This scientist formulated milk for Asian children

Published September 14, 2022, 1:21 AM

by Jessica Pag-iwayan

Dr. Rachael Buck reveals why kids need milk with Human Milk Oligosaccharides (HMO)

Children need the right nutrition to nourish their growing bodies and develop better cognition and stronger immune systems. Ensuring children have the right nutrients is important to help defend them against illnesses and infections, while helping to support their growth and cognitive function.


According to female scientist Dr. Rachael Buck, Abbott’s senior research fellow and pioneer in child nutrition, that when we think of nutrients, it’s important to never forget the gut.

“Everything starts in the gut, from early digestion, to brain development to the immune system. And there’s something that’s very, very novel and interesting about the gut, and that is the microbiome,” she says. “Every day these beneficial bacteria that live and reside in the gut. There are trillions of organisms that live in the gut. And they need to be fed. And what’s really important about beneficial bacteria is if you give them the gift of certain food, they give you the gift of health.”


With this in mind, Dr. Buck together with Abbott, pioneered the research on human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) and have been studying the component for more than 20 years. HMOs are special prebiotics that help strengthen immunity because they feed the beneficial bacteria in the gut. Unlike other prebiotics, they are absorbed into the blood stream to support the immune system beyond the gut.

With this significant data that hand, Abbott’s come up with the new reformulation of Similac GainSchool contains the five most abundant HMOs found in nature and represents 60 percent of total HMOs in nature to help strengthen defenses against infection to support 10 immunity outcomes.

“These five HMOs are really catered to Asian children,” she says. “We’re catering to the HMOs that are found in nature we’re offering a unique blend of HMOs for to support child development, particularly for aging children. And again, the early-stage research shows that this unique blend that’s offered by Abbott is first in the world, supports digestive health, immune health, and brain health.”

When asked why this formulation is good for Asian children, the doctor says that the data they got showed that this will benefit Asian children the most.

“These molecules are very abundant in nature and particularly in in the Asian populations,” Dr. Buck says. “The five HMOs we’ve pioneered research we’ve looked at Asian populations, and we know the research is directing us that this blend is what is catered for Asian populations, to help children’s immunity and gut health and brain development as well.”

AS the children now goes back to the outside world, while for some it’s their first time to go in a physical school, Dr. Buck reminds parents the important of giving their children the proper nutrition for them to build strong immunity.

“This unique blend of five HMOs in Similac GainSchool is going to support healthy growth and development, their immune system and supports digestive health,” she says. “This is a great way to have that insurance and have that support for health of your child. And again, immunity now is just so more important than ever before. We need to keep nourishing the immune system in every way we can.”