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Paediatrics

Are human milk oligosaccharides the magic bullet for necrotizing enterocolitis?

There have been no major improvements in the prevention or treatment of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) over the past several decades, and therefore a 'magic bullet' is urgently needed. However, new data demonstrate that disialyllacto-N-tetraose levels in breast milk can predict the risk of NEC, and these findings might provide a strategy for successful intervention.

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Figure 1: Proposed pathophysiology and inhibition of necrotizing enterocolitis.

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Correspondence to Michael S. Caplan.

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The author is a consultant for Leadiant Pharmaceuticals.

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Caplan, M. Are human milk oligosaccharides the magic bullet for necrotizing enterocolitis?. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol 14, 394–395 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/nrgastro.2017.65

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