Betaine or trimethylglycine (TMG), is an amino acid found in beets -- where scientists originally discovered it -- and many other foods including shellfish, brown rice, quinoa, spinach, sweet potato, turkey breast, veal, and beef. Betaine is made up of glycine, an amino acid that is part of three different methyl groups. Its primary role in the body is as a methyl donor and an osmolyte. As an osmolyte, betaine balances the fluid levels inside and outside the cells. As a methyl donor, betaine plays a vital role in many physiological processes. There are many health benefits of betaine.
Betaine helps the body break down foods. It's essential the body process food properly because poorly digested food doesn't deliver its full nutritional benefits and as a result, cause nutritional deficiencies that lead to more serious health issues. Hydrochloric acid or HCl is the key ingredient needed to break down foods. Optimal digestion is impeded when the stomach has insufficient amounts of this acid. Betaine can boost HCl in the stomach.
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