Betaine HCl Benefits:
Betaine hydrochloride is an acidic form of betaine, an important nutrient for functioning of the heart and blood vessels. Betaine hydrochloride is usually recommended as a supplemental source of hydrochloric acid for people with low stomach acid production (hypochlorhydria).
Stomach acid is essential for metabolizing and absorbing food, and is particularly needed for assimilating proteins, vitamin B12, calcium and iron. Low stomach acid levels can result in insufficient digestion of foods and indigestion. Supplementing betaine hydrochloride with meals raise the natural acidity of the stomach to help the body assimilate and utilise protein and other nutrients from the diet.
Betaine HCl comes in tablets or capsules. One or more tablets or capsules, each containing 5–10 grains (325–650 mg), are taken with a meal that contains protein to improve digestion in people with low stomach acidity.
Betaine hcl supplement may contain pepsin, an enzyme that breaks down proteins in food.
Betaine (trimethylglycine) is also used to reduce blood levels of a substance called homocysteine, which is associated with heart disease. This form of betaine is not acidic, and it has completely different properties.
How does Betaine HCl work?
Betaine HCL is a source of hydrochloric acid, which is a naturally occurring stomach acid that helps break-up fats and proteins for further digestion in the small intestine. Hydrochloric acid acts as a catalyst in the activation of pepsin, an enzyme which splits large protein molecules into smaller polypeptides.
By regulating stomach acid, betaine HCL also helps protect the stomach against harmful microorganisms and bacteria.
Betaine hydrochloride is available as a dietary supplement.
Betaine HCl Side Effects
All people with a history of peptic ulcers, gastritis, or esophageal reflux (heartburn) should consult a doctor before taking betaine HCl.
This supplement rarely causes any serious side effects, but it has not been put through rigorous safety studies.
Large amounts of betaine HCl can burn the lining of the stomach, cause heartburn and gastric irritation.
Don't take more than 10 grains (650 mg) of without the doctor's recommendation.