2’-fucosyllactose (2’-FL), is a human milk oligosaccharide (HMO), a distinct group of prebiotic carbohydrates that, when ingested, provide a number of benefits that cultivate a healthy microbiome. 2’-FL resists metabolization, so it is able to reach the lower gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Once it arrives, it is very selective as to which microbes it feeds. Only a few “good” resident bacteria, mainly Bifidobacteria, are able to consume it.
In addition to this prebiotic action, 2’-FL plays a role as a decoy. Under normal conditions, microbial invaders will make their way to the lower GI, where they can adhere to surface sugars and colonize. They begin to disrupt the environment and start to produce biological toxins. This can then lead to a number of unwanted GI symptoms and negatively change the composition of the GI microbiome.
2’-FL is similar in structure to certain GI cells. As a result, external microbes, and the toxins they produce, will often bind to 2’-FL instead of the GI tract. This helps the GI tract to help eliminate the disruptors before they can colonize, avoid triggering an inflammatory response, and help people get more satisfaction from the things they enjoy most.