Question

I am a breastfeeding mother and i want to know if it is safe to use Hops? Is Hops safe for nursing mother and child? Does Hops extracts into breast milk? Does Hops has any long term or short term side effects on infants? Can Hops influence milk supply or can Hops decrease milk supply in lactating mothers?

Hops lactation summary

Hops usage has low risk in breastfeeding
  • DrLact safety Score for Hops is 3 out of 8 which is considered Low Risk as per our analyses.
  • A safety Score of 3 indicates that usage of Hops may cause some minor side effects in breastfed baby.
  • Our study of different scientific research indicates that Hops may cause moderate to no side effects in lactating mother.
  • Most of scientific studies and research papers declaring usage of Hops low risk in breastfeeding are based on normal dosage and may not hold true for higher dosage.
  • While using Hops We suggest monitoring child for possible reactions. It is also important to understand that side effects vary largely based on age of breastfed child and time of medication in addition to dosage.
  • Score calculated using the DrLact safety Version 1.2 model, this score ranges from 0 to 8 and measures overall safety of drug in lactation. Scores are primarily calculated using publicly available case studies, research papers, other scientific journals and publically available data.

Answer by Dr. Ru: About Hops usage in lactation

Climbing plant. The female inflorescences or flower tips are used.It contains phloroglucinols, estrogenic, quercetin, kaempferol, tannins, phenolic acids essential oil and flavonoids. One of its components, 8-prenylnaringenin (8-PN) is the most powerful phytoestrogen known. Properties that are attributed: hypnotic, sedative, orexigenic.It is used as a flavoring and stabilizer of the beer.Indications German Commission E Ministry of Health, EMA and ESCOP: insomnia, nervousness, anxiety There is no scientific evidence showing an improvement in milk production.A possible estrogenic effect may be a decrease in milk production.The best galactogogue is a frequent and on-demand breastfeeding along with proper technique. During breastfeeding its consumption should be moderate or occasional.

Answer by DrLact: About Hops usage in lactation

Hops (Humulus lupulus) contains bitter acids, flavonoids, phytoestrogens (e.g., 8-prenylnaringenin), and essential oil. Hops is a purported galactogogue.[1] Some animal evidence indicates that a polysaccharide in hops can increase serum prolactin.[2] However, a small study in humans found that a hops soup appeared to lower serum prolactin levels.[3] Galactogogues should never replace evaluation and counseling on modifiable factors that affect milk production.[4] No data exist on the excretion of any components of hops into breastmilk or on the safety and efficacy of hops in nursing mothers or infants. Hops is "generally recognized as safe" (GRAS) as a food by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Hops can cause sedation and should be avoided while taking other sedating drugs and in patients with depression. Allergy to hops occurs rarely. Some sources recommend avoiding hops during breastfeeding because of its phytoestrogen content. Dietary supplements do not require extensive pre-marketing approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Manufacturers are responsible to ensure the safety, but do not need to the safety and effectiveness of dietary supplements before they are marketed. Dietary supplements may contain multiple ingredients, and differences are often found between labeled and actual ingredients or their amounts. A manufacturer may contract with an independent organization to verify the quality of a product or its ingredients, but that does certify the safety or effectiveness of a product. Because of the above issues, clinical testing results on one product may not be applicable to other products. More detailed information #about dietary supplements# is available elsewhere on the LactMed Web site.

Hops Possible Effects in Breastfeeding

A soup of hops was tested for its effect on serum prolactin in three groups of subjects. The soup consisted of 100 to 200 grams of hops, cooked over low heat, and taken in 3 to 4 portions per day. In 5 healthy males, prolactin was measured before and after the soup twice, at 8 am and 3 am. At 8 am, prolactin was unchanged after the soup. At 3 am, serum prolactin averaged 43.4 mcg/L before the soup and 15.4 mcg/L after the soup. In healthy women who took a dose of metoclopramide, the hops soup blunted the metoclopramide-induced prolactin increase at 1 and 3 hours after the dose. In 6 women with galactorrhea, peak serum prolactin was unchanged before and after metoclopramide when hops soup was taken.[3] Studies in animals indicate that a polysaccharide found in barley and hops is apparently responsible for an increase in prolactin after beer ingestion.[2][5] Refer to the LactMed record on Alcohol for details.

Alternate Drugs

Alfalfa(Unsafe)
Fenugreek(Safe)
Lavender(Low Risk)
Dong Quai(Low Risk)
Coenzyme Q10(Low Risk)
Castor(Unsafe)
Lecithin(Safe)
Aloe(Low Risk)
Garlic(Safe)
Ginger(Safe)
Licorice(Unsafe)
Echinacea(Low Risk)
Melatonin(Safe)
Hops(Low Risk)
Ginkgo(Low Risk)
Coriander(Safe)
Oregano(Low Risk)
Calendula(Safe)
Sage(Low Risk)
Nutmeg(Low Risk)
Chamomile(Safe)
Rhubarb(Low Risk)
Cumin(Safe)
Caraway(Safe)
Cranberry(Safe)
Basil(Unsafe)
Chasteberry(Unsafe)
Lavender(Low Risk)
Lecithin(Safe)
Garlic(Safe)
Licorice(Unsafe)
Hops(Low Risk)
Coriander(Safe)
Oregano(Low Risk)
Rhubarb(Low Risk)
Caraway(Safe)
Cranberry(Safe)
Basil(Unsafe)
Alfalfa(Unsafe)
Dong Quai(Low Risk)
Castor(Unsafe)
Aloe(Low Risk)
Garlic(Safe)
Licorice(Unsafe)
Ginger(Safe)
Echinacea(Low Risk)
Hops(Low Risk)
Coriander(Safe)
Oregano(Low Risk)
Ginkgo(Low Risk)
Calendula(Safe)
Sage(Low Risk)
Nutmeg(Low Risk)
Rhubarb(Low Risk)
Chamomile(Safe)
Caraway(Safe)
Cumin(Safe)
Cranberry(Safe)
Basil(Unsafe)
Chasteberry(Unsafe)
Lavender(Low Risk)
Fenugreek(Safe)
Lecithin(Safe)
Aloe(Low Risk)
Garlic(Safe)
Licorice(Unsafe)
Ginger(Safe)
Echinacea(Low Risk)
Hops(Low Risk)
Coriander(Safe)
Oregano(Low Risk)
Ginkgo(Low Risk)
Calendula(Safe)
Sage(Low Risk)
Nutmeg(Low Risk)
Rhubarb(Low Risk)
Chamomile(Safe)
Caraway(Safe)
Cumin(Safe)
Cranberry(Safe)
Basil(Unsafe)
Chasteberry(Unsafe)
Lavender(Low Risk)
Fenugreek(Safe)
Lecithin(Safe)
Dong Quai(Low Risk)
Castor(Unsafe)
Disclaimer: Information presented in this database is not meant as a substitute for professional judgment. You should consult your healthcare provider for breastfeeding advice related to your particular situation. We do not warrant or assume any liability or responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the information on this Site.