Our aim was to examine the effect of betaine supplementation on selected circulating hormonal measures and Akt muscle signaling proteins after an acute exercise session. Twelve trained men (age 19.7 ± 1.23 years) underwent 2 weeks of supplementation with either betaine (B) (1.25 g BID) or placebo (P). Following a 2-week washout period, subjects underwent supplementation with the other treatment (B or P). Before and after each 2-week period, subjects performed an acute exercise session (AES). Circulating GH, IGF-1, cortisol, and insulin were measured. Vastus lateralis samples were analyzed for signaling proteins (Akt, p70 S6k, AMPK). B (vs. P) supplementation approached a significant increase in GH (mean ± SD (Area under the curve, AUC), B: 40.72 ± 6.14, P: 38.28 ± 5.54, p = 0.060) and significantly increased IGF-1 (mean ± SD (AUC), B: 106.19 ± 13.45, P: 95.10 ± 14.23, p = 0.010), but significantly decreased cortisol (mean ± SD (AUC), B: 1,079.18 ± 110.02, P: 1,228.53 ± 130.32, p = 0.007). There was no difference in insulin (AUC). B increased resting Total muscle Akt (p = 0.003). B potentiated phosphorylation (relative to P) of Akt (Ser473) and p70 S6 k (Thr389) (p = 0.016 and p = 0.005, respectively). Phosphorylation of AMPK (Thr172) decreased during both treatments (both p = 0.001). Betaine (vs. placebo) supplementation enhanced both the anabolic endocrine profile and the corresponding anabolic signaling environment, suggesting increased protein synthesis.
Ergogenic aids Supplements GH IGF-1 Muscle signaling
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The authors would like to thank the DuPont Nutrition & Health for funding this study. Also, we wish to thank Kathleen N. Beasley, Brittanie M. Volk, Glenn Solomon-Hill, and Dr. Beth Joseph, M.D. for their assistance in data collection and the subjects for their participation.
Conflict of interest
This study was partially funded by DuPont Nutrition & Health.
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