Definition: "An ergogenic aid is any substance or phenomenon that enhances performance "

about us





Superstack: CLA + betaine

Iberian swine put on weight easily and lay down fat in their muscles. You can imagine that they might be an excellent model for people who have a tendency to obesity. Spanish researchers discovered that Iberian swine became slimmer and more muscled when given CLA and betaine in their feed.

The researchers did experiments with four groups of pigs. One group got nothing added to its food: the control group. A second group of animals was given the standard mix of the CLAs cis-9,trans-11 en trans-10,cis-12, which made up one percent of their feed. A third group was given betaine. [Structural formula above] Betaine is the equivalent of the amino acid glycine with three methyl groups added to it. Betaine is found in nuts, grains, seeds and meat, but the body also manufactures it itself.

Scientists have concentrated on betaine's ability to release methyl groups. As a methyl donor, it is possible that betaine neutralises the amino acid homocysteine. Another, less researched aspect of betaine is that it protects proteins in the body from breakdown reactions. [Hmmm. Do we hear 'anticatabolic'?] [J Anim Sci. 2002 Feb;80(2):475-82.] [J Anim Sci. 1998 Sep;76(9):2444-55.]

The third group of Iberian swine was given feed that consisted for half a percent of betaine. Lastly there was a group of pigs that got feed containing one percent CLAs plus half a percent betaine.

Superstack: CLA + betaine

The researchers started their experiment when the animals weighed thirty kilograms, and stopped when their weight exceeded fifty kilograms. Then the animals were slaughtered and their body composition examined. The researchers calculated how much protein and fat the pigs had laid down in their body. The results are shown in the table above. The animals accumulated more proteins i.e. muscle tissue and less fat.

Neither CLA nor betaine singly had a statistically significant effect, but in combination they did. According to the Spanish researchers, synergy is at play. They believe that the betaine had a stimulatory effect on the pigs' amino acid metabolism, and thus strengthened the modifying effect of CLA on body composition.

J Anim Sci. 2008 Jan;86(1):102-11.

Betaine helps you get more reps out of your squats 03.04.2009