If you’re looking for a natural way to improve your digestion, liver function, athletic performance, and more, the betaine nutrient might be the answer. Betaine is a nutrient found in a variety of foods, including beets, spinach, and quinoa, as well as in supplement form.
In this article, we’ll explore the history and nutritional profile of the nutrient and delve into the 7 life-changing betaine health benefits for your body. We’ll also discuss how to take this nutrient, the potential risks of consuming it, and how it compares to other nutrients.
Sections in This Article
|Other names:||Trimethylglycine (TMG),|
|Supplements that contain this nutrient:||LivPure supplement for weight loss and liver support,|
Bioptimizers MassZymes supplement for improved digestion.
|Main benefits:||Improved Digestion,|
Liver Function Support,
Weight Loss and Body Composition,
Enhanced Athletic Performance,
|Related nutrients:||Folic Acid,|
|Recipes with this nutrient:||Quinoa, Arugula, and Beet Salad,|
Spinach and Chickpea Stew,
Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Swiss Chard.
What Is Betaine?
Betaine, also known as trimethylglycine, is a naturally occurring nutrient found in a variety of foods, including beets, spinach, quinoa, and wheat bran. This nutrient is also produced by the body in small amounts. It plays a role in various bodily functions, including protein digestion and the conversion of homocysteine to methionine.
Research suggests that this nutrient is not only involved in producing cell membranes, but also helps to decrease inflammation, as well as control oxidant stress, endoplasmic reticulum stress, and inflammation, and inhibit the development of cancer.
Keep in mind that one of the primary roles of this nutrient is to support stomach acid production. Stomach acid, also known as hydrochloric acid (HCl), is an essential component of the digestive process. It helps break down proteins into amino acids and facilitates the absorption of nutrients. Low stomach acid levels can lead to poor nutrient absorption and digestive issues.
The History of Betaine
Betaine was first identified in sugar beets in the 19th century. Its name comes from the fact that it was initially isolated from sugar beets, which are members of the Beta genus. However, as research around this nutrient continued, it was then discovered in additional foods, including spinach and wheat bran.
Research on this herb has been ongoing for many years. In recent times, scientists discovered that the nutrient played a role in homocysteine metabolism as recorded in research works. Since then, numerous studies have explored the potential health benefits of betaine.
Betaine Nutritional Profile
Betaine is a methyl donor, which means it donates a methyl group to other molecules in the body. This process is necessary for the conversion of homocysteine to methionine, which is an essential amino acid. This nutrient also plays a role in various metabolic processes and helps with digestion by increasing stomach acid production. Here are food items with high this compound (mg/100 g)
Wheat bran 1339
Wheat germ 1241
Wheat bread 201
Source: Oxford Academic Press
The Top 7 Betaine Health Benefits For Your Health
One of the primary benefits of betaine is its ability to support stomach acid production. As we mentioned earlier, stomach acid is essential for proper protein digestion and nutrient absorption. Low stomach acid levels can lead to a variety of digestive issues, including bloating, gas, and constipation. Taking betaine hydrochloride can decrease the effects of proton pump inhibitors, which are medications commonly used to treat conditions such as acid reflux and ulcers.
In one study, researchers found that this nutrient supplementation improved gastric acid secretion and increased the number of digestive enzymes in the stomach. This suggests that the nutrient can help improve digestion and nutrient absorption. I particularly noticed this benefit when I started taking these supplements and recorded positive changes within a matter of one week.
There is always one supplement that comes to mind in terms of improving digestion, and that’s MassZymes. It’s powered by many different enzymes that works together to improve digestion and achieve better overall body health.
Liver Function Support
Betaine also plays a role in liver function. The liver is responsible for detoxifying the body and metabolizing nutrients. The nutrient can help support liver function by reducing the accumulation of fat in the liver, which can lead to fatty liver disease.
In one study, researchers found that supplementation for this nutrient improved liver function in people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Another study found that supplementation reduced liver fat content in people with metabolic syndrome.
It’s important to mention that there is a supplement with this nutrient named LivPure. This supplement is powered by natural ingredients, and betaine is one of them. LivPure is dedicated to help with improving compromised liver function to achieve optimal overall health.
Weight Loss and Body Composition
Betaine may also help with weight loss and body composition. In one study, researchers found that supplementation for this nutrient improved body composition in healthy men. The men who took it had a significant reduction in body fat and an increase in lean muscle mass.
