Benefits of Betaine HCL

By Ben Fuchs | Pharmacist Ben

One of the most important supportive digestive aids you can ever take is betaine HCL, which while well recognized as a source HCl (hydrochloride) for improving the food dissolving acid activity of digestive juices is less recognized as a source of  betaine, which is one of the least appreciated supplemental substances.  The technical name for betaine is trimethylglycine (TMG) and there are lots of neat things about it that don’t get a lot of attention.

Benefits of Betaine HCL

Beets via Wikimedia Commons

As implied by its nomenclature trimethyl glycine is a two section molecule, one part called “trimethyl” the other is called “glycine”.  The glycine component is one of the most important of all the amino acids.  It’s not considered to be essential, your body can make a small amount, but when you’re taking supplemental betaine HCL you’re going to beef up your body’s glycine stores.  Glycine is key element of the of the detoxification machinery.  By adding a little TMG to your daily supplement program you’re going to be helping your liver eliminate and process of toxins. You want more detox benefits?  Well, glycine is one third of the body’s most important detox substance, the tripeptide glutathione.

Glycine is also important for the digestive system too.  It’s a component of bile so it’s got a role to play in fat absorption too and it helps improve stomach acid secretion. Glycine is one of the active ingredients in bone soup, and it’s one of the reasons I’m always talking about using bone soup for improving the health of the digestive tract.

Glycine also has some important relaxation properties.  It can be used as anti-stress supplement, it’s been used to minimize the impact seizure disorders, it’s can balance out the effect of excitotoxins, and it can help balance out the stress promoting properties of estrogen. It’s brain- calming properties are why scientist call glycine an inhibitory neurotransmitter, it’s very similar to another relaxing brain chemical GAMA, and both chemicals can be used as sleep aids.

Muscle building?  Glycine can help you make creatine, which is not only important for athletes and body builders, but also a supports the vitality and vigor for the most important of muscles the heart.  Older folks and cardiac patients take note!

And that’s not all!  Glycine is a keep component of bone building collagen, the most important and multi-functional protein in the body.  Collagen is the key chemical entity in bone and it’s the most important protein in the skin too.   Every year American women spend billions of dollars for anti-aging cosmetics, but no matter how fancy or expensive you’re skin care product is you aren’t going to making any collagen or doing your skin or wrinkles any good if you don’t have enough glycine.  But there’s even more!  Glycine via upregulation of collagen can help strengthen the circulatory system, veins and arteries which like bone and skin contain large amounts of the versatile protein.

Glycine can help with sugar metabolism too, and it can be an important biochemical for diabetics; to counteract insulin resistance, which is one of the most significant of all health challenges.  In an article that was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2002, it was shown that glycine can potentize insulin allowing for lower section and it can facilitate glucose removal from the blood.  An added benefit to using to using the ultimate enzymes after meals

Can you see I love betaine HCl so much? And we haven’t even talked about the trimethyl part yet!

Trimethyl means three methyls and methyls are involved in one of the most important of all biochemical reactions, something called methylation.  Methylation is a keep chemical for genetic health.  Methyls basically activate DNA and in fact it is the reason why pregnant women are pretty much universally told to use folic acid to prevent birth defects.  Folic acid is a key methylating supplement.  Methyls or methyl groups as they’re called by biochemists can have important anti-cancer properties and methylation plays a role in activating numerous biochemical processes, especially for the heart and liver and brain.

TMG can help lower heart toxic homocysteine and it can help the body make a key brain chemical called DMAE which is important for learning and memory.  If you want to improve brain health or you have a parent or grandparent dealing with Alzheimer’s disease the trimethyl glycine via its conversion to DMAE and choline can be very, very helpful.

Detox, relaxation, muscle building, brain boosting and heart health, cancer fighting too; all of these benefits are a bonus and this exemplifies one of the coolest about nutritional supplementation.  When  you supplement with betaine HCL for your digestive system, you’ll improve liver functioning, build muscle, reduce your risk of heart disease, garner protection from excitotoxins and get a good night’s sleep to boot.  You take a drug and you have to deal with toxic side effects and you take a nutritional supplement and you get so many extra beneficial effects it’s hard to keep track of them all.  Beneficial effects that have nothing to do with your original reason for taking the supplement in the first place!

You’ll find some betaine HCL in many quality digestive enzyme supplements, usually around a100mg or so.   Or, you can just straight betaine HCl, which is available for many suppliers as 600 to 650 mg capsules.  It’s best taken with meals and a little apple cider vinegar to enhance its stomach acid supporting properties.

Now Foods Betaine HCl
Betaine HCL
NOW Betaine Hydrochloride with Pepsin is formulated for maximum potency combines Betaine Hydrochloride with Pepsin that is standardized to National Formulary requirements. This blend is encapsulated for quick delivery. A great complement to any dietary regime.

Now Foods Betaine HCl, 648 mg , 120 Capsules

Posted by Ben Fuchs in Health