Betaine effects on hepatic methionine metabolism elicited by short-term ethanol feeding

Anthony J. Barak, Harriet C. Beckenhauer, Dean J. Tuma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Previous studies in this laboratory have shown that feeding of ethanol to rats produces prompt inhibition of methionine synthetase (MS) as well as a subsequent increase in activity of betaine homocysteine methyltransferase (BHMT). Further studies have shown that supplemental dietary betaine enhanced methionine metabolism and S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) generation in control and ethanol-fed rats. Because MS and BHMT are both involved in the formation of SAM. This study was conducted to determine early of effects of ethanol on hepatic SAM levels and the influence of betaine supplementation on parameters of methionine metabolism during the early periods of MS inhibition and enhanced BHMT activity. Results showed that ethanol feeding produced a significant loss in SAM in the first week with a return to normal SAM levels in the second week. Betaine feeding enhanced hepatic betaine pools in control as well as ethanol-fed animals. This feeding attenuated the early loss of SAM in ethanol fed animals, produced an early increase in BHMT activity, and generated increased levels of SAM in both control and ethanol-fed groups. Furthermore, betaine lowered significantly the accumulation of hepatic triglyceride produced by ethanol after 2 weeks of ingestion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)483-486
Number of pages4
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1996


  • Betaine
  • Ethanol
  • Liver
  • Methionine metabolism
  • Rats
  • S-Adenosylmethionine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Biochemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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