This compound may also help with weight loss by reducing appetite. In a study, researchers discovered that providing 11 young women with supplementation of this nutrient per day during 9 weeks of exercise training resulted in a greater reduction of body fat compared to the 12 placebo-treated subjects.
The cool part about LivPure, which is a supplement for optimizing compromised liver function, is the fact that it succeed at burning fat like no other supplement. All of that because it’s based on a leaked research that showed weight gain and poor digestion are linked to compromised liver function. You can read more about this supplement and how it works in our review here: LivPure review.
Enhanced Athletic Performance
Betaine may also help improve athletic performance. In one study, researchers found that supplementation of this nutrient improved power and force output in trained men. Another study found that this supplementation improved sprint performance in female college athletes.
Betaine may also help reduce fatigue during exercise. In a recent study, researchers found that supplementation for this nutrient reduced fatigue and improved endurance in cyclists. This has helped me during my own workouts, and I’ve definitely noticed a difference in the way I feel when I’m taking it.
Betaine may also have cardiovascular benefits. High levels of homocysteine are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. This nutrient can help reduce homocysteine levels by donating a methyl group to homocysteine, converting it to methionine. This can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
In one study, researchers found that supplementation for this nutrient reduced plasma homocysteine levels in healthy adults. Another study found that this supplementation reduced the risk of recurrent clostridium difficile infection in people with chronic kidney disease, a population at high risk for cardiovascular disease.
Betaine may also have benefits for skin health. A study revealed that supplementation for the nutrient improved skin hydration and reduced the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in women. Another study found that the same supplementation reduced skin redness and irritation caused by UV radiation exposure.
Betaine may also play a role in neurological health. Researchers found out in a study that supplementation for this nutrient improved cognitive function in older adults with cognitive impairment. Another study found that this supplementation improved memory and processing speed in healthy older adults.
How To Take Betaine?
Betaine can be taken in supplement form or obtained through dietary intake. Here’s a breakdown of both options:
Betaine supplements are available in both betaine hydrochloride and betaine anhydrous forms. B. hydrochloride is often combined with pepsin, a digestive enzyme that helps break down proteins. B. anhydrous is the purest form of the nutrient and does not contain any other ingredients.
When taking betaine supplements, it’s important to start with a low dose and gradually increase it to avoid side effects. The recommended dose of betaine hydrochloride is 650-2000mg per day, while the recommended dose of betaine anhydrous is 1500-6000mg per day.
If you prefer to obtain this nutrient through dietary intake, here are some of the top foods to consider:
Top 3 Recipes With Betaine-Rich Foods
Quinoa, Arugula, and Beet Salad
½ pound beets, peeled and sliced
1 cup red quinoa
2 cups water
½ cup olive oil
1 ½ teaspoons white sugar
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 green onions, sliced
3 ounces arugula, chopped
5 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
To steam beets, you need to place a steamer basket in a saucepan and add water below the level of the basket. Cover the pan and bring the water to a boil. Add the beets, cover the pan again, and steam them for 7 to 10 minutes until they are tender. Then, set them aside.
To cook quinoa, add it along with 2 cups of water to a saucepan and set it on high heat. After that, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pan, and allow it to simmer for approximately 15 minutes or until the quinoa is soft and the water has been completely absorbed.
Whisk together olive oil, sugar, garlic, salt, and black pepper in a large bowl while the quinoa is cooking.
After taking the quinoa off the heat, use a fork to fluff it as you add half of the vinegar dressing right away. Keep the rest of the dressing aside. Next, cover the quinoa and put it in the fridge to cool for at least an hour.
After the quinoa mixture has cooled, add the green onions, arugula, goat cheese, beets, and the rest of the dressing. Gently mix everything together before serving.
Source: All Recipes
Spinach and Chickpea Stew
2 (15-ounce) cans of low-sodium chickpeas, rinsed, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
12 ounces 93%-lean ground turkey
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 medium onion, chopped (1 cup)
2 medium carrots, diced (3/4 cup)
4 cloves garlic, minced, or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 (32-ounce) carton of low-sodium chicken broth (4 cups)
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
⅛ teaspoon salt
3 cups IQF (individually quick-frozen) spinach (8 oz.)
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese (Optional)
Using a potato masher or fork, mash one can of chickpeas and then set them aside.
