Betaine: Overview

Alternative names: Trimethylglycine (TMG).

Betaine HCl is the hydrochloride salt of betaine.  It is an interesting supplement additive, being used for both its betaine component as well as the HCl component.

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Betaine HCl is an off-white crystal; beet juice is a good natural source.

Function; Why it is Recommended

As a methyl donor, betaine acts to protect DNA (via methylation) from damage.  Betaine is also lipotropic, listing it as a hepatoprotectant in the Merck index for its ability to move fat from the liver.

As a hydrochloric salt, betaine HCl is often used to promote digestion by lowering the pH of the stomach.  This can be especially helpful in older people whose pH in the stomach has increased due to lack of HCl production.  Increased digestion in the stomach can greatly help those who have food allergies, as undigested food in the intestines is a major problem.

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Betaine can help with the following:



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