Role of Betaine as a Methyl Group Donor

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February 24, 2021
Hello,

How much betaine would you recommend in grower diets that are reduced up to 2-3 % in CP?
Reply
Ana Gavrӑu Ana Gavrӑu
Global Technical Product Manager
February 24, 2021

Dear George Entz,
Thank you for your message!
I suppose that you mean as absolut %. First I want to highlight that it is possible to lower the crude protein only when we are adding the building blocks of the crude proteins, meaning the amino acids; the synthetic amino acids need to be supplied and the dM+C level and d.M+C/ d.Lysin ratio need to be kept at the same level. In our trial, we lowered the CP in the grower phase by 1,3% (as absolut % from 21,5% to 20,2% ) and we supplemented with Lysine, Methionine, Threonine, Tryptophane and Valine, having the dM+C level at 8,05 g/ kg and the d.M+C/ d.Lysin ratio was also maintained at 0,7. We supplemented with betaine with 600 mg BET/kg of complete feed in the grower phase, having quite good climatic conditions, no heat stress, or could stress in the trial period. Depending on your feed formulation, on the protein sources and their digestibility respectively the climatic challenges, I recommend 1000 mg - 1500 mg of Betaine/ kg of complete feed considering the above mentioned, especially regarding the dM+C level and its ratio to d.Lysin.

All best and kind regards,

Ana Gavrau.

Reply
February 26, 2021
Ana,

Thank-you for your reply.

Take Care and Kind Regards,
Reply
April 20, 2021
Ana,

We can supplement Lysine,Meth, Threonine in our diets , but when reducing the CP in the grower down to 18.5 - 19 % Crude protein, then all other AA's become limiting by quite a bit. Is there still a benefit to adding Betaine ?
Reply
Ana Gavrӑu Ana Gavrӑu
Global Technical Product Manager
April 22, 2021

Dear George Entz,

thanks for your message! The reduction of CP helps definitively to improve gut health and to reduce environmental pollution of ammonia. The reduction of CP shows that non-essential AA like glycine, serine, proline, and glutamine can become semi-essential in poultry diets. Betaine can function also as a source of glycine/ serine.
For e.g. in the EU in the organic sector, where the synthetic AA are not allowed, Betaine is successfully used at higher dosage 2 kg/ complete feed. Of course, that regarding the CP -they have to formulate with high CP levels in order to cover the requirements on the essential AA, but also on non-essential, because the plant based protein sources are lower in non-essential AA. Basically, in both cases the addition of natural betaine is beneficial, because of its multifunctionality.
As there are many factors which requires consideration, I would need more information about the diet (broiler?) in order to be able to advise you more accurately.
Thanks in advance for understanding.

All best and kind regards,
Ana

Reply
April 22, 2021


Please send me your email address to this address entzgeorge20@gmail.com and I can share my diet. Thank-you.
Reply
Nima Eila Nima Eila
Head of Animal Science
May 22, 2021

Dear Ana
Thank you for sharing your valuable experience. I guess your trial has been done on corn soy based diets.1.3 percent crude protein is very remarkable! But I am not sure we gain good results with bad soybean meal. Also, we can decrease choline as well
Regards,
Nima.

Reply
Ana Gavrӑu Ana Gavrӑu
Global Technical Product Manager
June 1, 2021

Dear Nima Eila,

I really apologize for my delayed reply. Yes, the diet was mainly corn-soy based (35%, corn and 28,7% of SBM 48% CP); but rapeseed meal, sunflower meal (4% each) and some peas and wheat were included as well. You are right the quality of soy is one of deciding factor, and unfortunately there are high differences first between the varieties and further differences depending on the heat treatment such as drying and toasting; Lysin will be most impacted during the heat treatment. It should be payed attention not only on the CP but also on g Lysine / percent of CP.
Thanks for your contribution!

All best and kind regards,
Ana Gavrau

Reply
Mike Stahl Mike Stahl
Poultry manager
April 24, 2021

Hi, Ana
would you consider all betaines (synthetic or natural) to have the same effect as you are mentioning?

Thanks,
Mike.

