Janos Zempleni of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the U.S. will test whether supplementing milk formula with exosomes from milk could have the potential to improve the growth of babies aged between 6 and 12 months and help protect them from infections. Exosomes are membrane-bound vesicles naturally present in all bodily fluids and are thought to transfer small molecules such as RNAs between different cells to regulate various cell functions. However, during the production of milk formula for babies, the exosomes are destroyed. They have preliminary data demonstrating that RNAs and exosomes in milk enhance growth and the immune response in mouse pups. They will expand these studies to confirm their results in mice, with a view to progressing to clinical trials to test the value of exosome-fortified milk formula in humans.
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