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Effects of dietary supplementation with betaine on a nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) mouse model.

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Department of Food Science, Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Obihiro, Hokkaido, Japan.


The effects of betaine supplementation on non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) model mice were examined by measuring the accumulation of fat in the livers of NASH model mice compared to a control. Betaine from sugar beets was provided to the model mice as a dietary supplement. After 3 wk of dietary supplementation, there were no significant differences in body weight or liver weight between the groups. However, the liver to body weight ratio in the high-fat diet with betaine (HFB) group was significantly (p<0.05) higher than that in the high-fat diet (HF) group. There were no differences in serum triglyceride (TG) concentrations, AST and ALT activities, or hepatic glutathione concentrations between the groups. Hepatic TG level in the HFB group was significantly (p<0.05) lower than that in the HF group. Hepatic cells obtained from the HF group showed increased occurrence of explosive puff and necrosis as compared with those in the HFB group. Betaine supplementation had an inhibitory effect on fat accumulation in the liver: the Oil red-positive area in the HFB group (0.82 ± 0.85%) was significantly (p<0.001) smaller than that in the HF group (9.06 ± 2.24%). These results indicate the potential of betaine to serve as an agent for amelioration of hepatic steatosis in NASH model mice.

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