The effect of dietary betaine on intestinal and plasma levels of betaine in uninfected and coccidia-infected broiler chicks.
ABSTRACT Chicks fed betaine supplemented diets and infected with Eimeria acervulina and Eimeria maxima had markedly higher levels of betaine in the duodenum and mid-gut than unsupplemented, infected chicks. Uninfected chicks fed betaine exhibited almost twice the levels of betaine in the gut as infected chicks. Plasma betaine levels were lower in E. maxima-infected chicks than in E. acervulina-or Eimeria tenella-infected chicks. Betaine supplementation reversed the decrease in weight gain in E. maxima- infected chicks but had no effect on the decrease in weight gains in E acervulina- and E. tenella-infected chicks. Coccidia-infected birds on normal diets regularly exhibit increases in plasma NO(2)(+)NO(3). This increase was abolished in E.tenella-infected birds on betaine supplement. Betaine feeding did not alter this effect in E. acervulina- and E. maxima-infected birds. Results indicate that betaine supplementation has a positive effect on gut betaine levels in birds infected with E. acervulina and E. maxima. In all treatment groups, infection lowered the levels of betaine.
Avian Diseases 01/2009; · 1.46 Impact Factor
Article: Betaine in human nutrition.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Betaine is distributed widely in animals, plants, and microorganisms, and rich dietary sources include seafood, especially marine invertebrates ( approximately 1%); wheat germ or bran ( approximately 1%); and spinach ( approximately 0.7%). The principal physiologic role of betaine is as an osmolyte and methyl donor (transmethylation). As an osmolyte, betaine protects cells, proteins, and enzymes from environmental stress (eg, low water, high salinity, or extreme temperature). As a methyl donor, betaine participates in the methionine cycle-primarily in the human liver and kidneys. Inadequate dietary intake of methyl groups leads to hypomethylation in many important pathways, including 1) disturbed hepatic protein (methionine) metabolism as determined by elevated plasma homocysteine concentrations and decreased S-adenosylmethionine concentrations, and 2) inadequate hepatic fat metabolism, which leads to steatosis (fatty accumulation) and subsequent plasma dyslipidemia. This alteration in liver metabolism may contribute to various diseases, including coronary, cerebral, hepatic, and vascular diseases. Betaine has been shown to protect internal organs, improve vascular risk factors, and enhance performance. Databases of betaine content in food are being developed for correlation with population health studies. The growing body of evidence shows that betaine is an important nutrient for the prevention of chronic disease.American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 10/2004; 80(3):539-49. · 6.67 Impact Factor