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11.08.2017


Betaine may make not only muscles but also bone tissue stronger

Betaine, a bodybuilding supplement, which has been shown in small studies to have an anabolic effect on muscle tissue, may also help to strengthen bones. This is suggested by an in-vitro study that Italian researchers at the San Raffaele Scientific Institute published in the Journal of Translational Medicine.

Study
The Italians exposed human osteoblasts - the bone cells that build new bone tissue - in test tubes to 10 millimoles of betaine. That's the equivalent of a human taking 6 g betaine. [J Nutr. 2006 Jan;136(1):34-8.]

Results
Administering betaine boosted the osteoblasts' calcium uptake. In the figure below, each line represents the uptake of calcium by a different group of cells, measured in separate experiments.


Betaine may make not only muscles but also bone tissue stronger


Betaine may make not only muscles but also bone tissue stronger


Six hours after exposing the osteoblasts to betaine the cells were producing more of the bone-building proteins runt-related transcription factor 2 [RUNX2], osteoblast-specific transcription factor Osterix [OSX], bone sialoprotein [BSP] and bone sialoprotein 1 [OPN].


Betaine may make not only muscles but also bone tissue stronger


How betaine activated the bone cells' anabolic machinery is shown below: by getting the osteoblasts to produce more IGF-1. The increased production is the consequence of activating the ERK/MAPK pathway, according to the Italians. Whether this is indeed the case, we wonder. But never mind: we are not the experts.


Betaine may make not only muscles but also bone tissue stronger


Conclusion
"The present study has demonstrated that betaine exerts a stimulatory effect on human osteoblast by acting on synergic pathways leading to osteogenic gene activation and production of bone matrix proteins," the researchers wrote.


Betaine may make not only muscles but also bone tissue stronger


"This study has a translational value in opening the perspective that betaine supplementation, by acting on bone and muscle cells through common pathways, might be effective in counteracting bone and muscle deterioration in the elderly, particularly in those individuals with an age-related proinflammatory state (i.e. obese and diabetic subjects).""

"Betaine could represent an important nutraceutical approach in preventing the loss of muscle and bone with disuse, aging and disease, and in supporting therapies for age-related sarcopenia and osteoporosis, the major determinants of senile frailty and related mortality."

Source:
J Transl Med. 2017 Jun 7;15(1):132.

More:
Betaine stimulates muscle growth via IGF-1 20.02.2014
The anabolic effect of betaine 04.11.2013
Betaine gives bodybuilders more muscle and less fat 24.10.2013

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Building Bones
Betaine


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