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Home / TRU NIAGEN BLOG / Body of evidence for TRU NIAGEN grows with release of landmark peer reviewed animal study today.
Body of evidence for TRU NIAGEN grows with release of landmark peer reviewed animal study today.

Body of evidence for TRU NIAGEN grows with release of landmark peer reviewed animal study today.

(read below, synopsis, study and video)

 New Study Shows Supplementation with Nicotinamide Riboside (NR) During Breastfeeding Yields Measurable, Lasting Benefits to Mothers and Offspring in Animal Model

Landmark lactation study of unique molecule called nicotinamide riboside (NR) showing remarkable results in rodents published in Cell Reports

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 22, 2019 – ChromaDex Corp. (NASDAQ: CDXC) today reported that results of a first-of-a-kind preclinical study on lactation have shown that supplementation with the unique molecule nicotinamide riboside (NR, or Niagen) confers significant and enduring physiological benefits to mothers and offspring. Conducted at the University of Iowa by 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, the study results were published today in the journal Cell Reports.

NR is a cell-charging molecule proven to support levels of NAD, a critical coenzyme as essential to cells as food, water, and oxygen. The study was designed to test the hypothesis that postpartum might disrupt maternal NAD levels and that supplementation with NR might benefit mothers and their offspring.

Childbirth is followed by a period of profound metabolic stress. This study, conducted in mice and rats, is the first to measure postpartum NAD levels and the effects of NR supplementation during this time. The authors observed that rodent mothers supplemented with NR lost more weight and produced more milk than their control counterparts. NR supplementation also changed the composition of mothers’ milk, increasing levels of a molecule that promotes the growth and health of neurons called BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) in the offspring.




While the researchers only fed NR to the rodent mothers, this maternal supplementation led to lasting benefits for their offspring. The offspring of NR supplemented mothers showed greater coordination, strength, and capacity for learning even weeks after being weaned from their mothers. These offspring also had higher levels of BDNF and increased neuronal growth in parts of their brains.  While the authors were very encouraged by these results, they acknowledged that additional research is needed to understand whether these findings may translate into humans.

“This is a truly disruptive discovery of what nicotinamide riboside could do to create higher-quality milk for new mothers,” says Bruce German, Ph.D. and John E. Kinsella Endowed Chair in Food, Nutrition and Health and professor at the Department of Food Science & Technology at the University of California, Davis and member of the ChromaDex Scientific Advisory Board. “Using two species of rodent, Dr. Brenner has discovered that postpartum is a specific stress of the maternal NAD system and the effect of NR on the mammary gland, an energy-driven tissue. This groundbreaking work opens the door to more research into how nicotinamide riboside could be used to improve the lives of women and their children.”

Alyssa Dweck, MS, MD, FACOG, Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and a consultant at the Vincent Obstetrics and Gynecology Service at Massachusetts General Hospital also commented on the study. “This study is super exciting for a number of reasons, from the potential long-term cognitive and behavioural benefits in offspring to postpartum weight loss in new mothers.”

“In the 15 years since I discovered nicotinamide riboside I’ve been continuously impressed with the power of this molecule to address metabolic stress,” said Dr. Brenner. “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.”

“We are excited that this latest study extends our existing body of research and greatly adds to our understanding of the potential of this new molecule" says ChromaDex CEO Rob Fried.                                            

To date, ChromaDex has pioneered NAD research by investing millions of dollars in safety and human studies on its patent-protected NR (commercially known as Niagen), with New Dietary Ingredient and Generally Regarded as Safe designations notified to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. ChromaDex has supplied Niagen at no cost to over 160 leading institutions for research, including Dartmouth, the National Institutes of Health, University of Iowa, and the Scripps Research Institute.




University of Iowa Preclinical Study Summary

Maternal Nicotinamide Riboside Enhances Postpartum Weight Loss, Juvenile Offspring Development, and Neurogenesis of Adult Offspring


Study Title - Maternal Nicotinamide Riboside Enhances Postpartum Weight Loss, Juvenile Offspring Development, and Neurogenesis of Adult Offspring


Publication: Cell Reports – January 22, 2019

Institution – University of Iowa

Lead Author & Principal Investigator - Dr. Charles Brenner, the discoverer of NR as a vitamin, Chief Scientific Advisor to ChromaDex, and lead author on the first published human clinical trial study on NIAGEN® NR. Dr. Brenner is the Roy J. Carver Chair and Head of Biochemistry at the University of Iowa.

Study Methods – After giving birth, female rats and mice were fed a diet supplemented with NR. A control group of animals was fed the same diet without NR. Offspring nursed for three weeks and were then put on a regular diet – no offspring were supplemented with NR by the researchers. A variety of tests were conducted on mothers and offspring at the time of weaning (3 weeks old). Additional tests of physical and cognitive function were conducted in adult offspring several weeks later.

Watch The Video To Find Out More.....

Exciting Study Results –

  • The study shows that the postpartum state is a form of metabolic stress that disturbs NAD levels
  • Mothers fed NR during breastfeeding in the study saw replenished NAD levels in the liver as well as increased NAD levels in the blood
  • NR supplementation was shown to increase lactation and change milk content and nursing behaviour
    • Increases circulating levels of the lactation stimulating hormone prolactin and increases total milk production
    • Increases vitamin B3 levels in milk without changing macronutrients (fat, protein, carbohydrates)
    • Increases amount of time spent nursing
    • Increases milk levels of BDNF, a molecule that supports survival of neurons and encourages growth development of new neurons and synapses
  • NR was shown to have lasting impacts on the physical and cognitive performance of offspring
  • Increased physical aptitude in adult rodents was measured through a variety of tests including:
    • Open field to measure of exploratory behaviour
    • Rotarod to measure endurance, balance, grip, and coordination
    • Beam walking to measure coordination, balance, and grip
  • Increased “capacity for exploration and resiliency” in adult rodents measured through a variety of tests including:
  • Light/dark test to measure anxiety and exploration
  • Elevated maze to measure anxiety
  • Forced swim to measure depression-like behaviour
  • Morris water maze to measure spatial learning and memory
  • Offspring of NR supplemented mothers had higher levels of BDNF and increased neuronal growth in parts of their brains.



Postpartum is a profound episode of metabolic stress of health significance to mothers and families. By relieving metabolic stress to the postpartum liver, nicotinamide riboside provided to rodent mothers increases lactation and induces transmission of brain-derived neurotrophic factor into milk, resulting in improved physical and neurobehavioural development of offspring, whose advantages persist into adulthood.


About NAD –

  • Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) is a critical coenzyme found in every living cell.  It is as essential to our cells as food, water and oxygen, enabling our mitochondria to produce ATP- the energy source for our body and brain.
  • NAD declines with age, with levels decreasing by as much as half from a person’s 40s to their 60s.[4]*
    • This decline is also affected by everyday metabolic stresses such as eating too much or drinking too much alcohol.
    • Preclinical studies show a correlation between lower NAD levels and a number of challenging age-related health challenges, suggesting future studies.[5-24]*


About NIAGEN® NR –

  • NIAGEN® is a cutting-edge molecule, proven to safely and effectively increase NAD levels.
  • NIAGEN was the first commercially-available nicotinamide riboside ingredient, developed and brought to market by ChromaDex.  Today, NIAGEN nicotinamide riboside is the key ingredient in ChromaDex’s TRU NIAGEN®, a cutting-edge supplement helping people to AGE BETTER®.