We know that diet and exercise are the two most important factors for losing weight, but a new study has found that there are two supplements that may also help: choline and betaine.
Choline is an essential nutrient, while betaine is an amino acid. Neither receives much press or attention, but both have been linked to a number of health benefits. Now, a new study published in the Public Library of Science (PLoS) has found that these supplements may have a dramatic effect on our weight.
In the cross-sectional study, researchers looked at over 3,000 adults from Newfoundland to see if there was a connection between body composition and eating choline and betaine. The subject’s body composition (total percent body fat, etc.) and measurements (weight, body mass index, etc.) were assessed. As well, researchers determined the subjects’ dietary intake of choline and betaine using a questionnaire.
The researchers also controlled for a variety of other confounding factors, including sex, age, daily calorie intake, health status, alcohol consumption, and physical activity level. This means that the researchers were able to exclude the impact of these factors from their analysis, focusing only on the impact of choline and betaine.
The study found that choline and betaine were significantly linked to body composition. In fact, people who ate more choline and betaine in their diets were less likely to be obese and more likely to have lower weight, body mass index, and total body fat percentage.
Eating choline and betaine had a strong link with every obesity measurement. People with obesity ate the least amount of these nutrients, while people with healthy body weights ate the highest amounts.
What this means is that choline and betaine may have a big impact on our weight. As well, eating more of these nutrients could help with weight loss. Changing your diet to include more of these nutrients could help you burn off the pounds, especially when paired with exercise and other healthy diet techniques.
Both choline and betaine can be taken as supplements. Choline can also be found in eggs, milk, beef, pork, and seafood, while betaine can be gotten through cereal, grains, and spinach.
Gao, X., et al., “Higher Dietary Choline and Betaine Intakes Are Associated with Better Body Composition in the Adult Population of Newfoundland, Canada,” PLOS, May 11, 2016; http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0155403.