Next Article in Journal
Next Article in Special Issue
Previous Article in Journal
Previous Article in Special Issue
Nutrients 2013, 5(9), 3481-3495; doi:10.3390/nu5093481
Review

The Metabolic Burden of Methyl Donor Deficiency with Focus on the Betaine Homocysteine Methyltransferase Pathway

Received: 8 June 2013; in revised form: 15 August 2013 / Accepted: 15 August 2013 / Published: 9 September 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Folate Metabolism and Nutrition)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [313 KB, uploaded 9 September 2013]   |   Browse Figure
Abstract: Methyl groups are important for numerous cellular functions such as DNA methylation, phosphatidylcholine synthesis, and protein synthesis. The methyl group can directly be delivered by dietary methyl donors, including methionine, folate, betaine, and choline. The liver and the muscles appear to be the major organs for methyl group metabolism. Choline can be synthesized from phosphatidylcholine via the cytidine-diphosphate (CDP) pathway. Low dietary choline loweres methionine formation and causes a marked increase in S-adenosylmethionine utilization in the liver. The link between choline, betaine, and energy metabolism in humans indicates novel functions for these nutrients. This function appears to goes beyond the role of the nutrients in gene methylation and epigenetic control. Studies that simulated methyl-deficient diets reported disturbances in energy metabolism and protein synthesis in the liver, fatty liver, or muscle disorders. Changes in plasma concentrations of total homocysteine (tHcy) reflect one aspect of the metabolic consequences of methyl group deficiency or nutrient supplementations. Folic acid supplementation spares betaine as a methyl donor. Betaine is a significant determinant of plasma tHcy, particularly in case of folate deficiency, methionine load, or alcohol consumption. Betaine supplementation has a lowering effect on post-methionine load tHcy. Hypomethylation and tHcy elevation can be attenuated when choline or betaine is available.
Keywords: folate; betaine; choline; methyl; energy; lipids folate; betaine; choline; methyl; energy; lipids
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Export to BibTeX |
EndNote


MDPI and ACS Style

Obeid, R. The Metabolic Burden of Methyl Donor Deficiency with Focus on the Betaine Homocysteine Methyltransferase Pathway. Nutrients 2013, 5, 3481-3495.

AMA Style

Obeid R. The Metabolic Burden of Methyl Donor Deficiency with Focus on the Betaine Homocysteine Methyltransferase Pathway. Nutrients. 2013; 5(9):3481-3495.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Obeid, Rima. 2013. "The Metabolic Burden of Methyl Donor Deficiency with Focus on the Betaine Homocysteine Methyltransferase Pathway." Nutrients 5, no. 9: 3481-3495.



Nutrients EISSN 2072-6643 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert