B3 Vitamin Supplement for Lactating Mothers Study

Dr. Alyssa Dweck, MS MD FACOG, an OB-GYN discusses this landmark new study on lactating and breastfeeding rodent mothers that were supplemented with this unique B3 vitamin nicotinamide riboside (NR-NiagenÒ, Chromadex).

ALYSSA DWECK, MS, MD, FACOG, is a practicing gynecologist at the CareMount Medical in Westchester County, New York. She provides care to women of all ages; she has delivered thousands of babies.Dr. Dweck practices in Mount Kisco, NY and Carmel, NY and admits to Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, NY. She has been voted “Top Doctor” in New York Magazine and in Westchester County.

She is proficient in minimally invasive surgery including robotic surgery. She has a special interest and expertise in female sexual health and medical sex therapy. She is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and a consultant at Massachusetts General Hospital, Vincents Memorial Ob/Gyn Service. She has served on the board of directors of the CareMount Medicalin addition to ethics, quality assurance, and peer review committees. She is on the medical advisory board of Hope’s Door, a shelter from Domestic Violence and is a medical consultant for, Stepup-Speakout.org, a web community dedicated to resources and support for breast cancer related lymphedema.


Neal Howard: Welcome to Health Professional Radio. I’m your host Neal Howard, glad that you could join us once again. Our guest is Dr. Alyssa Dweck, she’s joining us on the program to talk about a new study concerning lactating and breastfeeding that’s been supplemented with a very unique B3 Vitamin. And I will let Dr. Dweck tell us a little bit about her background and we’ll jump right into this brand new study about lactating and this B3 Vitamin. Thank you so much for joining us on the program Dr. Dweck.

Dr. Alyssa Dweck: Thank you for having me, it’s a pleasure.

Neal: A bit of background about yourself for our listeners.

Dr Dweck: Yes, thank you. So I’m an OBGYN, I’ve been in practice for about 25 years here in New York and I really was very excited to learn about some newer studies involving a vitamin B3 supplement that may be a real game changer for the lactation world if you will. So by way of background, I take care of patients of all ages including pregnant and lactating women and  women who are nursing are always looking to enhance the quality of their milk enhance the volume of their milk and also another thing that lots of postpartum women are looking for is to get back into shape after they’ve had a baby. So I was incredibly surprised and very excited to learn about a new study that came out and this is a preclinical study so it’s done on rodents, that suggests that supplementing lactating moms with a vitamin b3 called Niagen or Nicotinamide Riboside which is a form of vitamin b3 might actually enhance the volume of milk produced when compared to rodent moms who were not taking this supplement. It may help to enhance the quality of the milk and as an aside and a little extra, helped these rodent moms lose weight faster than their counterpart rodents who were not getting this supplement. So we I found this to be very exciting and of course further researches need to apply this in the clinical population in humans but it’s a first start and exciting research.

Neal: Well let’s let’s start by talking about this quality that you mentioned. Women are lactating, doesn’t nature provide quality milk for a lactating mother to provide to her child?

Dr Dweck: Yes, absolutely. Of course nature provides for this but some of it is also environmentally dependent. So women who have good diets will have as good of milk as they can produce on their own. In addition, we typically advise an increase in caloric intake during lactation about 300 calories a day and so that’s important. But if you think about it, we always advise women to continue their prenatal vitamins while nursing so this is a supplement that might, again this hasn’t been studied in humans yet, but I think that’s coming down the pike – but a supplement may be helpful to be in addition to a prenatal vitamin to help with quantity and quality of milk. So it’s interesting and listen, this is where we learn this stuff. It’s when we start out with rodent studies or preclinical studies and then hopefully apply it to humans. I’d like to also bring up the fact that I do recommend this supplement for women outside of that lactation group particularly my menopause population because these are women who are suffering with sleep deprivation and interruption, physical discomforts of hot flashes, etc. and they’re looking for ways to enhance their energy. So I typically will recommend this supplement, Vitamin b3 in an effort to enhance cellular metabolism and enhance energy and this has been studied in human trials and has been shown to be safe and effective so I think it’s exciting to think about that as well.

Neal: So in the human trials that we’ve done on this particular B3, we know that it alleviates some of the symptoms of menopause and because of that, we’ve gone into studying the quality of the milk and how the quality is enhanced with prenatal vitamins and you’re talking about possibly supplementing those prenatal vitamins with this B3 supplement. How does it increase the quantity of breast milk in these test subjects?

