I am not a huge science guy and don't understand a lot of the studies out there and the way they are conducted etc. but I do still try and read and understand as much research as possible. This morning I came across this study and found the results quite interesting.
"In conclusion, the present study provides solid evidence for the first time, in the large Newfoundland population, that higher dietary choline and betaine intakes were associated with a more favorable body composition (lower body fat and higher lean body mass) in both women and men. In addition, this favorable association was independent of age, gender, total calorie intake, physical activity level, menopausal status, smoking status, medication use, and alcohol consumption. The beneficial correlation for choline seems better than betaine."
Choline is often seen as a member or relative of the B family of vitamins. It is involved in the metabolism (breakdown) of fats and is involved in the stability and functioning of cell membranes. It also plays a role in cell signalling and supports the synthesis of acetylcholine. Personally, I use Alpha-GPC to support healthy brain function and noticed great improvements by taking it after suffering many concussions. It helps improve memory, and also strength gains when taken before a workout. Before bed I have take Phosphatidylcholine with good success too. These are the two ways I get some choline in supplemental form. The most common dietary source of choline is through egg yolks.
Betaine is a derivative of glycine. It supports cellular hydration and increased cell volume. It can also support aerobic and anaerobic energy production. This could be due to its role in creatine biosynthesis. Betaine is also a strong methyl donor which may reduce the risk of heart and liver diseases, as well as cancer. When you have low levels of methyl donors, it can result in high levels of homcysteine and reduced metabolism in liver, among other things. Betaine can be found in spinach, beets, and shellfish.