Next, heat some oil in a big pot at a medium-high temperature. Then, put in the turkey, oregano, fennel seeds, and crushed red pepper. Cook while breaking up the turkey with a wooden spoon for about 2 to 3 minutes or until the pink color is gone. After that, add in the onion, carrots, and garlic (or garlic powder). Cook frequently stirring until it feels softer and smells good for around 3 to 4 minutes. Lastly, put some tomato paste in and then stir for 30 seconds.
In the pot, put some broth, mashed and whole chickpeas, pepper, and salt. Cover the pot and bring it to a simmer. After that, lower the heat to medium and continue cooking covered with a brisk simmer until the vegetables become tender and the flavors blend. This should take about 10 minutes.
To the soup, include spinach and turn up the heat to medium-high. Keep stirring until the spinach warms up, which should take around 1 to 2 minutes. Serve the soup in bowls and add 1 tablespoon of Parmesan to each serving as a garnish, if desired.
Source: Eating Well
Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Swiss Chard
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 onions (thinly sliced)
2 bunches Swiss chard (trimmed and chopped (about 14 cups))
3 garlic cloves (minced)
1 14 1/2-ounce can of diced tomatoes with juices
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper
8 ounces of whole-wheat spaghetti
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives (coarsely chopped)
2 tablespoons freshly grated Pecorino cheese
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
To prepare the dish, first, heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Next, add onions and saute them for about 8 minutes or until they become tender. Then, add chard and saute for approximately 2 minutes or until it wilts. Lastly, add garlic and cook until it becomes fragrant, which may take around 1 minute.
Add the tomatoes along with their juices, and red pepper flakes to the mixture. Allow it to come to a simmer and then cover it. Stir occasionally and let it simmer for about 5 minutes until the tomatoes begin to break down and the chard turns tender. Finally, season the chard mixture with salt and pepper according to your taste.
While waiting, start boiling a large pot of salted water. Once boiling, add the spaghetti and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until tender but still firm to the bite. Remember to stir frequently. When done, drain the spaghetti and add it to the chard mixture. Finally, toss everything together to combine.
To serve, transfer the pasta into bowls and sprinkle with olives, cheese, and pine nuts.
Top 3 Betaine Supplements To MASSIVELY Improve Your Health
Many people take supplements for this nutrient to get the health benefits that this nutrient provides, but with so many brands on the market how can you be sure you’re buying the best? Here are some of the top Betaine supplements that you should check out:
NOW Supplements, Betaine HCl 648 mg, Vegetarian Formula, Digestive Support
The purpose of NOW Betaine HCl 648 mg is to promote healthy digestive conditions in the stomach. Normally, hydrochloric acid (HCl) is produced in the stomach. It helps activate pepsin for protein digestion, balances gut flora, and triggers the release of intestinal enzymes.
NOW Supplements, Betaine HCl 648 mg Main Benefits
GMP Quality Assured: The NOW manufacturing process has undergone a thorough examination known as NPA A-rated GMP certification. This includes an evaluation of our laboratory/testing methods for stability, potency, and product formulation.
Vegetarian Formula: This product contains a vegetarian protease that is acid-stable and has the same activity level as pepsin derived from animals.
Digestive Support: This supplement helps support healthy digestive conditions in the stomach.
NOW Supplements, Betaine HCl 648 mg Price:
At, $13.15, NOW Supplements is a great value.
Nutricost Betaine Anhydrous, 750 mg, 180 Capsules
Another great choice for a betaine supplement is Nutricost Betaine Anhydrous. This formula is designed to provide maximum absorption of this nutrient and helps with digestion, energy production, and cardiovascular health. Each capsule contains 750mg of betaine anhydrous for maximum absorption and is an easy way to add this nutrient to your diet.
Nutricost Betaine Anhydrous Main Benefits
GMP Quality Assured: Nutricost’s manufacturing process is GMP certified, and they take pride in providing their customers with the highest quality products.
750mg per Capsule: The capsules have 750mg of betaine anhydrous each, making it simple to add this nutrient to your diet and ensuring optimal absorption.
Vegetarian Friendly: Being soy-free, gluten-free, and vegetarian-friendly, Nutricost Betaine Anhydrous is perfect for everyone.
Nutricost Betaine Anhydrous Price:
At $13.95 for 180 capsules, Nutricost Betaine Anhydrous is one of the best options if you’re seeking the best supplement at a reasonable price.
Pure Encapsulations Digestive Enzymes Ultra with Betaine HCl
According to surveys done by Nutrition Business Journal in 2016 and 2020, as well as Kaiser Associates in 2014, this professional supplement brand has earned the top ranking for being the most recommended, highest in quality, and most trusted among all other brands. This makes Pure Encapsulations Digestive Enzymes Ultra with Betaine HCl one you can trust!
