Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Betaine not so Effective Against Homocysteine as Previously Thought

High homocysteine levels are considered an independent risk factor of arteriosclerosis. Conversely, betaine supplementation is regarded as a possible mean to reduce homocysteine levels. A recent study (Schwab. 2010), however, indicates that - at least in young subjects - supplementation with 4mg betaine has no influence on homocysteine, HDL or LDL levels of healthy individuals:

Concentrations of serum HDL-cholesterol, triglycerides or oxidized LDL did not change during the study. Plasma homocysteine concentration did not change in either of the groups.
Aside from the fact, that the causative role of homocysteine is challenged by several researchers, it obviously does not make sense to preventatively supplement betaine for heart health.