Osteopontin - supporting immune maturation
The whey protein osteopontin has been identified in high amounts in human milk, whereas only small quantities are present in bovine milk. As a consequence, infant formulas have a significantly lower content of osteopontin than human breast milk, which may impact areas like immune development.
Osteopontin is a heavily phosphorylated, acidic glycoprotein with strong calcium-binding properties. At Arla Foods Ingredients we can provide you with min. 95% pure form of osteopontin, Lacprodan® OPN-10, which was the first osteopontin product on the market.
The research in osteopotin
Preliminary research suggests that osteopontin plays a part in the development of infant immune functions, promoting maturation of the immune system and protecting against pathogenic infections. The addition of Lacprodan® OPN-10 to an infant formula may encourage similar immune modulation in formula-fed infants compared to breastfed infants. It therefore could be the missing link in infant formulas to deliver immune protection similar to human milk.
Benefits associated with osteopontin
- Shifts PBMC gene expression closer to breastfed profiles
- Natural role in infant immune development
- Delivers immune protection similar to human milk
- Mimics human milk of OPN levels
- Reduces days of fever
At Arla Foods Ingredients, we hold several patents for production and application of osteopontin.
Leading image: Artistic interpretation of osteopontin.
Arla Foods Ingredients supports the WHO recommendation for exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of an infant’s life and continued breastfeeding up to the age of two or beyond in combination with nutritionally appropriate complementary foods.