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Increased Choline and Betaine May Improve Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance occurs when insulin is unable to increase glucose uptake and utilization as much as it should. It is one of the precursors to type 2 diabetes. A recent study suggests that increased intake of choline and betaine may improve insulin resistance.


Participants in the study included 2,394 people whose choline and betaine were assessed via questionnaire. The researchers then compared that data to insulin resistance, which was measured via homeostatic model assessment and quantitative insulin-sensitivity check index.


They found that higher intakes of choline and betaine were associated with lower insulin resistance. In fact, the participants with the highest levels of dietary choline and betaine intake had the lowest insulin resistance and those with the lowest levels of dietary choline and betaine had the highest insulin resistance.


Researchers from Ocean University of China, the First Affiliated Hospital of Dalian Medical University, and Memorial University conducted the study. It was published on August 27, 2016, in the journal Nutrition.


Choline performs many of the same functions in the human body as vitamin B. It has been linked with prevention of accumulation of liver fats, helping muscles function, keeping cholesterol at a healthy level and promoting cell growth. It can be found in saltwater fish, eggs, liver, chicken, milk, cauliflower and some legumes.


Previous studies suggest that betaine may help with digestion, heart disease, muscle gain, and fat loss. It can be found in wheat bran, quinoa, beets, spinach, amaranth grain, rye grain, kamut wheat grain, bulgar grain, sweet potatoes, turkey breast, veal, and beef.

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