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Monday, August 4, 2008

Betaine HCL Fights Homocysteine

Before you read any further, it's important to realize that homocysteine is bad. Doctors know it; but most lay people never heard of it. Yet it is more important to reduce homocysteine than it is to reduce cholesterol for heart health. The following abstract explains some of the reasoning behind taking Beatine HCL with meals. It apparently reduces harmful homocysteine and thus reduces the risk of heart disease.

High plasma concentrations of homocysteine may increase risk of cardiovascular disease. Studies in healthy volunteers with plasma homocysteine concentrations in the normal range show that betaine supplementation lowers plasma fasting homocysteine dose-dependently to up to 20% for a dose of 6 g / d of betaine. Moreover, betaine acutely reduces the increase in homocysteine after methionine loading by up to 50%, whereas folic acid has no effect. Betaine doses in the range of dietary intake also lower homocysteine. This implies that betaine can be an important food component that attenuates homocysteine rises after meals. If homocysteine plays a causal role in the development of cardiovascular disease, a diet rich in betaine or choline might benefit cardiovascular health through its homocysteine-lowering effects. However betaine and choline may adversely affect serum lipid concentrations, which can of course increase risk of cardiovascular disease. However, whether the potential beneficial health effects of betaine and choline outweigh the possible adverse effects on serum lipids is as yet unclear. [Emphasis supplied.]

Despite the risks mentioned about betaine adversly increasing lipid concentrations, my money (and my health) is riding on the scientists who say, "Don't wait. Take betaine today!" Because I know that increased lipids in the serum (that is, increased fat in the blood) is not generally harmful. How do I know? Atkins (and Taubes) tell me so — and very convincingly.

M. R. Olthof, P. Verhoef. 2005. Effects of Betaine Intake on Plasma Homocysteine Concentrations and Consequences for Health. Current Drug Metabolism, Volume 6, Number 1, February, pp. 15-22(8).

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