Effects of methionine and betaine supplementation on growth performance, carcase composition and metabolism of lipids in male broilers

Br Poult Sci. 2006 Oct;47(5):576-80. doi: 10.1080/00071660600963438.


1. This study was conducted to investigate the effects of methionine and betaine supplementation on growth performance, carcase composition and lipid metabolism in growing broilers. 2. A total of 450 commercial broilers, 22 d of age, were randomly allocated to three groups, each of which included three replicates (50 birds per replicate). The groups received the same methionine-deficient diet supplemented with 0 or 1 g/kg methionine, or 0.5 g/kg betaine, respectively. 3. Methionine and betaine supplementation significantly improved weight gain and feed conversion. Supplemental methionine and betaine also significantly increased breast muscle yield and decreased abdominal fat content. Meanwhile, addition of methionine and betaine significantly increased the contents of creatine and free carnitine in liver, the activity of hormone-sensitive lipase in abdominal fat and the concentration of free fatty acid in serum, whereas uric acid concentration in serum was significantly decreased. 4. The results of this study suggest that betaine can spare methionine in its function as an essential amino acid and is as effective as methionine in improving performance and carcase quality of growing broilers if the diet is moderately deficient in methionine. The decrease in abdominal fat may be due to the increased carnitine synthesis in liver and hormone-sensitive lipase activity in abdominal fat.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed
  • Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Animals
  • Betaine / pharmacology*
  • Body Composition / drug effects*
  • Carnitine / analysis
  • Chickens / growth & development*
  • Chickens / metabolism
  • Creatine / analysis
  • Diet / veterinary*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Fatty Acids / blood
  • Lipid Metabolism / drug effects*
  • Liver / chemistry
  • Male
  • Methionine / pharmacology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / chemistry
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects
  • Sterol Esterase / metabolism
  • Weight Gain / drug effects


  • Fatty Acids
  • Betaine
  • Methionine
  • Sterol Esterase
  • Creatine
  • Carnitine