Pure Encapsulations Digestive Enzymes Ultra with Betaine HCl Main Benefits
Digestive Support: This product helps with the normal breakdown of proteins, peptides, polysaccharides, and disaccharides.
High Quality: These supplements are made with high-quality ingredients that come from reliable suppliers. Nutritional experts oversee the process from start to finish, ensuring that the supplements are both potent and pure. They are manufactured with care and undergo rigorous testing to verify their quality.
Easy Absorption: This product is a blend of vegetarian enzymes that help the body absorb nutrients more efficiently for better overall health.
Pure Encapsulations Digestive Enzymes Ultra with Betaine HCl Price:
At $35.40, Pure Encapsulations Digestive Enzymes Ultra with Betaine HCl is of the best options if you’re looking for a high-quality supplement. It also comes in 180 capsules at $66.10, which makes it a great value.
Risks of Consuming Betaine (Side Effects)
Betaine is generally considered safe when taken in supplement form or obtained through dietary intake. However, some people may experience side effects, including nausea, stomach upset, and diarrhea.
People with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or low stomach acid levels should consult with their doctor before taking supplements for this nutrient. They can increase stomach acid production, which can exacerbate symptoms of GERD or low stomach acid.
Betaine vs. Other Nutrients
Betaine vs. Folic Acid
Betaine and folic acid are both methyl donors that play a role in homocysteine metabolism. However, this nutrient donates a methyl group to homocysteine directly, while folic acid donates a methyl group to another molecule, which then donates it to homocysteine. It may be more effective at reducing homocysteine levels than folic acid in some people.
Betaine vs. Pancreatic Enzymes
Betaine and pancreatic enzymes both play a role in protein digestion. It supports stomach acid production, while pancreatic enzymes are released by the pancreas to break down proteins. Both are essential for proper protein digestion and nutrient absorption.
Betaine is a nutrient with a variety of potential health benefits. It plays a role in digestion, liver function, athletic performance, cardiovascular health, skin health, and neurological health. It can be obtained through supplement form or dietary intake, and it’s generally considered safe for most people.
If you’re looking for a supplement to improve digestion and nutrient absorption, Betaine may be the answer. You can start with the Nutricost Betaine Anhydrous or Pure Encapsulations Digestive Enzymes Ultra with Betaine HCl today and experience the benefits!
FAQs About Betaine
What is a betaine used for?
Betaine is used to support stomach acid production, improve digestion and nutrient absorption, support liver function, enhance athletic performance, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Who should not take Betaine?
People with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or low stomach acid levels should consult with their doctor before taking supplements for this nutrient. Betaine can increase stomach acid production, which can exacerbate symptoms of GERD or low stomach acid. Pregnant and nursing women should also consult with their doctor before taking betaine supplementation. Additionally, people who are prescribed medications should speak to their doctor about potential interactions between the drug and these supplements.
What is betaine in food?
Betaine is a naturally occurring nutrient found in a variety of foods, including beets, spinach, quinoa, and wheat bran. It is also found in some seafood, such as shrimp, lobster, and crab.
Is betaine a vitamin B?
No, betaine is not a vitamin B. It is sometimes referred to as vitamin B12a, but it is not a true vitamin. It helps support digestive health, liver function, and cardiovascular health. Eating a well-balanced diet that includes these foods can help ensure you get adequate amounts of betaine.
What is betaine HCl good for?
Betaine HCl is good for supporting stomach acid production and improving digestion and nutrient absorption. It may also help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and enhance athletic performance.
Why was betaine HCl banned?
Betaine HCl has not been banned. Hence, it is still available in supplement form. However, some people may experience side effects when taking the supplement, such as nausea, stomach upset, and diarrhea. Therefore, people with GERD or low stomach acid levels should consult with their doctor before taking these supplements.
Is betaine HCl good for acid reflux?
Betaine HCl may exacerbate symptoms of acid reflux in people with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or low stomach acid levels. Therefore, people with GERD or low stomach acid levels should consult with their doctor before taking these supplements.
When should you take betaine HCl?
Betaine HCl should be taken with meals to support digestion and nutrient absorption. It is best to take it before a meal, with plenty of water. It may be taken up to three times daily depending on your individual needs. Consult with your doctor for guidance on how much betaine HCl you should take and when you should take it.