The objective of our study was to investigate the effects of excess Methionine (Met) on the growth performance, serum homocysteine levels, apoptotic rates, and Bax and Bcl-2 protein levels in geese and to study the role of Bet (betaine) in relieving excess Met-induced hyperhomocysteinemia (HHcy). In this study, 150 healthy male 14-day-old Yangzhou geese of similar body weight were randomly distributed into three groups with five replicates per treatment and 10 geese per replicate: the control group (fed a control diet), the Met toxicity group (fed the control diet +1% Met), and the Bet detoxification group (fed the control diet +1% Met +0.2% Bet). At 28, 49, and 70 d of age, the geese in the Met toxicity group had significantly lower body weights than those in the control group (p
< 0.05). The serum homocysteine levels in geese at 70 d of age in the detoxification group were significantly lower than those in the Met toxicity group (p
< 0.05). Compared with the control, Met significantly increased cardiomyocyte apoptosis rates, while Bet reduced them. In conclusion, our results suggest that excess methionine reduces body weight induced by myocardial apoptosis, and Bet can be used to effectively lower plasma homocysteine levels.
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