Reply
Ana Gavrӑu Ana Gavrӑu
Global Technical Product Manager
April 25, 2021
Dear Mike,
our trial was conducted with natural Betaine products- only AGRANA products, obtained in the product development process; and in the mentioned European organic farming, the synthetic Betaine products are not an option because are not allowed (by regulation).
As a source of glycine/serine of course that should show the same potential, but I can not say if with the same performance responce, or not. You should pay attention on the TMA, pH and on the Chloride levels of the synthetic products.

All best and kind regards,
Ana
Reply
James S Tuan James S Tuan
Executive Director
June 1, 2021

Mike Stahl

Mike,

Synthetic betaine and natural betaine are structurally identical. Once dissolved in water, even synthetic betaine HCl is indistinguishable from regular betaine under the same pH because they are actually the "acid" and "base" forms of the same molecule. The precise ratio of the acid/base is determined by the pH of the solution. Since the pKa of betaine is 1.8, meaning that at pH 1.8, 50% of the betaine would be in the acid form and 50% of the betaine would be in the base form, in the acid environment of the stomach, even if natural betaine has been fed, a significant portion of the betaine consumed would become protonated and turn into the "acid" form of betaine or betaine HCl. Once betaine enters the small intestine and the pH rises above 3, >95% of the betaine (even if it started out as betaine HCl), would become the base, or betaine "anhydrous" form. There is no physical chemical difference between synthetic and natural. If any difference in effects were observed, it was most likely the result of contaminating substances that may be present in either the synthetic or natural betaine product and not due the betaine molecules themselves. Therefore, it is important to consider the quality of the betaine products you choose. For synthetic products, it would be important to consider residual trimethylamine levels and any potential contaminants that may have been introduced into the manufacturing process. For natural betaine, significant % of the sugarbeet grown in the world is GMO so it would be important to ensure that your customers are willing to to accept the use of GMO derived products. If cost is a consideration, synthetic betaine products are usually significantly cheaper than natural betaine.

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

Mike Stahl In case of organic production in the US, GMO is not allowed while synthetic "vitamins" are allowed in organic feeds. This means that synthetic betaine is acceptable solution while North American natural betaine, which is produced by GMS sugar beet is not.

Reply
Mike Stahl Mike Stahl
Poultry manager
June 1, 2021

James S Tuan Thanks, James, for the clear explanation.
Since you talked about ph of 1.8, would it have any significant effect of acidifying the feed by adding 1 kg per ton? Would it be equal to adding 1 kg citric acid to feed?

Reply
James S Tuan James S Tuan
Executive Director
June 2, 2021
Mike Stahl

The acidifying effect of betaine HCl has not been thoroughly studied and it likely would be materially affected by what's in the formulation. However, a solution of betaine HCl will have a pH of about 1 so once dissolved, it would provide some protons to the stomach. In fact, in human nutrition, betaine HCl is sold as a dietary supplement to provide "acid" to "weak" stomachs to supposedly aid in digestion. Although I would not want you to believe everything you read on a dietary supplement label, the compound is what it is and should provide some acidity to the stomach, sparing the animal the energy to produce its own. This is an advantage of betaine HCl over betaine anhydrous. Moreover, betaine HCl is usually the cheapest source of betaine on an actual betaine basis. I do see any issue in using a good quality betaine HCl interchangeably with anhydrous betaine. One other factor to consider is betaine HCl is generally less hygroscopic so there's less of a caking risk if you are going to put it into a premix.
Reply
James S Tuan James S Tuan
Executive Director
June 2, 2021
Oops! I meant I "DO NOT" see any issue in using a good quality betaine HCl interchangeably with anhydrous betaine. One other factor to consider is betaine HCl is generally less hygroscopic so there's less of a caking risk if you are going to put it into a premix.

Sorry for the mix up.
Reply
Ana Gavrӑu Ana Gavrӑu
Global Technical Product Manager
June 2, 2021
Dear James S Tuan,

different rules, different facts. In the EU are grown only the GMO - free sugar beets and in the organic sector only the natural and GMO free Betaine products are permitted.


All best and kind regards,
Ana Gavrau
Reply
April 30, 2021

Hi Ana
How much amino acid can be replaced with natural betaine?
Are you talking about anhydrous form?
Could you please share your mail address & contact nº to discuss more.
Regards,
Azimul.

Reply
Ana Gavrӑu Ana Gavrӑu
Global Technical Product Manager
May 3, 2021
Dear Dr Azimul Haque, thanks for the interest. You will find my E-Mail address in your message tool.
All best and kind regards,
Ana Gavrau
Reply
May 10, 2021
How much Methionone we can replace by Betaine
Reply
Ana Gavrӑu Ana Gavrӑu
Global Technical Product Manager
May 11, 2021
Dear Dr. Mahbub,

I hope that with the below response your question is answered as well.
All best and kind regards,
Ana Gavrau
Reply
May 11, 2021
Dear Ana Grvrau
Thank you very much for your nice clarification.
Reply
May 10, 2021
hi ana

I want to know how much methionine and choline chloride can be replaced by using Betaine anyhydrous having betaine content 74%
Reply
Ana Gavrӑu Ana Gavrӑu
Global Technical Product Manager
May 11, 2021
Dear Fakhar Imam Shad,

As nutritionist I want to point out that I can not recommend a general valid value as "matrix value" for Methionine replacement; I personlally do not agree, because it depends on each feed formulation. For Methionine replacement first of all please consider that only in good conditions a partial replacement of the total methionine is a recommended and safe strategy, and it should be ensured that there is a min. level of digestible M+C in the formulation: of 6.5 g/kg feed, respectively the ratio to Lys.The dosage of betaine for this purpose should be min. 700 mg, As according to our trial conducted in Schothorst 0,7 g of Betaine can replace the same amount 0,7 g of Methionine/ kg of complete feed. Regarding Choline replacement, and here we are talking about the added Choline as Choline chloride, first we analysed the raw materials used in the formulations by our customers and based on the results we worked out our dosage recommendations. According to my experience it is possible to fully replace the total added Choline chloride; but as I noted the single feed ingredients needs to be checked. All best and kind regards, Ana Gavrau
Reply
May 24, 2021

Dear Ana, 100% agree. It is possible to replace by betain all added choline chloride, if it is financial sense. But I see no reason to drop AA, especially methionine, because potential risk can be more than possible advantage. From other hand, financial sense is to use betain osmolyte properties: ME reduction, less fat content in broiler meat, hepatoprotector properties, anti-stressor functions. Especially important by animals of long-life life - laying hens, parents, sows, boars. Several years ago we conducted experiments on boars at the Nat.Pig Breeding Institute, and it turned out that betaine in the diet of boars increases the sperm count by 16.1%, while the sperm count increased by 6.3%! Also, important story is increasing to ability of animals and poultry against mycotoxins. It is necessary to perform a lot of scientific work!
In fact, betaine is a substance about the beneficial properties of which we still do not know enough, and we also do not know enough how to evaluate the benefits of betaine in monetary terms. Betaine is a multifunctional feed additive, and calculations must take into account all aspects of its multifaceted action.

Reply
Ana Gavrӑu Ana Gavrӑu
Global Technical Product Manager
May 25, 2021
Dear Dr. Fiodor S. Marchenkov,

thank you very much for your participation!

As I also mentioned, Betaine is much more than a "sparing tool" and the response is dosage dependent, but of course depends on the species and animal category, on the climatic conditions, on the feed ingredients. Betaine is a real nutritional aid acting on different ways and I fully agree that there is still a lot of potential for its beneficial effect.

All best and kind regards,
Ana
Reply
Miguel A Pérez Miguel A Pérez
Gerente de Comercio Exterior
June 4, 2021
Dr. Fiodor S. Marchenkov Camarada. ;-) I disagree with you. Betaine is an excellent molecule but It can not replace Choline 100%.
Reply
James S Tuan James S Tuan
Executive Director
June 4, 2021
Miguel A Pérez
The correct answer to the supplemental choline replacement question depends on the endogenous content of choline in the diets. As I have said previously, ALL of choline's contribution in methylation is mediated through its conversion to betaine. Therefore, ALL of this requirement for choline can be effectively met by supplemental betaine. If what is provided from the rest of the feed ingredient is sufficient to meet the other requirements for choline, no supplemental choline will be needed. In many diets, this is exactly the situation. Supplementation with choline would be a waste of money if you also have sufficient betaine in the diet for methylation. We always help our customers look at their diets before making a recommendation. In most corn soy diets, if you use no less than 800 g/ton of betaine HCl, you don't need to add any choline chloride. In order to get optimal effects of betaine, we usually recommend 1.5-2.5 kg of betaine HCl. At the higher levels, betaine can reach an intracellular concentration that actually has an energy sparing effects through its energy-free osmotic control. Many of our customers have successfully reduced the energy of their diets while maintaining performance at the higher betaine supplementation levels. This can lead to significant additional cost savings.
Reply
June 7, 2021
James S Tuan Dear Dr.Tuan, I agree with your info. The possibility of total CC replacement was discovered at least 10 years before by Danisco Animal Nutrition in Brabrand R&D Dept. They analyzed CC content in natural feed sources in common poultry feed recipes, and make a conclusion: that CC content is enough to cover special needs in acethylcholine (special CC function, different to betaine). All methylation function can be covered by betaine. So, it is not my personal opinion, it is recommendation of Danisco Animal Nutrition.
Reply
May 14, 2021

