- What is betaine?
Betaine, officially called trimethylglycine or betaine anhydrous, is a compound that can be found in plants in 2 different forms, choline and glycine betaine. The substance can additionally be found naturally in the human body and it is effective because it produces carnitine and promotes cellular reproduction and liver functions. It is also very beneficial for metabolizing amino acid, additionally called homocysteine. It has proven so efficient that even the Food and Drug Administration or FDA in the Unites States has approved betaine as a treatment for a condition caused by high levels of homocysteine in the human body.
Betaine was found for the first time in sugar beets. That’s where it got its name from. Since that moment, many other betains were discovered. The most popular is the trimethylglycine or the glycine betaine. Usually, betain is an active component in various products. The most well-known is betaine HCI. This contains hydrochloric acid, a vitamin, betaine and sometimes pepsin. This particular product is used as a digestive aid for problems like
- acid reflux
- gas heartburn
Betaine HCI can be extremely acid and that’s why it is useful for the digestive system. It helps digestion by establishing a proper pH level in the stomach. The betaine product also activates digestive enzymes killing the harmful organisms that can be found in food.
Betaine has negative cationic compounds like carboxylate and positive compounds such as phosphonium and quaternary ammonium. There are scientists that use betaines as various organic osmolytes in order to treat high temperatures, salinity and osmotic stress. The betaines that are accumulated intracellular retain water in the cells and fight against dehydration. Last but not least, this substance amplifies DNA and doesn’t permit the development of different secondary structures.
Betaine is very effective when taken before meals and it can be used by individuals with gallstones, asthma, allergies and any other conditions that prevent the stomach from producing enough acid. Betaine shouldn’t be taken when experiencing heartburn symptoms or if one is known to have serious esophageal and stomach conditions.
- Health benefits
Betaine has countless health benefits. First of all, it is helpful for digesting fats and proteins. That’s why those who have problems with the production of acids in the stomach or have enzyme deficiencies should take supplements containing betaine. With age, the enzymes are slowly diminished. This causes intolerance for some foods and a lower stamina. Also, it takes more time for the nutrients to be absorbed within the system. This particular condition leads to many other ailments like
- rheumatoid arthritis
- candida infections
Moreover, a low level of gastric acid substances generates parasitic and bacterial infections. Usually, individuals who have acne, gallstones, candida albicanis and allergies don’t produce enough gastric acid. All these health problems can now be solved with betaine or betaine supplements. Betaine helps transform pepsinogen in pepsin, thus promoting the digestion of various proteins. Also, it maintains a proper level of pH in the digestive tract and protects the stomach against bacteria.
Betaine is useful not only for digestion, but for a number of other conditions. For example, it is beneficial in people who suffer from various heart diseases. When used with folic acid, B12 and B6 vitamins it diminishes higher homocysteine amounts that could cause strokes or heart problems. Moreover, the homocysteine in high levels generates atherosclerosis. In some rare cases, betaine could increase the levels of cholesterol. That’s why you should always ask your doctor and take some tests before taking any betaine supplement.
Another condition related with high levels of homocysteine that can be cured with betaine is the homocystinuria. This leads to osteoporosis and also heart diseases. In these cases, betaine is extremely beneficial by reducing the homocysteine levels. Also, betaine treats liver diseases by fighting against the fatty deposits. Diabetes, obesity and alcohol abuse are the main causes for these particular deposits. Last but not least, when used in toothpastes, betaine can be efficient for dry mouths.
Betaine is a very complex enzyme. It promotes the processes of DNA sequencing and PCR or polymerase chain reaction. It also prevents various secondary structures that might develop in some DNA molecules and conditions that could come with it. Additionally, betaine treats depression and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis.
Betaine could also be beneficial for