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Betaine (Trimethylglycine)

Also indexed as:Betaine, TMG
Betaine (Trimethylglycine): Main Image

Betaine (trimethylglycine) functions very closely with choline, folic acid, vitamin B12, and a form of the amino acid methionine known as S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe).1, 2 All of these compounds function as "methyl donors." They carry and donate methyl molecules to facilitate necessary chemical processes. The donation of methyl groups by betaine is very important to proper liver function, cellular replication, and detoxification reactions. Betaine also plays a role in the manufacture of carnitine and serves to protect the kidneys from damage.3 Betaine is closely related to choline. The difference is that choline (tetramethylglycine) has four methyl groups attached to it. When choline donates one of these groups to another molecule, it becomes betaine (trimethylglycine). If betaine donates one of its methyl groups, then it becomes dimethylglycine.

  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary "Star-Rating" system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

Used for AmountWhy
Hepatitis and Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis
20 grams daily2 stars[2 stars]
Supplementing with zinc (in the form of a zinc complex of L-carnosine) enhanced the response to interferon therapy in patients with chronic hepatitis C in a preliminary trial.
High Homocysteine
1.5 to 6 grams daily2 stars[2 stars]
Betaine (trimethylglycine) has been shown to lower homocysteine levels.
Atherosclerosis
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
For the few cases in which vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and folic acid fail to normalize homocysteine, adding betaine (trimethylglycine) may be effective. Regular (anhydrous) betaine is preferable to betaine hydrochloride for most people (check with a doctor).

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.

 
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