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Role of Betaine as a Methyl Group Donor

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Ana Gavrӑu Ana Gavrӑu
Global Technical Product Manager
AGRANA AGRANA
Vienna, Wien, Austria
May 20, 2021
Dear Mohsen Teimury,

yes of course, both products are having place in a mixture; it depends always on the strategy followed by the customer and on the raw materials used. We have to make sure that the strategy which we recommend will work.
Thanks for your contribution!
All best and kind regards,
Ana Gavrau
Reply
Ana Gavrӑu Ana Gavrӑu
Global Technical Product Manager
AGRANA AGRANA
Vienna, Wien, Austria
June 2, 2021
Dear Dr Hafiz Rizwan Akram,

I really apologize for my late feedback. Well, feather pecking and cannibalism are really multifactorial problems. At the one side genetical, at the other side management: housing, lightening - respectively the light intensity, stocking density and of course nutrition related. Regarding DLM - Methionine is vital and usually are followed the nutritional guidelines in order to reach the genetical potential. How much Methionine needs to be supplied, it depends always on the raw materials used and it is recommended to follow the genetical guidelines. It is always important to have a well-balanced feed considering of course among others, the Met: Cys/TSAA ratio. The transmethylation cycle is strongly regulated by feedback mechanisms; Betaine can contribute (indirectly) also as a source of Serine in the transsulfuration pathway, where Cysteine will be synthesized, requiring Methionine and Serine, as well as Vit. B6. The addition of Betaine makes Methionine more available for protein synthesis, and Choline more available for lipid metabolism, but may solve the cannibalism problem when it’s about diets deficient in protein respectively with an imbalance in AA (considering the Met:Cys/TSAA ratio ) which can lead to poor feathering, and as a consequence (in combination with other factors), can lead to feather pecking and/ or cannibalism. The Na level should be checked; Mg could be another nutritional tool making the birds less aggressive, and Vit. E and Se could help as well. As I was a student, I learned that feather pecking is in fact a redirected ground pecking of the laying hens.

All best and kind regards,
Ana Gavrau
Reply
June 2, 2021
Hi Ana,
Is it possible we replace 100% Choline with Betain?
Regards.
Reply
June 7, 2021
Mohsen Teimury Yes, it is possible, especially effective for poultry liver condition.
Reply
June 8, 2021
Dear Ana Thanks for replying comprehensive reply
Reply
May 26, 2021
Dear Ana
What is benefit of using extra betaine,choline & DLM 500 gm per ton of feed each on defeathering in commercial layers & cannibalism in breeders.
Reply
Ana Gavrӑu Ana Gavrӑu
Global Technical Product Manager
AGRANA AGRANA
Vienna, Wien, Austria
June 2, 2021
Dear Dr Hafiz Rizwan Akram,

I really apologize for my late feedback. Well feather pecking and cannibalism are really multifactorial problems; at the one side genetical, at the other side management: housing, lightning - respectively the light intensity, stocking density and of course nutrition related. Regarding DLM- Methionine is vital and usually are followed the nutritional guidelines in order to reach the genetical potential. How much Methionine needs to be supplied, it depends always on the raw materials used and it is recommended to follow the genetical guidelines. It is always important to have a well-balanced feed considering of course among others, the Met: Cys/TSAA ratio. The transmethylation cycle is strongly regulated by feedback mechanisms; betaine can contribute (indirectly) also as a source of serine in the transsulfuration pathway, where cysteine will be synthesized, requiring Methionine and Serine. The addition of betaine makes methionine more available for protein synthesis, and choline more available for lipid metabolism, but may solve the cannibalism problem when it’s about diets deficient in protein respectively with an imbalance in AA (considering the Met:Cys/TSAA ratio ) which can lead to poor feathering, and as a consequence (in combination with other factors), can lead to feather pecking and/ or cannibalism. The Na level should be checked; Mg could be another nutritional tool making the birds less aggressive, and Vit. E and Se could help as well. As I was a student, I learned that feather pecking is in fact a redirected ground pecking of the laying hens.

All best and kind regards,
Ana Gavrau
Reply
Zahed Abbasi Zahed Abbasi
VETRINARIAN
May 28, 2021

Hi Dear Ana:
As all know one of the layer problem that may be encountered in heat stress and tropical condition is fatty liver hemorrhagic syndrome and because of choline effect on lipid as lipotropic agent, increasing the amount of it in feed whit other lipotropic and hepatoprotector
is recommend. the question is that has betaine this effect as lipotropic substance and can it be used in this condition? And agree betaine is one of the best in heat stress to have good gut health and intestinal integrity.
Best regards.

