by Vic Shayne PhD
Beets are high in an important compound known as betaine, a sweet tasting component also found in spinach. Betalains in beets are phytonutrients (but not flavonoids) that provide antioxidant protection.
Betanin and vulgaxanthin are the two best-studied betalains from beets, and both have been shown to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support.
The detox support provided by betalains includes support of some especially important Phase 2 detox steps involving glutathione.
Homocysteine & the Heart-Liver Connection
Health researcher Helen Davies writes:
“Homocysteine occurs naturally in the body as a result of protein metabolism. Specifically, the amino acid methionine, which is found in the tissues of living organisms and we take in with our food, can either be used to synthesize more proteins for our body or, if this is not necessary, it converts to homocysteine in the liver.
“Under normal circumstances homocysteine subsequently converts to a water soluble product and is excreted with the urine. The whole chemical modification process takes place in the liver, the powerhouse of detoxification and metabolism.”
(Davies, Helen, Homocysteine Theory of Atherosclerosis — Tribute to Dr Kilmer McCully, May 5, 2010)
Recently, increased levels of homocysteine have been linked to heart disease.
Benefits of Betaine
The benefits of betaine were shown in a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrating the ability to lower homocysteine levels. (The American Society for Nutritional Sciences J. Nutr. 133:1291-1295, May 2003)
The betaine, found in beets, appears to turn off the inflammatory response which can lead to heart disease, vascular disease, and liver disease.
Other Nutrients in VitaLiv
Besides beets, VitaLiv contains other foods aiding in detoxification and liver health, such as milk thistle, dandelion, carrot, garlic, Spanish black radish and more.
Learn More about the Liver Detoxification with VitaLiv – Click here.
Photo: Beets © 2006 darwin Bell