MFGM and brain development in children

Your child’s early development is a period of rapid growth for their brain. In fact, a huge amount of brain development occurs in the first 5 years — the brain quadruples in size and reaches 90% of its adult volume by the preschool years1. If the mother takes the best care of her child with healthy nutrition and nurturing parenting, the early years are a golden opportunity for brain development in children. And in today’s challenging environment and with new emerging diseases like COVID-19, a healthy immune system for the child is also essential, together with brain development.

Apart from providing your child with food from all three food groups, giving them nutrients that develop the brain and strengthen the immune system is critical. One of those nutrients is MFGM.

Brain Development in Children: What Is MFGM?

MFGM or Milk Fat Globule Membrane is a membrane of fat particles found in milk, helping wrap the fat particles and enabling them to mix well in the aqueous (liquid) part of milk2. MFGM is rich in more than 150 fats and biological proteins, such as sphingomyelin, phospholipids, and ganglioside, which are all beneficial to the body and brain development throughout childhood2.

5 Reasons Why Your Child Should Get MFGM

1. MFGM is an important source of nutrients for children today.

As mentioned, MFGM contains many nutrients:

  • There are various fats such as phospholipids, gangliosides and sphingomyelin, and MFGM supplementation has thus been shown to support cognitive3 and behavioural development4.

  • It contains many essential proteins that help strengthen the immune system, keeping your child healthy and ready to learn.

2. MFGM promotes brain cell connectivity and brain development throughout childhood.

Since children are in the process of establishing brain cell connections, MFGM contains complex lipids like phospholipids, sphingomyelin, and ganglioside, which support the formation of the myelin sheath to enhance the signal transmission efficiency between nerves5.

It also helps promote the connection between brain cells, so the brain can work at its full capacity. Ultimately, this provides a positive impact on brain development and intelligence.

Research into brain development supports this: A 21-day laboratory experiment showed that the nutrients in MFGM working with DHA increased the chances of brain cell connectivity better than DHA alone6.

3. MFGM helps to strengthen the immune system.

These days, strengthening children’s immune systems is of utmost importance.

Studies have also shown that proteins in MFGM help support the immune system as well as defenses against viral and bacterial infection4,7. And this way, children can better fight these infections. For example, studies have shown that MFGM reduces the risk of developing acute otitis media7.

A separate study also found that a group of population on formula with MFGM had a shorter duration of fever or illness4. They also took fewer antibiotics than those fed with formula without MFGM, and this indicates a healthier immune system.

4. MFGM creates balanced development towards a successful future.

Besides promoting brain development throughout childhood, studies have shown that MFGM is also beneficial for other aspects of childhood development:

  • MFGM influences emotional development.

Those who received MFGM received a better score on behaviour assessment, which is related to emotional development4. Emotional intelligence, or emotional quotient (EQ), is an important issue for mothers as we grow to understand its importance in our children’s future: Doing well in academics alone is not enough. Children also require life skills such as communicating and working with others, as well as a host of other skills powered by emotional intelligence. It’s worth noting that nutrition and stimulation work hand-in-hand for both intelligence quotient (IQ) and EQ development.

  • MFGM helps to develop more complex communication and languages.

According to recent research, it was found that those fed with MFGM had better language development as well as improved cognitive and motor skills compared to those without MFGM8.

  • MFGM promotes longer concentration time.

There is research in a group of population that shows that those fed with MFGM were able to concentrate on activities longer than non-MFGM-fed ones8.

5. MFGM is something that a mother can offer her child herself.

With today’s technology, milk formulations can be enriched with MFGM, providing immune and cognition support throughout childhood9, providing benefits in immunity and brain development in children. By providing key nutrients for your child, you can help to ensure good brain development, a strong immune system, and emotional development for a brighter future.

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1. Timothy T. Brown and Terry L. Jernigan, Brain development during the preschool years,, Accessed Aug. 3, 2021
2. Javier Fontecha,Lauren Brink, Steven Wu, Yves Pouliot, Francesco Visioli, and Rafael Jiménez-Flores. Sources, Production, and Clinical Treatments of Milk Fat Globule Membrane for Infant Nutrition and Well-Being. Nutrients. 2020 Jun; 12(6): 1607.
3. Timby N et al., Neurodevelopment, nutrition, and growth until 12 mo of age in infants fed a low-energy, low-protein formula supplemented with bovine milk fat globule membranes: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr 2014; 99(4):860-868.
4. Veereman-Wauters G, Staelens S, Rombaut R, et al. Milk fat globule membrane (INPULSE) enriched formula milk decreases febrile episodes and may improve behavioral regulation in young children. Nutrition. 2012; 28: 749-752.
5. Lee H et al. Frontiers in Pediatrics 2018;6:313,, Accessed Aug 3, 2021
6. NeuroProof report for Mead Johnson Nutrition
7. Timby N et al. Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2015; 60: 384-389
8. Li F et al., Improved Neurodevelopmental Outcomes Associated with Bovine Milk Fat Globule Membrane and Lactoferrin in Infant Formula: A Randomized, Controlled Trial, J Pediatr. 2019;215:24-31,, Accessed Aug. 3, 2021
9. Dewettinck K, Rombaut R, Thienpont N, Le T, Messens. K, Van Vamp J. Nutritional and technological aspects of milk fat globule membrane material. Int Dairy J. 2008; 18: 436-457.