Reply
Ana Gavrӑu Ana Gavrӑu
Global Technical Product Manager
AGRANA AGRANA
Vienna, Wien, Austria
June 1, 2021

Dear Zahed Abbasi,

thank you for your contribution! The lipotropic action of choline, betaine, inositol and of methionine are known, even if their mode of action is not 100% elucidated. Basically, all methyl group donors and the B Vitamins are involved in the production of the own lipotropic factors in the body. Many studies are showing significantly elevated carnitine levels when betaine is supplemented, suggesting that betaine is involved in the regulation of lipid metabolism through carnitine. Relevant studies in human clearly concluded that Betaine attenuates hepatic lipid accumulation. Talking about Choline and Betaine in laying hens, both are methyl group donors having lipotropic effect, but only Betaine can act also an osmolyte, and the main quality parameters considered for eggs are intact and clean shells. Under heat stress conditions, dietary supplementation with betaine decreases definitively the rates of dirty eggs. The study of Shin et al. (2018) shows decreased rates of broken and shell-less eggs even.

All best and kind regards,
Ana

Reply
Brad Lawrence Brad Lawrence
Technical Manager - Pork Business Team North America
Novus International Novus International
St Charles, Missouri, United States
June 1, 2021

As nutritionists we must remember the methionine cycle and transulfuration pathway to cysteine should be considered as just that, a cycle, dependent on or including choline, betaine and certain of the b vitamins. Failure to include any one component could result in the cycle not being optimized resulting in homocysteine buildup, limiting TSAA supply and an under-estimation of the TSAA requirement.

Reply
James S Tuan James S Tuan
Executive Director
June 1, 2021

Choline's role in methylation is mediated through betaine. Therefore, direct supplementation of betaine provides the most effective means to get the benefits attributed to choline in methylation. The proximate methyl donor in vivo is SAM. SAM is converted to homocysteine after its methyl group is donated in a variety of metabolic pathways, including the synthesis of carnitine from lysine. By efficiently recycling the homocysteine back to methionine using betaine, the entire methylation system would work at its optimum, including efficient metabolism of fat via the beta-oxidation pathway in the mitochondria that is mediated by carnitine. This would minimize the occurrence of fatty liver syndrome as well as reduce the overall serum homocysteine levels, a stress indicator. While at the same time, the unique molecular structure of betaine delivers energy-free cellular osmotic protection. Betaine is indeed a wonderful molecule and its use should be even more widely adopted.

Reply
Ana Gavrӑu Ana Gavrӑu
Global Technical Product Manager
AGRANA AGRANA
Vienna, Wien, Austria
June 1, 2021

Dear James S Tuan,

I fully agree and many thanks for your valuable contribution!
All best and kind regards,
Ana Gavr?u

Reply
James S Tuan James S Tuan
Executive Director
June 1, 2021

Even with the ideal levels of essential amino acids in a diet, as crude protein is lowered, the levels of other "non-essential" amino acids, e.g. glycine, may drop below the optimal levels for animal performance. However, direct supplementation with glycine has been shown to affect gut microbiome, immune response gene expression, and serum concentrations of various amino acids (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7426780/). Betaine could benefit low protein diets by supplying animals with a form of glycine that is released slowly after the betaine molecule has already contributed its methyl group so that the negative effects of glycine can be avoided. This is an area worthy of additional research.

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fatai adeyemi yisau fatai adeyemi yisau
Poultry farmer
June 14, 2021
Dear all ,

I have gone through all the comments there all interesting. But l would like to know the use of betaine .
Is it at stage of mixing feed ?
Or betaine can be use orally.
Please i want you to guide me.
Am having problem with the feed supplied to us .
The birds are not laying very.
We have tried various feed produce in Nigeria. All of them are the same thing.
Please i want to recommend the type of drug we can buy to improve their egg production.
Regards.
Farabes farm
Reply
Ana Gavrӑu Ana Gavrӑu
Global Technical Product Manager
AGRANA AGRANA
Vienna, Wien, Austria
June 15, 2021
Dear Fatai Adeyemi Visau,

We have very good results, meaning as feedback from our customers in laying henns: improved laying rate and FCR with our natural betaine product ActiBeet- using 700 mg of betaine/ kg of complete feed (mixed feed); by 100% replacing the added choline (as choline chloride), without saving methionine. Regarding the nutrients in the feed, our customers are following generally the nutritional guidelines provided by the breeding companies. In heat stress conditions you should use 1000 mg of betaine/ kg of mixed feed.

All best and kind regards,
Ana Gavrau
Reply
June 15, 2021
fatai adeyemi yisau
Under heat stress conditions, betaine supplementation should be beneficial to your layer operation. Poor laying efficiency may also benefit from the use of 25-OH vitamin D3. My team launched this product (HyD) in the late 1990s before the business was acquired by Roche/DSM. There are now alternative suppliers. You can message me for more information.
Reply
Dr Piotr Stanislawski Dr Piotr Stanislawski
Nutritionist
DSM DSM
June 16, 2021
Dear Fatai Adeyemi Visau, we have not much info re.your layers performance; egg production,age,temperature,maintenence etc. It is difficult to advice you the solution. I am sure that there are no additives (even betaine) that help you in case your feed formula is disballanced. You should start with the proper diet. Then,of course some additives are adviced to improve already good results. Betaine works excellent in osmoregulation (heat stress), as choline replacement, as glicyne supply and methionine sparring (in case you have enough cysteine in the diet). This was already said. Maybe you could share some more info - production level, maintenance, feed base etc? Then you could receive more adequate advices.
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