Press Release

Marking World Microbiome Day, Nutricia and academic publisher Wiley present new book to highlight the expanding role of dietary biotics in infant nutrition

Amsterdam, The Netherlands - June 27, 2019

  • The Biotics Family in Early Life’ – a Wiley Essential Knowledge Briefing – offers healthcare professionals a practical guide on how dietary biotics can contribute to nutrition & health in early life
  • On the occasion of World Microbiome Day, Nutricia & the academic publisher, John Wiley and Sons, Ltd. (Wiley) announce the publication of The Biotics Family in Early Life. Available for free download, the publication examines the role ‘dietary biotics’ can play in supporting the development of a healthy, balanced gut microbiota and immune system, whether found in breastmilk or added to breastmilk substitutes.

Nutricia carries the conviction that science-based information is essential to ensure adequate nutritional support for parents and their infants, and to empower mothers to make safe and personally-relevant feeding choices. The Biotics Family in Early Life is intended as a practical guide for healthcare professionals, such as paediatricians, paediatric gastroenterologists, and paediatric dieticians, who work with infants and their families.

Recognizing the critical role nutrition plays in the first 1000 days – from conception up to two years of age –and its impact on lifelong health, Nutricia partnered with leading experts in the fields of paediatrics and gut microbiology to publish this educational resource1.

Professor Hania Szajewska, Professor and Chair, Department of Paediatrics, The Medical University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland and one of the editors of the book, explained its relevance: “By publishing this practical guide, we intend to raise awareness of the growing diversity of dietary biotics, their impact on the gut microbiome of infants, and the contribution they can make to health and healthy development in early life.”

In adults, dietary biotics have been shown to modulate the microbiome to support health2. Interestingly, such bioactive components are also found in breastmilk – the gold standard for infant nutrition, and the benchmark when researching and developing breastmilk substitutes.

In commenting on the new publication, Professor Jan Knol of Danone Nutricia Research added: “Breastmilk is a highly complex liquid that provides all the nutrition a baby and its gut microbiome needs. It can never be replicated but it continues to serve as our inspiration. At Nutricia, we’ve been studying breastmilk for over forty years to understand its composition, complexity and health benefits so that we can apply these insights when developing breastmilk substitutes. We hope this book covering the broader role of dietary biotics in infant nutrition will be a helpful resource for healthcare professionals.”

The book reviews more well-known members of the dietary biotics family – such as pre- and probiotics, while explaining the potential health benefits of combining pre- and probiotics to form synbiotics. The book’s last chapters are dedicated to the direction of future research in dietary biotics in early life, with particular focus on the newly emerging field of postbiotics – bioactive compounds produced during a fermentation process – which researchers are beginning to recognize can have health boosting benefits.

Nutricia pioneered the introduction of specific postbiotics in breastmilk substitutes in 1994 and was also the first to introduce a unique combination of oligosaccharides mimicking the diversity and quantity of oligosaccharides found in breastmilk in the year 2000. With recent research pointing to the potential health benefits of postbiotics in infant nutrition, Nutricia is once more spearheading innovation in this new field, now offering breastmilk substitutes that have some of the most complex and diverse composition.

Published in partnership with Wiley, The Biotics Family in Early Life is being launched as one of Wiley’s Essential Knowledge Briefings for health. In commenting on the publication, Michelle Leete, Director at Wiley explained, “Our Essential Knowledge Briefings for health are intended to provide professionals in healthcare and related fields with valuable, practical information on topical health issues relevant to their field of practice. Interest in the role nutrition in early life can play in long-term health has continued to grow among our readership. We’re pleased to partner with Nutricia in producing this educational resource.”

Wiley and Nutricia have been partnering since 2014, with this book being the fourth in a series of Essential Knowledge Briefings on nutrition in early life. Book 1 highlighted the gut microbiota and its importance for infant and future health. Book 2 focused on functional gastrointestinal disorders and digestive problems in pregnant women and infants. Book 3 discussed the impact of foetal and infant nutrition on growth. The publication of this Essential Knowledge Briefing was supported by an educational grant from Danone Nutricia Research. To download a free copy of The Biotics Family in Early Life, please visit here.

About Nutricia

Since 1896, Nutricia has pioneered nutritional solutions that help people live longer, more joyful and healthier lives. Building on more than a century of research and innovation, Nutricia has harnessed the power of life-changing and life-saving nutrition to create a leading specialized nutrition portfolio that can change a health trajectory for life.

With its nutritional solutions, Nutricia supports healthy growth and development during the first 1000 days and helps to address some of the world’s biggest health challenges; pre-term birth, faltering growth, food allergy, rare metabolic diseases, age-related conditions and chronic disease, such as frailty, cancer, stroke and early Alzheimer’s disease.

As part of Danone, Nutricia embraces the company’s “One Planet. One Health” vision
reflecting that the health of people and the health of the planet are interconnected and therefore seeks to protect and nourish both.  Nutricia. Life-Transforming Nutrition For more information visit    


For media enquiries or for further information please contact -
Helen Lawn at +44 (0) 20 3761 4448
or Jayson Otke at + 31 6 15112147    

Notes to the editor

The editorial team included Professor Seppo Salminen (Professor, Director Functional Foods Forum, Faculty of Medicine, University of Turku, Turku, Finland); Professor Hania Szajewska (Professor and Chair, Department of Paediatrics, The Medical University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland) and Professor Jan Knol (Professor of Intestinal Microbiology in Early Life, Wageningen University / Director – Gut Biology & Microbiology Platform, Danone Nutricia Research, The Netherlands).    

Important notice:

Breastfeeding is best for babies. Infant formula is suitable from birth when babies are not breastfed. Follow-on milk is only for babies over 6 months, as part of a mixed diet and should not be used as a breastmilk substitute before 6 months. We advise that all formula milks including the decision to start weaning should be made on the advice of a doctor, midwife, health visitor, public health nurse, dietitian, pharmacist or other professional responsible for maternal and child care. Foods for special medical purposes should only be used under medical supervision. May be suitable for use as the sole source of nutrition for infants from birth, and/or as part of a balanced diet from 6-12 months. Refer to label for details.

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