Nicotinamide riboside supplementation in nursing rodents confers benefits to offspring, says new study

January 25, 2019

Postpartum rodents supplemented with nicotinamide riboside conferred benefits to offspring through nursing. 

A new pre-clinical animal study on lactation published in Cell Reports has found that postpartum rodents supplemented with nicotinamide riboside (NR; Niagen by ChromaDex Corp., Los Angeles, CA) conferred significant benefits to their offspring. Female rats and mice who gave birth were fed a diet with NR or the same diet without NR (control), and nursed offspring for three weeks. Researchers observed that rodent mothers supplemented with NR lost more weight, and produced more milk than control.

NR also changed the composition of their milk, increasing brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels, which has been shown to promote growth and health of neurons in offspring. Offspring of rodents supplementing with NR showed greater coordination, strength, and capacity for learning even weeks after being weaned from their mother’s milk. The researchers attribute this to higher levels of BDNF, and increased neuronal growth in part of their brains. More research is required to understand how this may or may not translate to human subjects.

“In the 15 years since I discovered nicotinamide riboside as a vitamin, I’ve been continuously impressed with the power of this molecule to address metabolic stress,” said principal investigator Dr. Charles Brenner, the Roy J. Carver Chair & Head of Biochemistry at the University of Iowa, as well as a founding co-director of the University of Iowa Obesity Initiative and chief scientific advisor of ChromaDex. “We’re extremely excited by what we’ve seen NR do during postpartum and what the mom’s NR supplementation does for her offspring. We are looking forward to testing these discoveries in people so that we can explore the potential for Niagen in women’s and family health.”