (PDX) and galacto-oligosacchrides (GOS), lactoferrin, and long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) can lead to certain unique benefits.”

“Accordingly, it would be beneficial to provide a nutritional composition for pediatric subjects that contains such a combination.”

"Not possible with current offerings"

Per 100 calories, the milk-based nutritional composition contains up to 5g of protein, at least 15mg of lactoferrin, a minimum of 5mg of LCPUFAs in the form of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA),and between 0.015g and 0.15g of a prebiotic blend of PDX and GOS.

Completing the detailed composition is up to 7g of a fat or lipid source - comprising at least 0.5mg of polar lipids - per 100 calories.

"The selection of nutrients described hereinabove is believed to provide a comprehensive set of novel benefits for infants and children not possible with current offerings,​" the patent application states.

Primarily, it "may increase specific species of polar lipids, lactoferrin, DHA, and B-vitamins in brain regions involved in cognition, memory, learning, emotional regulation and motor coordination."

The mix of PDX and GOS may "alter the production of biogenic amines and neurotransmitters within the central nervous system"​, which Mead Johnson Nutrition claims may have a beneficial effect on social skills, anxiety and memory functions.

Levels of lactoferrin may also “improve the adaptability to a stressful situation and separately improve learning capacity." 

It added that "further distinct benefits of milk polar lipids to improve motor coordination have been observed.”

“In summary, the current nutritional composition may play an important role during infancy and childhood by modifying intestinal microflora, optimizing brain composition, and improving a variety of brain-related behaviours and functions,"​ it concluded.

“The unique combination of nutrients in the disclosed nutritional composition is believed to be capable of providing novel and unexpected brain-related benefits for infants and children."

"Moreover, the benefit of this nutritional composition is believed to be obtained during infancy, and also by including it as part of a diverse diet as the child and its brain continues to grow and develop."

Source: Application No. 13955492
Filed: July 31 2013 Published: February 5 2015
Title: Nutritional compositions containing synergistic combination and uses thereof
Inventors: C Maciej, B Brian, J Zeina, W Anja, W Rosaline (Mead Johnson Nutrition)  

Related topics: R&D, Nutritionals

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