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Breast milk is best for your baby.

Health Canada, the Canadian Paediatric Society, and the Dietitians of Canada recommend that you exclusively breastfeed your baby for the first 6 months and that you continue to breastfeed for up to 2 years or longer along with complementary foods.

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Human Milk Oligosaccharides (HMOs)


Did you know?

Babies are born with an immature immune system that develops during the first few months of life. The mother protects her baby during this transition with components transferred in her breast milk, such as human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs).1

What are HMOs?

Breast milk contains protective immune factors, including human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) such as 2'-FL, that help build baby’s developing immune system.2

HMOs are non-digestible carbohydrates that form the third most abundant solid component of breast milk.3,4

HMOs are the third most abundant component of breast milk (excluding water).
In Canada, Similac offers infant formula with the HMO 2’-FL.

What is 2’-FL?

Of all the HMOs that have been identified in breast milk, 2’-fucosyllactose
(2’-FL) is the most abundant and is found in the milk of most mothers.5

What do HMOs, like 2’-FL, do?

About 70% of the immune system is found in the digestive tract, so maintaining a favourable environment for beneficial bacteria in the gut can help babies build strong digestive and immune systems.3,6 HMOs, like 2'-FL, in breast milk can affect the baby's immune system in various ways:3

  • 2’-FL feeds good bacteria in the baby’s gut

    Feed the good bacteria
    in the baby’s gut

  • 2’FL protects against harmful bacteria in the baby’s gut

    Protect against
    harmful bacteria
    in the baby’s gut

  • 2’FL supports the baby’s developing immune system

    Support the baby’s
    developing immune

Breast Milk-Inspired

Similac Pro-Advance contains 2’-FLLearn more

Up until recently, 2'-FL was only available to breastfed babies. As a result of 25 years of breakthrough research, Similac® made 2'-FL available to formula-fed babies with the launch of Similac Pro-Advance® Step 1 and Step 2.

The innovative ingredient 2'-FL is now extended to: Similac Total Comfort® and Go & Grow by Similac® Step 3. We are very proud to bring Canada a full selection of infant formulas with 2'-FL to meet the changing nutritional needs of your baby during their first years of life.

† Not derived from human milk.


  1. Kulinich A, et al. Carbohydr Res. 2016;432:62‐70.
  2. Boix-Amorós A, et al. Nutr Rev. 2019;77(8):541-556.
  3. Jantscher-Krenn E, et al. Minerva Pediatr. 2012;64:83-99.
  4. Zivkovic AM, et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 2011;108(Suppl. 1):4653-4658.
  5. Castanys-Muñoz E, et al. Nutr Rev. 2013;71(12):773-789.
  6. Holmgren J, et al. Immunobiology. 1992;184(2-3):157-179.