Case Number 101033 - Method to Increase Milk Production

Contact: Ellen Banks
Phone: 513-558-4768

Description:  Mammalian milk production is regulated by a feedback system in the mammary glands that results in reduced lactation when the frequency of milking is reduced. The baseline level of bovine milk production can be increased with a more frequent milking regimen, or with the administration of rBST (a recombinant bovine growth hormone) that counteracts this feedback response resulting in a boost in milk production by approximately 10 percent.

Dr. Nelson Horseman and colleagues have discovered a new method of regulating milk production exploiting a different mechanism which does not involve the use of hormones. The researchers have identified a key component of the feedback loop that regulates milk production in the mammary gland. They have found that this intrinsic feedback mechanism can be manipulated by the use of well-characterized pharmaceuticals either alone or in combination with certain biologically active substances.

Specifically, the researchers have found that the administration of various serotonin antagonists is effective in increasing milk production. This offers several advantages such as those listed below.


  • Potential lower manufacturing costs
  • Absence of any compounds in milk
  • Reduced consumer resistance due to lack of use of hormones
  • Can be developed for oral administration, suggesting ease of use
  • Compounds by themselves have very safe and well understood pharmacological profiles

  • A patent for this technology (US Patent # 7,241,797), entitled "Method of increasing milk production" has been issued. Click here to view the patent.