Dr Dweck:  The findings were notable and statistically significant in the preclinical studies to suggest that the quantity of milk, breastfeeding time and the quality of milk based on protein and lipid content etc were noted in their studies.

Neal: In these subjects were the test run with prenatal vitamins per se different types along with this supplement or was it done with just the supplement and those results were noted?

Dr Dweck: Again these are in rodent trials, to the best of my knowledge it was just the supplement and a typical diet. But I would have to again defer to the researcher for the exact method, but again when they compared the group that did not get this supplement with a group of rodents that did, the findings were certainly statistically significant and notable.

Neal: What were the findings when the offspring were tested as far as nutritional boost or any energy boost, anything like that when they were feeding from these test subjects?

Dr Dweck: Right. So the rodent pups were noted to have both physical and cognitive performance enhancements so this is again another very exciting point to think about if it can be applied to human trials. But basically, they do these typical rodent tests to test for increased physical aptitude and that was noted. They found a capacity for increased resiliency and this is usually tested with things like maze tests and light and dark tests and behavioral measures. Again, I focus my practice on humans so I think that these are exciting preclinical studies but I’m not the person sitting in the lab watching these rodents but it’s exciting and all of these human trials are based on positive findings from preclinical trials so I think this is exciting and I look forward to future information as it would apply to women.

Neal: When we’re talking about the cognitive skill increase, the levels of energy that were increased, sometimes I understand that women they may start out breastfeeding and it’s wonderful but then they decide “Maybe this isn’t for me.” Does this supplement lend itself to breast pumps or things of that nature and when it comes to deciding that ‘maybe this breastfeeding isn’t for me,’ does this supplement make the rodent pups like the milk more maybe wanting to breastfeed for a longer period of time as opposed to using supplements or no supplements at all?

Dr Dweck: Well it did seem in this rodent study that the breastfeeding time was lengthened compared to the pups who were not using the supplement so I would say that I’m hoping that will translate into human studies as well. As far as pumped milk, the quality and quantity of pumped milk shouldn’t be any different than what’s produced naturally so I think that speaks for itself.

Neal: In your opinion, what do you think is the future of this research? I mean it you called it a game-changer in the early part of our conversation, are we talking about a of couple three years or maybe a decade or two down the road before this is something that’s basically mainstream and par for the course when it comes to lactating mothers?

Dr Dweck: Yeah, we are very very cautious in the obstetrical world about what we recommend to our moms – both during pregnancy and nursing – so we are not there yet. As far as 10 or 20 years, I hope it’s not that far off so I know there are ongoing studies now so I’m hoping that the results are sooner rather than later.  

Neal: Dr. Dweck, I’d like to direct our listeners to some places online where they can go and get some more information about you and about this demon this B3 vitamin and maybe get some more information for ourselves.

Dr Dweck: Sure. So my personal website is drdweck.com and there’s plenty of information there about me and what I do. And I would refer your listeners to the ChromaDex or TRU NIAGEN® website to learn more about the supplement because we are recommending it for women now, not necessarily pregnant or lactating women and the trials that I spoke about are on clinicaltrials.gov which will be very helpful fuo the more scientifically-minded.

Neal: Great. Now in wrapping up very briefly, I understand that you’ve co-authored two or three books, could you give us those titles and let us know whether or not we can get them online?

Dr Dweck: Absolutely and thank you for asking. So my latest book is called ‘The Complete A to Z for your V’ – just a kind of a humorous but very informative book about all things gynecology, so I recommend it for women and men to learn more and it’s fun. And then my second book was a book about libido, mainly meant for clinicians to help with their patients to enhance their sexual drives. It’s called ‘The Sexual Spark’ and that’s on Amazon as well.

Neal: I thank you so much for joining us on the program this morning, it’s been a pleasure Dr. Dweck.

Dr Dweck: Thank you so much, have a great day.

Neal:  You as well. You’ve been listening to Health Professional Radio, I’m your host Neal Howard. Transcripts and audio of the program are available at hpr.fm and healthprofessionalradio.com.au. You can also subscribe to this podcast on iTunes, listen in and download at SoundCloud and be sure and visit our Affiliate Page at hpr.fm and healthprofessionalradio.com.au

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