Research on milk fat globule membrane (MFGM) is gaining traction. The interest is two-fold; on the one hand, it is a unique trilayer structure with specific secretory function. On the other hand, it is the basis for ingredients with the presence of phospho- and sphingolipids and glycoproteins, which are being used as food ingredients with valuable functionality, in particular, for use as a supplement in infant nutrition. This last application is at the center of this Review, which aims to contribute to understanding MFGM’s function in the proper development of immunity, cognition, and intestinal trophism, in addition to other potential effects such as prevention of diseases including cardiovascular disease, impaired bone turnover and inflammation, skin conditions, and infections as well as age-associated cognitive decline and muscle loss. The phospholipid composition of MFGM from bovine milk is quite like human milk and, although there are some differences due to dairy processing, these do not result in a chemical change. The MFGM ingredients, as used to improve the formulation in different clinical studies, have indeed increased the presence of phospholipids, sphingolipids, glycolipids, and glycoproteins with the resulting benefits of different outcomes (especially immune and cognitive outcomes) with no reported adverse effects. Nevertheless, the precise mechanism(s) of action of MFGM remain to be elucidated and further basic investigation is warranted.
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