We have extensively researched the relationship between betaine methionine and choline and at normal usage levels cannot recommended any sparing effect of betaine. However, it does aid in maintaining intestinal integrity and some studies have shown increased breast meat yield.

Reply
Ana Gavrӑu Ana Gavrӑu
Global Technical Product Manager
May 15, 2021

Dear Park W. Waldroup,
thank you for your comment! I want to add, that the best practical demonstration regarding the methyl group donor function of betaine, respectively methionine replacement, is the European organic farming where the synthetic amino acids are not an option because are not allowed by regulation (are not GMO-free). As nutritionist, I do not agree because the organic livestock needs to be fed species-specific as well, but these are the facts and rules. In the poultry diets, the methionine demand is covered by using high digestible feed materials with high CP levels, such as potato protein which is a very good source of methionine (as native) and by betaine (at least by our customers). As I already mentioned, there are good conditions and a different stocking density, respectively free-range.

I agree with you and Mr. Alfredo Irazusta, betaine is much more than a methionine and/ or choline sparring tool. As globally, the livestock production is faced with AMR and gut health related problems, in heat stress or thermo-neutral conditions, the key focus for betaine application should be on the intestinal integrity, and feeding efficiency, with lowest possible environmental impact.

All best and kind regards,
Ana Gavrau

Reply
May 20, 2021

Park W. Waldroup,
Dear Dr. Waldroup, great to read your comments, totally agree with you!!, specially under stress conditions, whenever cysteine requirements could increase, either to form glutation or any need for other protein or enzyme where cysteine is important, I will not play with Met + Cys requirements giving values to betain or even, be cautious with enzyme matrices!!, have a great day

Reply
May 15, 2021

Dear all,

As stated by Dr. Waldroup his team had published several papers around 2005 and 2006 related with methionine savings and the possible sparing effects of methyl donors like choline and or betaine.

All the above comments are right; but, maybe there is little space emphasizing that betaine due to its zwitterionic structure has very strong osmoprotective properties.

As an example protecting intestinal cells under heat stress conditions; betaine therefore could increase digestibilty and absortion of nutrients thereby it would improve zootechnical performance.

Very interesting topic.

Alfredo Irazusta.
Consultant.
Alinat SRL
Argentina

Reply
May 20, 2021
Alfredo Irazusta,
I agree Betaine could have an impact, but we need to take care on Met + Cystein requierements, Cysteine is the first limiting amino acid in gut, and Cysteine is essential for Glutation and Glutation peroxidase, being the limiting amino acid under normal and stressal conditions, so I just recommend to be cautious whenever we defend replacement strategies
Reply
May 21, 2021
Alfredo Irazusta Dear Dr.Alfredo, thanks for your comment. I have exactly the same opinion. marchenkov150@gmail com
Reply
Mark Farmer Mark Farmer
Business Manager, Layers
May 16, 2021
Great discussion. These types of discussions helps everyone. There is always something to learn !!


Thanks

Mark Farmer, Ph.D.
Diamond V
Reply
May 16, 2021
Dear All,
Very interesting discussion.
We do here in Indonesia as tropical country.
With 1 kg of Betain per ton of feed and having a good result to help the bird for control of heat stress.
Regards.
Dr. Eri Desra
Reply
Ana Gavrӑu Ana Gavrӑu
Global Technical Product Manager
May 20, 2021

Dear Desra Eri,

thanks for your contribution! May I ask you if you are using 1 kg of betaine/ t of feed together with supplemented choline, by choline chloride or without?

