What is Betaine HCl?
Betaine HCl is the hydrochloride form of betaine. Betaine is an amino acid made up of glycine and three methyl groups and shares a similar chemical structure with choline. It acts as a methyl donor and helps lower homocysteine levels. The addition of hydrochloride changes betaine’s chemical properties compared to betaine anhydrous (TMG). Betaine HCl separate into betaine and hydrochloride once ingested. The hydrochloride helps boost gastric acid in individuals with low stomach acidity. It also supports liver health and plays a role in osmoregulation.
Betaine HCl vs Betaine Anhydrous (TMG)
Purebulk sells both Betaine HCl and Betaine Anhydrous (TMG). The HCl form has an extremely sour taste, while the anhydrous has a mild, pleasant flavor. Betaine hydrochloride is a synthetic supplement, whereas betaine anhydrous (TMG) supplement comes from beets. The body can also synthesize betaine from choline. Both forms of betaine can reduce homocysteine levels in the blood.
Potential Betaine HCl Benefits
Betaine HCl and Digestive Health
Most individuals produce 3-4 quarts of gastric juices per day, primarily comprised of hydrochloric acid. Aging, certain autoimmune conditions, anemia, and frequent proton pump inhibitor or antacid use can reduce stomach acid. Individuals that don’t have enough stomach acid may experience a plethora of unpleasant effects, including:
- Stomach pain
- Constipation diarrhea
- Passing stools containing undigested food
Low stomach acid may lead to or worsen nutritional deficiencies, impair digestion, and promote bacteria overgrowth in the small intestines. Betaine HCl helps regulate gastric juices in individuals that lack the proper acidity by increasing hydrochloric acid in the stomach. It also supports better digestion by breaking up fats and proteins. Taking betaine HCl with pepsin or protease can further aid with protein digestion.
Other Potential Betaine HCl Benefits
Betaine HCl plays a role in osmoregulation by balancing water and salt in the body, also known as the electrolyte balance. Betaine HCl also appears to support liver health as it exerts hepatoprotective effects.
How to Take Betaine HCl
Timing is important for taking betaine HCl supplements. Betaine HCl acts quickly and has short-term effects. Take Betaine HCl with meals to improve digestion and reduce the risk of side effects.
Potential Betaine HCl Side Effects
Most individuals can take Betaine hydrochloride without adverse effects. In higher amounts, some individuals may experience occasional nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Those suffering from advanced liver and kidney disease should not use betaine, nor should pregnant and nursing women.
Betaine HCl powder has an extremely low, acidic pH of about 1.0. PureBulk recommends Betaine HCl Capsules to avoid the risk of irritation to the oral mucous membranes or erosion of tooth enamel. It has a strong taste and odor. PureBulk sells betaine HCl in capsules, or individuals can make betaine HCl capsules with the capsule machine and empty gelatin or vegetarian capsules.
Betaine HCl supplements may cause a burning sensation if taken on an empty stomach. Discontinue if chest or abdominal pain occurs with use. Individuals with a history of peptic ulcers should not take betaine HCl without consulting a health professional.
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