The lipotropic nutrients wield a tremendous and critical influence upon the liver’s ability to function. Lipotropic factors include an array of important nutrients, such as the essential sulphur-bearing amino acid methionine, the B-vitamins choline and inositol, as well as the potent methyl-donating nutrient betaine.
Many people may be deficient in lipotropic nutrients due to dietary inadequacies. The essential, sulphur-bearing amino acid methionine is absolutely critical for liver detoxification, the regulation of excess estrogen, and for the detoxification of toxic metals and chemicals. L-methionine is necessary for the bio-synthesis of other critically important amino acids such as taurine, cysteine and carnitine.
Vegetarians and vegans are dangerously at risk of being deficient in L-methionine, due to the fact that plant sources of this essential amino acid are very low. Due to the increasing prevalence of environmental toxicity, the need for sufficient methionine is critical. Methionine is a heat labile amino acid, which will be destroyed when protein-rich sources are over-heated.
Choline, Inositol & Betaine
Choline and inositol are lipotropic B-vitamins, which have the ability to mobilize fat from the liver. Choline is necessary for the synthesis of of phospholipids, which are essential structural components for all cell membranes in the body. Choline is also essential for the synthesis of the neurotransmitter phosphatidyl choline. Inositol is also a member of the B-vitamin complex, which plays an important role in fat metabolism and liver detoxification.
Betaine, a powerful lipotropic nutrient found in high concentrations in foods such as beets and beet greens, also has a powerful effect upon the liver’s detoxification pathways. Betaine is also known as trimethylglycine.
Lipotrophic nutrients such as L-methionine, inositol, choline and betaine are of critical importance today more than ever, due to the prevalence of environmental toxicity and the increase of diseases such as CVD and diabetes.