Aim: The present study was to compare the effects of nicotinic acid and nicotinamide on the plasma methyl donors, choline and betaine.
Methods: Thirty adult subjects were randomly divided into three groups of equal size, and orally received purified water (C group), nicotinic acid (300 mg, NA group) or nicotinamide (300 mg, NM group). Plasma nicotinamide, N1-methylnicotinamide, homocysteine, betaine and choline levels before and 1.5-h and 3-h post-dosing, plasma normetanephrine and metanephrine concentrations at 3-h post-dosing, and the urinary excretion of N1-methyl-2-pyridone-5-carboxamide during the test period were examined.
Results: The level of 3-h plasma nicotinamide, N1-methylnicotinamide, homocysteine, the urinary excretion of N1-methyl-2-pyridone-5-carboxamide and pulse pressure (PP) in the NM group was 221%, 3972%, 61%, 1728% and 21.2% higher than that of the control group (P < 0.01, except homocysteine and PP P < 0.05), while the 3-h plasma betaine, normetanephrine and metanephrine level in the NM group was 24.4%, 9.4% and 11.7% lower (P < 0.05, except betaine P < 0.01), without significant difference in choline levels. Similar but less pronounced changes were observed in the NA group, with a lower level of 3-h plasma N1-methylnicotinamide (1.90 ± 0.20 μmol/l vs. 3.62 ± 0.27 μmol/l, P < 0.01) and homocysteine (12.85 ± 1.39 μmol/l vs. 18.08 ± 1.02 μmol/l, P < 0.05) but a higher level of betaine (27.44 ± 0.71 μmol/l vs. 23.52 ± 0.61 μmol/l, P < 0.05) than that of the NM group.
Conclusion: The degradation of nicotinamide consumes more betaine than that of nicotinic acid at identical doses. This difference should be taken into consideration in niacin fortification.
Keywords: Betaine; Choline; Homocysteine; Methylation; Nicotinamide; Nicotinic acid.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd and European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism. All rights reserved.