Disclaimer: Unless a specific prebiotic is described in the General Statements below, ‘prebiotics’ refer to prebiotics in general. The MJN Premo blend of prebiotics consists of a prebiotic blend of GOS and PDX (1:1 ratio) at a total level of 4 g/L (stages 1 and 2) or 1.2 g/serving (stage 3).

According to the FAO, a prebiotic is a nonviable food component that confers a health benefit on the host associated with modulation of the microbiota[1].

Prebiotics include non-digestible or partially digestible carbohydrates which can selectively stimulate the activity and growth of beneficial bacteria in the colon[2].

Breast milk contains a complex mixture of short and long chain prebiotics, called human milk oligosaccharides (HMO), that promote the growth beneficial bacteria throughout the large intestine[3],[4],[5].

Aspects of prebiotics related to gastrointestinal health and immunity

  • Bifidobacteria are considered to support the immune system response in the infant gut[6],[7].
  • ŸBifidobacteria in the gastrointestinal tract contribute to the development of the infant’s natural defenses[8].
  • Beneficial bacteria act as a first line of defense to inhibit digestive tract pathogens and reduce infections[8],[9].
  • Prebiotics GOS and PDX promote proliferation of beneficial gut bacteria such as bifidobacteria[10],[11].
  • ŸPrebiotics help support intestinal health as demonstrated by softer stools and reduction in infections and/or diarrhea[12],[13],[14],[15].
  • Prebiotics may help support immune system function and thus may support natural defenses[16].


Disclaimer: The General Statements below are phrased to ensure clarity when referring to yeast β–glucans or β–glucans in general. MJN uses yeast β–glucan as an ingredient.

Yeast β–glucans are carbohydrates composed of linked glucose molecules.

Aspects of β-glucan related to immunity

β -glucan polymers, including those of yeast β-glucans, are recognized by receptors on immune cells[17].

Binding of β–glucans, including yeast β-glucans, to these receptors initiates a cascade of events resulting in enhanced immune cell function and increased microbial clearance[18],[19],[20],[21].

The innate immune response, which can be stimulated by yeast β-glucans, acts as a first line of defense to protect the body against invading pathogens[22].

β –glucans, including yeast β-glucans and in combination with other nutrients, have been associated with reducing symptoms and/or prevalence of respiratory infection in children[23],[24] and adults[25],[26],[27].

Yeast β –glucans have been associated with fewer missed days of school and/or work due to illness in both children, when fed in combination with other nutrients[28] and adults[29].


Choline is an essential nutrient, with multiple functions. It is a precursor of the phospholipids phosphatidylcholine and sphingomyelin, which are major components of the membranes of all cells including neurons and glia; of the neurotransmitter and developmental growth factor acetylcholine; and of the methyl donor betaine[30].

Aspects of choline related to brain

Acetylcholine is synthesized in the brain neuron in a reaction catalyzed by choline acetyltransferase, which transfers the acetyl group from acetyl coenzyme A to choline[31].

Cholinergic neurons, which are the neurons dependent on acetylcholine to function, are located in the basal forebrain, hippocampus and frontal cortex of the brain[32]. These areas are instrumental to long-term memory and cognitive processes.

Studies on rodents have shown that choline supplementation during development results in improved performance in cognitive or behavioral tests (particularly those with more difficult tasks), and in changes in a variety of electrophysiological, biochemical and morphological endpoints in the brain[33].


Iron is a transition metal, and an essential trace element for humans. It is best known as an essential structural component of the hemoglobin molecule, which transports oxygen to all the organs of the body including the brain[34].

Iron plays a role in many physiological processes[35]. Among these are several pathways important to brain development and cognitive performance.

Aspects of iron related to brain

Iron is involved in several pathways important to brain development and cognitive function.

  • Iron is involved in neuronal myelination, plays a role in brain energy utilization, and acts as a cofactor with enzymes involved in the synthesis of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine[35],[36].

Iron deficits are associated with poor cognitive performance.

  • Insufficient iron intake during development can delay central nervous system development and lead to lasting changes in behavioral and neurological development[34],[35],[37].


Zinc is a transition metal, and an essential trace element for humans. It is involved in many physiological processes essential to the growth and development of children[38].

Particularly, zinc is essential for the development and functioning of the central nervous system.

A vast number of proteins, including enzymes and transcription factors, require zinc for their functionality. These include proteins involved in brain tissue growth[24].

Zinc is also part of structural proteins, and involved in neurotransmitter production and function[24].

Aspects of zinc related to brain

Zinc is essential for the development and functioning of the central nervous system.

  • Zinc plays a role in the production and migration of neurons and in the formation of synapses[39],[40],[41],[42].
  • Zinc deficiency during development may impede these neuronal structure and signal transmission functions.


Iodine is an essential nutrient due to its role as a component of thyroid hormones[43]. Among the roles of thyroid hormones in human health are the regulation of numerous physiologic processes, including growth, key aspects of neurologic development, and reproductive function.

Aspects of iodine related to brain

Iodine plays a pivotal role in brain development via the production of the thyroid hormones. These hormones are essential for central nervous system development including neurogenesis, neuronal migration, axon and dendrite growth, synaptogenesis and myelination[44].


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