Nucleotides are a special group of nutrients that have many different roles in growing tissues. They are especially important for making new DNA in growing and dividing cells, with additional support roles in the developing immune system.
Nucleotides are found in cow’s milk and made using a special process that purifies them into a form that is suitable for nutritional formulas. They are recognized as nutrient ingredients by FSANZ.
Nucleotides play different roles in infants and children, mainly in their growing tissues:
In one research investigation, children born smaller than normal, also known as small for gestational age (SGA) have been reported to show improvements in growth and weight gain, after the addition of nucleotides to their formula2 (figure). Nucleotides also help with taking up fatty acids for energy3. These results suggest
Nucleotides have also been found to help children’s bodies make more of special kinds of immune cells that are used to fight viruses4. A research trial of a nutrient formula containing nucleotides has demonstrated a 25% reduction in the incidence of diarrhea episodes caused by gut infections5
Increased growth of SGA infants fed nucleotides