Betaine, also known as trimethyglycine (TMG), can be found naturally occurring in the body in the anhydrous form. Betaine can also be found in small amounts in seafood, beets, spinach, cereals, and wine. Betaine is recognized as the metabolite of choline and is also considered a methyl group donor. An important role of betaine is the control of homocysteine levels through the ability to convert homocysteine into methionine. Betaine has also been found to reduce the effects of steatosis, a condition of fatty degeneration. Betaine hychloride is recognized as the delivery form of hydrochloric acid. Betaine also has the ability to help the liver process fats. Betaine is highly soluble in water.
There are no known interactions associated with betaine and other drugs. When taken with folic acid, there may be an increased possiblity of lowering serum homocysteine levels.
There have been some reported side effects with the usage of betaine. Nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, body odor, heartburn, and gastrical irritations may be experienced by some people. As with all drugs and supplements, consult a health care professional and read all labels for information.