Thanks in advance!

All best and kind regards,
Ana Gavrau

Reply
May 21, 2021

Desra Eri Dr.Eri, thanks for your comments. I know in Saudi Arabia use 2 kg/t feed of betaine for broilers, to prevent overheating. Also, it is important betaine less fat and more meat effect in broiler fattening.

Reply
May 21, 2021
Hi Ana,
Most of our customers is laying commercial farm and still using cage with open house system.
Dosage for betain hcl is 1 kg per ton of feed without any put choline chloride.
They also use around 2.0 to 2.2 kg of dl-methionine per ton of feed.
Regards.
Reply
Ana Gavrӑu Ana Gavrӑu
Global Technical Product Manager
May 24, 2021
Dear Dr. Desra Eri,
thank you you very much for your feedback and for sharing your experience. Much appreciated!

All best and kind regards,
Ana

Reply
Miguel A Pérez Miguel A Pérez
Gerente de Comercio Exterior
May 25, 2021
Desra Eri

In my humble opinion there are Choline's some functions that Betaine can't develop, sorry. As such both are needed in the feed formulas.

Regards,
Miguel.
Reply
May 26, 2021
Hi Ana,
We use Betain HCl and dl-methionine in our feed formula (without choline).
We didn't say that choline doesn't have any advantage in feed formula.
Main raw material is corn, soybean meals and rice bran.
Regards
Reply
Ana Gavrӑu Ana Gavrӑu
Global Technical Product Manager
May 26, 2021
Dear Dr. Desra Eri,

thank you again. I fully agree... we analysed the standard raw materials used on their native Choline levels and the practice is showing that there is enough native Choline to fullfil the Choline specific functions. But it needs to be checked.

All best and kind regards,
Ana
Reply
Tawfik Tawfik
Marketing
June 2, 2021

Dr. Fiodor S. Marchenkov can you give us the recipe starter grow finisher you use with betaine?

Reply
James S Tuan James S Tuan
Executive Director
June 8, 2021
Dr. Fiodor S. Marchenkov
We recommend up to 2.5 Kg betaine HCl or approximately 2 Kg betaine anhydrous per ton. This helps achieve maximal cellular betaine concentration to allow this molecule to maintain optimal recycling of homocysteine back to methionine while at the same time provides optimum cellular osmotic maintenance to maximize energy sparing. This energy sparing effect can be used to reduce the metabolizable energy content in the feed to achieve additional cost saving.
Reply
June 8, 2021
James S Tuan,

What would the energy sparing amount be in K/Cals for those amounts?
Reply
James S Tuan James S Tuan
Executive Director
June 9, 2021
George Entz

In order to use betaine hydrochloride with a matrix approach for poultry, and based on trials conducted in Thailand and other locations under what would be considered heat-stressed conditions, an inclusion of 2.5 kg/t (0.25%) would be required. Betaine's matrix value for digestible methionine and digestible methionine+cysteine is 42%, and 26,000 Kcal/kg. At 2.5 kg/t, supplemental choline chloride could generally be removed from the feed.
Reply
June 10, 2021
James S Tuan

Thank-you. I would never use Betaine in a methionine sparing approach, but the energy sparing effect is interesting.
Reply
James S Tuan James S Tuan
Executive Director
June 11, 2021
George Entz
The amount of methionine that one may be able to spare through the use of the betaine should be a function of the basal diet composition and the delta in serum homocysteine level one may be able to achieve by increasing the efficiency of homocysteine recycling back to methionine through betaine supplementation throughout the growth period. Any reduction of homocysteine will correspondingly reduce an equimolar amount of methionine.

