GOS & LCPs: What’s that and why is it so important in milk formula?

Organic baby formula special ingredients

Let’s talk about milk, baby! We all know that breast milk is the ideal diet for your baby, but as pregnancy and early motherhood has taught us, nothing ever goes according to plan. There are so many reasons for you not being able to breastfeed your child (or not wanting to, which is also totally okay – it’s your decision and yours alone). Maybe it was merely impossible to breastfeed your first child and with your later children there were no problems at all? Or you really set your mind on breastfeeding for a full 24 months and then your milk ran out earlier than you would have liked? Whatever the reasons may be, we’re proud to be able to offer you formula that is not only made from organic, high quality milk, but also full to the brim with all the nutrients that are essential for the development of your baby – and then some! Our organic baby milk is developed to be as similar to breast milk as possible and contains additional ingredients such as galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) and long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPs, such as Omega-3 and Omega-6).

GOS make for happy stomachs

What are those, you ask?

Oligosaccharides are complex carbohydrates which naturally occur in breast milk in the form of so-called human milk oligosaccharides (HMO). These non-digestible food components are not broken down by enzymes in the intestines but instead travel further to the colon, where they serve as prebiotics – an energy source for the beneficial bacteria. This way, they promote the development of healthy gut microbiome in your baby’s digestive system.

Healthy gut bacteria are crucial for many functions of the body. The metabolites of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli reduce the pH of your baby’s stool. This inhibits, among other things, the growth of harmful germs. Lactobacilli also produce a substance that, similarly to an antibiotic, directly limits pathogenic germs such as salmonella or listeria. Additionally, thanks to shifting the pH to the acidic range, minerals and trace elements like calcium and magnesium are better absorbed by the body. So, indirectly, even your baby’s bone growth is supported by beneficial gut bacteria! Ultimately, this means more frequent bowel movements with a softer consistency for a healthier baby that is less fussy when changing nappies!

And how does this affect my baby if I don’t breastfeed?

Oligosaccharides can also be found in cow’s milk, but the amount of HMOs in breast milk is about a hundred times as high. That’s why the gut microbiome of breastfed and non-breastfed babies can differ significantly. Fortunately, it is possible to produce galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) – in their chemical structure very similar to HMO – from cow’s milk lactose, so they can be added to baby milk and help build healthy gut bacteria in formula-fed babies as well. The prebiotic effect of GOS and their positive impact on the composition of the intestinal flora has been confirmed in numerous studies. That is precisely why we’ve decided to make GOS part of both our First Infant Milk as well as our Follow-on Milk.
And because transparency is one of our highest priorities, you can find all details on GOS on our packaging – along with all carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. We want you to know exactly what’s in the food that you give your baby, so that you can feed with confidence.

LCPs for happy brains

Healthy baby, happy baby!

Another important ingredient in a newborn’s diet are long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPs). Known as Omega-3 and Omega-6, these good fats promote the optimal development of your baby’s brain and nervous system, in particular vision and motor skills. The European Union will be making these a mandatory ingredient in baby food by 2020 because they’re just that important to your baby’s development. We already include LCPs in our milk formula precisely because of this fact. These fats are commonly obtained from fish oil or from algae. We have chosen the latter, making it suitable for a vegetarian diet as well.


We all only want the best for our babies – and for yours! Because whatever you do decide on, the goal should be to give your baby the perfect start in life, don’t you think? We’re so excited for you and your baby to try our different milks, which are now available exclusively at Whole Foods. Have you checked them out yet?

Pictures: Olga Löffler