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The Effect of Betaine in Pig and Poultry Feed

Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2021-09-07      Origin: Site

Betaine is a natural compound, and most organisms contain betaine. Wheat and sugar beets are two common plants that contain high levels of betaine. When used within allowable limits, pure betaine is considered safe. Because betaine has certain functional properties, it can become an essential nutrient (or additive) under certain conditions, so more and more pure betaine is added to the diets of pigs and poultry. However, in order to get the best results, it is important to know how much betaine to add is the best.


Pure betaine is generally extracted from beet syrup. Although the content of betaine in beet is much less than that in wheat (about 80% lower), it is easier to extract betaine from beet syrup. The steps include chromatography, separation and crystallization. Betaine can also be extracted from a by-product of ethanol production from distiller's grains-beet, but it is rarely used in actual production. Commercial forms of betaine include betaine anhydrous, betaine monohydrate, betaine hydrochloride (25% hydrochloride) and betaine phosphate.


In most cases, animals can synthesize betaine to meet their body's needs. The synthesis method of betaine is the oxidation of the well-known vitamin choline. It has been proven that adding pure betaine to feed can save expensive choline. As a methyl donor, betaine can also replace expensive methionine. Therefore, adding betaine to feed can reduce the need for methionine and choline.


Betaine can also be used as an anti-fatty liver agent. In some studies, adding only 0.125% betaine to the feed can reduce carcass fat deposition by 15% in growing pigs. Finally, betaine has been proven to improve the digestibility of nutrients, because it provides osmotic protection for intestinal bacteria and makes the gastrointestinal environment more stable.


Of course, the most important role of betaine is to prevent cell dehydration, but this is often taken for granted and therefore overlooked. In the absence of water, you can eat betaine. This is not the use of its methyl donor function, but the use of betaine to regulate cell hydration. Under heat stress, the cell's response is to accumulate inorganic ions, such as organic penetrants such as sodium, potassium, chlorine, and betaine. In this case, betaine is the most effective compound because it has no negative effect on protein stability. 


As an osmotic regulator, when the body is dehydrated, betaine can protect the kidneys from high concentrations of electrolytes and urea, improve the function of macrophages, regulate the water balance in the intestine, and prevent premature cell death. 


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