Re. energy sparing, a cell actively maintains its osmotic balance through ATP pumps that are present on its cellular membrane. It takes 1 molecule of ATP to move one Na ion across the membrane. Betaine's zwitterionic structure can help retain water inside the cell. This process is energetically free. A reduction in the basal metabolic energy expenditure to achieve osmotic balance, particularly under high temperatures (remember the ATP pump also generates heat when it uses and ATP molecule), appears to be a reasonable explanation of betaine's energy effect.
Reply
Ana Gavrӑu Ana Gavrӑu
Global Technical Product Manager
June 11, 2021
Dear George Entz,

I fully agree...considering the industrial conventional farming. I have quite good practical experience in formulating premixes and complete feed for the poultry sector and I know that there is no oversupply on Met in the diets, especially not since 2014! Moreover, with today's feeding strategies with lower CP levels, we cannot recommend overall valid matrix values for betaine in order to save Met. An accurate regulation of the methionine cycle is crucial and the remethylation is essential especially when Met is low. But we need Cys as well for protein synthesis, for synthesis of glutathione, for feather development and I’m wondering what is better: adequate methionine levels + 1-1,5 kg of natural Betaine product respectively 960-1440 mg of pure betaine / kg feed, or lower methionine + 2,5 kg/ t of BET HCl 75% meaning 1875 mg of pure betaine/ kg of complete feed?
Reply
June 11, 2021
In my humble opinion I would say adequate Methionine + 960-1440 mg betaine /kg of feed. Mostly it would depend on what the goal is.

But maybe someone has had different results or experiences they could share?
Reply
May 18, 2021

Betain is good if feed is balanced.


Reply
Mohsen Teimury Mohsen Teimury
feed animal
May 20, 2021

It would be okay if we use Betaine and Choline together.

Reply
Ana Gavrӑu Ana Gavrӑu
Global Technical Product Manager
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
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
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
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
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
Dr. Rama Prasad Chakraborty Dr. Rama Prasad Chakraborty
Specialist in Animal Nutrition
July 18, 2021
James S Tuan
I would appreciate to have the copy of trial report with a control group insisting on Choline Chloride and the experimental group with exposure to Betain HCL replacing choline chloride gradually in suitable proportion. The study would reveal the FCR along with Meat quality of breast part. This study would entail a concensus to incorporate Betain HCL with confidence replacing Choline Chloride to contain price hike.
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James S Tuan James S Tuan
Executive Director
July 18, 2021
Dr. Rama Prasad Chakraborty Please email me at james.tuan@auroranutrition.com with your contact info.
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
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
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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.
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Asad Ur Rehman Asad Ur Rehman
M.Sc. Hons. Animal Nutrition
July 30, 2021
100% replacement if choline without any adverse effect??
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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July 16, 2021
Yes. I will also be interested in knowing high feed grade betaine HCl marketers in Nigeria.
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July 18, 2021
Dear Anna
What is role of Choline in Broiler Breeders & commercial layers in case of hysteria & aggressive behavior?
Reply
Ana Gavrӑu Ana Gavrӑu
Global Technical Product Manager
August 4, 2021
Dr Hafiz Rizwan Akram,

thank you for your question, which is a really good one and please apologize for my delayed feedback.
With aggressiveness you mean feather pecking and cannibalism, which are really multifactorial problems; at the one side genetical, at the other side management: housing, lightning - respectively the light intensity, stocking density existence of hostile stimuli (pain and frustration), and of course nutrition related. ‘Aggression is highly related to responses to pain in almost all species (Craig, 1981)”. Feed restriction will also trigger aggressiveness. “Frustration was inflicted to hungry birds by covering the feed tray with clear plastic, so that the food was seen but could not be touched (Duncan and Wood-Gush, 1971)”. This means that ad libitum feeding could be one of the solutions against aggression and to avoid any kind of discomfort. This is also the reason why in diets with lowered CP the single EAA need to be supplied. As first limiting in poultry, are Meth + Cys important, and one of the nutrition related tools is especially Tryptophan, 1,5%/ kg of feed decreases aggression in several studies, but also Mg, Na, and the B vitamins, especially B6 are useful nutrition related tools against aggressivity in monogastric animals in generally, and water of course is important as well.

Regarding Choline, we know that choline is a precursor for acetyl choline synthesis, the transmission agent for impulses along the sympathetic nervous system and acetyl choline is an excitatory neurotransmitter. So not really helpful against aggression, as here we need an inhibitory neurotransmitter :).
In the methylation cycle, Betaine as a methyl group donor is more efficient that choline because it can donate the needed methyl group directly, without any metabolic conversion. Choline needs to be converted first via two steps into Betaine and only then can contribute to the methylation cycle as a methyl group donor.

Thank you again!
All best and kind regards,
Ana Gavrau
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Utsav Prakash Tiwari
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