Definition: "An ergogenic aid is any substance or phenomenon that enhances performance "
Betaine may make not only muscles but also bone tissue stronger
Betaine, a bodybuilding supplement, which has been shown in small studies to have an anabolic effect on muscle tissue, may also help to strengthen bones. This is suggested by an in-vitro study that Italian researchers at the San Raffaele Scientific Institute published in the Journal of Translational Medicine.
Six hours after exposing the osteoblasts to betaine the cells were producing more of the bone-building proteins runt-related transcription factor 2 [RUNX2], osteoblast-specific transcription factor Osterix [OSX], bone sialoprotein [BSP] and bone sialoprotein 1 [OPN].
How betaine activated the bone cells' anabolic machinery is shown below: by getting the osteoblasts to produce more IGF-1. The increased production is the consequence of activating the ERK/MAPK pathway, according to the Italians. Whether this is indeed the case, we wonder. But never mind: we are not the experts.
"This study has a translational value in opening the perspective that betaine supplementation, by acting on bone and muscle cells through common pathways, might be effective in counteracting bone and muscle deterioration in the elderly, particularly in those individuals with an age-related proinflammatory state (i.e. obese and diabetic subjects).""
"Betaine could represent an important nutraceutical approach in preventing the loss of muscle and bone with disuse, aging and disease, and in supporting therapies for age-related sarcopenia and osteoporosis, the major determinants of senile frailty and related mortality."