What is 2’-FL?

As mentioned on 'the early immune system' page, breast milk contains a number of ingredients that help babies develop their immune system.13

One important ingredient is a type of carbohydrate called 'human milk oligosaccharides' (pronounced 'oh-lee-go-sack-a-rides') or 'HMOs', which are one of the largest solid components of breast milk.4

The most common type of HMO that most mothers naturally produce is called ‘2’-fucosyllactose’ (pronounced ‘foo-co-sill-lack-tose’).5 For short, we just call it ‘2-FL’.


What does 2’-FL do?

Unlike fat, protein, and many other carbohydrates, 2’-FL resist digestion until they reach the intestine,5 where they help support the immune system in a number of ways:

5.2-1 Icon

Acts as food for bacteria, selecting only the good kinds6–9

5.2-2 Icon

Blocks bad bacteria from attaching to the gut and infecting baby9

5.2-3 Icon

Strengthens the gut barrier to prevent bad bacteria from entering the blood6,8

5.2-4 Icon

Small amount is absorbed in the blood to boost the immune system around the body5,10,11

Alimentum and EleCare both contain 2-FL*

Abbott have spent over two decades researching and testing how to add this ingredient into infant formula.

However, the 2'-FL in our formulas is not made from breast milk, but is instead produced in a similar way to the way some vitamins are made.12


IMPORTANT NOTICE: Breastfeeding is best for infants and is recommended for as long as possible during infancy. Alimentum and EleCare are infant formulas for special medical purposes and should only be used under the recommendation or guidance of a healthcare professional.

*The 2'-FL (2'-fucosyllactose) used in this formula is biosynthesised and structurally identical to the human milk oligosaccharide (HMO) 2'-FL, found in most mothers' breast milk.5

UK-SIMILAC-2000018 November 2020