Sometimes we get advice from doctors about certain nutrients that are needed for our bodies to function properly. They also recommend guides or diets to avoid health problems. Thus, terms like ‘betaine’ start to be recurrent. However, we often understand only half of what we are told.
Next, we will try to know and understand the role of betaine in our daily lives.
What is betaine?
Betaine is a compound that is produced in the body. It provides us with hydrochloric acid and is essential for the absorption of vitamin B12, calcium and iron.
It is basically a nutrient that distributes metals in the body so that each organ uses them and can face certain risks of imbalance.
Betaine rich foods
- Beetroot: Beetroot is one of the biggest sources of betaine, and it was from this vegetable that it got its name.
What is betaine for?
It can be difficult to understand how it works, but it’s easier to identify its usefulness with a few points.
Betaine helps to regulate and reduce homocysteine levels. Thus, it is responsible for preventing diseases caused by its excess.
- Although homocysteine is necessary, it must be regulated so that it does not cause changes.
- If it’s too much in our body, the consequences can lead to heart attacks, Alzheimer’s disease, blood clots or strokes.
Take care of liver health
This amino acid acts as a lipotropic agent when it produces metals to break down fat and relieve the liver.
In this way, it avoids the fatty liver. In some cases, it is used to treat this diseased organ.
In addition to the functions already mentioned, betaine also:
- It helps in digestion with its contribution of hydrochloric acid, which is needed in the stomach to break down proteins.
- Prevents cell dehydration while maintaining cell fluid balance. Collaborates in the transport of necessary fluids throughout the body.
- It is relevant in creatine synthesis by which muscle development is amplified.
Each of the functions we explain is directly associated with a series of health benefits for individuals. A person with an adequate percentage of this nutrient will have:
- Lower risk of presenting gastrointestinal pathologies. Regulates the acidity level necessary for correct digestion.
- A decrease in fat that affects the liver. Fight the excesses around him to keep him free.
- Healthy arteries and cardiovascular system. Blood can circulate without interruption.
- Greater muscle strength. By producing a greater amount of nitric oxide, it is possible to increase endurance and strength levels in physical activities. Many elite athletes use supplements with this nutrient.
Betaine, perhaps not much talked about by everyday people, works really collaboratively with the rest of our body’s elements.
As we have seen, their participation is necessary and relevant in daily routine and in prevention.
There are also supplements that can be purchased to supplement what is naturally produced and ingested through foods that contain it.
Its dose varies according to the case and each patient should follow their doctor’s advice to avoid side effects.
Side Effects of Betaine Supplements
Some experts prescribe betaine medications to treat different health problems.
As with all chemicals, there are side effects that need attention. In case they manifest, you should go to a medical center:
- Changes in body odor
- Loss of consciousness
- Weakness in muscles
- visual distortion
- memory changes
- motor difficulties
Some institutes have revealed that there have been cases of cerebral edema in patients treated with betaine. For this reason, it is advisable to reduce intake and carry out the relevant analyses.
From the age of 50 onwards, betaine production levels decrease. Being aware of this and adding foods with this nutrient in the diet is very positive for maintaining balance in the body.