July 21, 2024


Hypothesis: Betaine decreases the pathogenicity of Covid-19.

Preventive and therapeutic role of betaine in liver disease: A review on molecular mechanisms

Cheng Wang 1Cheng Ma 1Lihong Gong 1Shu Dai 1Yunxia Li 2


Betaine is a kind of water-soluble quaternary amine-type alkaloid widely existing in food, such as wheat germ, beet, spinach, shrimp and wolfberry. As an important methyl donor and osmotic pressure regulator in human body, betaine plays an important role in a variety of physiological activities. In recent years, a large number of literatures have shown that betaine has good preventive and therapeutic effects on many liver diseases, including chemical or drug-induced liver injury, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, alcoholic fatty liver disease, liver fibrosis, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Therefore, by searching the databases of Web of Science, PubMed, SciFinder and CNKI, this paper has summarized the molecular mechanisms of betaine in improving liver diseases. The results show that the improvement of liver diseases by betaine is closely related to a variety of molecular mechanisms, including inhibition of inflammatory response, improvement of insulin resistance, reduction of endoplasmic reticulum stress, alleviation of liver oxidative stress, increase of autophagy, remodeling of intestinal flora and regulation of epigenetic modification. More importantly, nuclear transcription factor kappa (NF-κB), AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α/γ (PPAR-α/γ), liver X receptor α (LXRα), protein kinase B (Akt), toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) and cysteinyl aspartate specific proteinase-3 (Caspase-3) signaling pathways are considered as important molecular targets for betaine to improve liver diseases. These important findings will provide a direction and basis for further exploring the pathogenesis of various liver diseases and tapping the potential of betaine in the clinical treatment.