How does it work?
The structure of the triglycerides in a baby’s diet has significant consequences for his or her ability to absorb key nutrients. How the triglycerides are broken down.
The fatty acids bonded to the SN-1 and SN-3 positions of the fork-shaped triglycerides. This leaves the fork and its last remaining fatty acid – the one attached to its SN-2 position – bound tightly together in one piece, which is then absorbed through the lining of the small intestine. With most triglycerides found in human breast milk – and in Unimilk® – this last fatty acid is palmitic monoglyceride.
Many infant formulas use blends of different vegetable oils as substitutes for the fats found in mother’s milk. And while these blends have similar compositions of fatty acids to those found in human milk, the fatty acids are attached to the triglycerides differently. As a result, significantly more triglycerides in infant formula have palmitic acid bound to either the SN-1 or SN-3 positions. So when gut enzymes separate the fatty acids bound to these positions, they send free palmitic acid into the gut, where it bonds with dietary calcium to form insoluble “soaps”.