The effect of betaine in reversing alcoholic steatosis

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1100-1102
Number of pages3
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1997


  • Alcohol
  • Betaine
  • Rats
  • S-Adenosylmethionine
  • Steatosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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