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Grant Awarded for Preclinical Study on the Impact of NAD


Dr. Charles Brenner, the Roy J. Carver Chair and Head of Biochemistry at the University of Iowa, receives a research grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to study the effects of NAD-boosting supplements on the production of bioactive factors in milk and the effect of the supplements on brain development in animals.

Brenner explained that his previous research indicated that a new mother’s body does everything in its power to provide for the needs of her offspring: mobilizing her own protein, fat and carbohydrate to make milk, mobilizing her own NAD precursors for the offspring, and producing bioactive factors important for the  brain and physical development of her offspring. The new mother’s body does so much that she experiences postpartum as a metabolic stress.

“We addressed postpartum metabolic stress with nicotinamide riboside (NR)—an important NAD precursor [or booster]—and discovered that these supplemented mothers are more capable of caring for their offspring, produce more nutritious milk, and spend more time in nursing behavior, thereby giving their offspring lasting neurodevelopmental advantages,” said Brenner. “With this new project, we are keen to identify the degree to which NR is uniquely capable of increasing expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a naturally occurring compound critical for brain development.”

Brenner’s work on postpartum as a metabolic stress piqued the interest of the foundation, particularly as it may relate to human mothers who live in conditions of sub-optimal nutrition and other types of stress. At a convening on maternal health, the foundation previewed Brenner’s work published earlier this year in the journal Cell Reports, which showed that supplementation with NR in animal models confers significant and enduring physiological benefits to mothers and their offspring.

NR is also known as Niagen, a form of vitamin B3 exclusively licensed by ChromaDex (Los Angeles, CA). In 2004, Brenner discovered the vitamin activity of NR through a gene pathway that is activated when cells are under metabolic stress. He serves as chief scientific advisor for ChromaDex.

“Through Dr. Brenner’s research on NR we can potentially improve the wellbeing of mothers and their children in vulnerable populations,” said ChromaDex CEO Rob Fried. “This is an exciting opportunity to support the humanitarian and scientific efforts of the foundation.”

For more information, visit www.chromadex.com.

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