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Clin Chim Acta. 1988 Dec 30;178(3):241-9.

Betaine metabolism in human neonates and developing rats.

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Medical Unit (Section of Metabolism and Endocrinology), London Hospital Medical College, Whitechapel.


Proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy has been used to demonstrate the presence of high concentrations of betaine (up to 0.75 mol/mol creatinine) in the urine of normal healthy human neonates. Betaine is not normally excreted in adults. Excretion of betaine from birth to 7 days old was monitored. The excretion of betaine in rats from 21 days after birth to 40-45 days old was also monitored. A peak in excretion in the rats of 1.5-3 mol/mol creatinine occurred between days 30-35. The presence of a high concentration of betaine in the urine is unlikely to be caused by a relative lack of betaine homocysteine methyl transferase activity compared with adults but may relate to the disposal of dietary choline during development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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