Infants who have undergone extensive bowel resection and are fed human breast milk transition from parenteral feeding and achieve enteral independence sooner and with less morbidity than those infants fed formula. Human milk oligosaccharides are carbohydrate polymers specific to human breast milk and are known to modulate intestinal epithelial function, as well as the microbiome. 2’-fucosyllactose (2’-FL) is the most abundant oligosaccharide found in and specific to human breast milk. It has been shown to stimulate enterocyte maturation and act in a prebiotic fashion, encouraging the growth of beneficial bacteria and suppressing the growth of pathogens.

Using our mouse model of adaptation, we provided 2’-FL supplementation to the diet and water of mice following ileo-cecal resection. Our results suggest that 2’-FL supplementation augments the adaptive response by improving the energy processing capabilities of the small bowel.