Betaine is an amino acid that plays an important role in numerous processes in the body. It is a derivative of the nutrient choline, which must be present for betaine to be synthesized in the body.
Betaine is created when choline is combined with the amino acid glycine, so it is a “methyl donor” too, meaning that it improves the function of the liver, detoxifies it, and supports the cellular functioning within the body. Yet, its most important role is to help the body process fats.
It has gained popularity only recently, since it has been studied for its positive effects on preventing heart disease, and has been added to numerous exercise-focused and energy supplements, protein powders and other products used to boost exercise performance and body composition.
Here is a list of betaine-rich foods:
- Rye Grain
- Turkey breast
- Sweet potato
- Wheat Bran
- Kamut Wheat Grain
- Bulgar Grain
- Amaranth Grain
It supports health in numerous ways and offers a myriad of health benefits:
Relieves Aches and Pains
Betaine has powerful natural pain-soothing properties and relieves muscle cramps and muscular fatigue by lowering the lactate acid levels.
Helps Fat Loss
It accelerates the fat burning process and thus helps weight loss.
Repairs Liver Damage
Betaine has powerful fat-reducing qualities, repairs the damage to the liver as a result of alcohol consumption, detoxifies it, and improves its function.
Improves Heart Health
Betaine decreases homocysteine levels in the blood, preventing hardening and blocking of arteries, and lowers the risk of heart attacks, heart diseases, and stroke.
It elevates the levels of the hydrochloric acid in the stomach and thus helps the process of breaking down foods and the absorption of nutrients.
Helps Liver Function and Detoxification
Betaine detoxifies the body and cleanses the liver, by eliminating fats and prevents damage due to toxins and chemicals.
Improves Muscle Mass
Betaine reduces fat mass and increases muscle mass, so it improves body composition and muscular endurance.
The daily recommended betaine amount for adults is not established yet, and they vary depending on the conditions being treated, as follows:
- Patients suffering from alcohol-induced fatty liver disease, should take between 1,000 to 2,000 milligrams, taken three times daily.
- If you are trying to boost exercise performance, improve body composition, or soothe body aches and pains, you should aim at 1500–2000 milligrams of betaine.
- In the case of digestion issues, one should take a lower dose of betaine supplements, that range in recommended doses between 650–2500 milligrams.