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Red Beet Root

The Effect of Betaine in Reversing Alcoholic Steatosis

Anthony J. Barak 1 , Harriet C. Beckenhauer 1 , Shahrokh Badakhsh, 1 Dean J. Tuma 1

Veterans Affairs Alcohol Research Center, Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska.

Correspondence to Reprint requests: Anthony J. Barak Ph.D., Liver Study Unit (151), Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 4101 Woolworth Avenue, Omaha, NE 68105. This research was supported in part by Orphan Medical, Inc., Minnetonka, MN.

The feeding of ethanol to experimental animals results in fatty infiltration of the liver. Recent findings have shown that ethanol-induced steatosis is accompanied by a lowering in hepatic S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) levels. It is known that SAM provides substrates for reduced glutathione formation and offers the cell protection from toxic metabolic oxidants. A recent study in this laboratory demonstrated that dietary supplementation with betaine generated increased SAM in the liver and protected against ethanol-induced steatosis. The present study not only showed that betaine supplementation to rats protects the liver from alcoholic steatosis, but also demonstrated that once steatosis is established, treatment with betaine partially reversed the steatosis after cessation of ethanol feeding. Furthermore, this study indicated that betaine supplementation to the diet had the capacity to attenuate steatosis despite the continued feeding of ethanol.

Source: InterScience

*Example: Beetroots are rich in betaine