Veterinarian Reviewed on June 14, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized
Betaine HCl (betaine hydrochloride) is a vitamin-like substance that is found in many whole grains. It is an acidic form of betaine, which is a form of hydrochloric acid that is derived from the beet.
Betaine HCl is a non-essential nutrient and can be a source of hydrochloric acid needed for the body’s digestive process.
Hydrochloric acid on the other hand, is essential in the digestion of protein in the human body. Betaine HCl supplements and food sources are important if your digestive system cannot produce adequate amounts of hydrochloric acid for the digestion of protein.
History and Origin
Betaine HCl was first discovered as an important source of hydrochloric acid supplementation after deriving this non-essential nutrient from within beets. It is not however advisable to eat a lot of beets in an attempt to ingest plenty of Betaine HCl nor is it advisable to increase your body’s supply of Hydrochloric acid.
There are no accounts of Betaine HCl use during ancient times.
Betaine HCl is used for the treatment of decreased hydrochloric acid levels in a person’s body. Hydrochloric acid in the stomach is needed for protein digestion within the body itself. Decreased production of this acid is evidenced by the body’s reduced ability to digest proteins, as well as by muscle wasting as opposed to a diet that is high in protein; an inability to enjoy food, a decreased weight and a noticeable reduction of person’s physical stamina are all signs of a lack of Betaine HCI in the body.
It has been approximated that there are 30% of adults who suffer from decreased hydrochloric acid levels in their digestive systems. Aside from the decreased digestion of protein, people that do have low levels of hydrochloric acid may also suffer from asthma, gastritis, rheumatoid arthritis and also yeast infections. Thus, Betaine HCl supplements may treat these illnesses and help digest proteins as well.
Betaine HCl may also be beneficial in the treatment of many types of illnesses. It can be a cure for anemia, gall stones and many gastrointestinal system disorders like indigestion, bloating and stomach pain. There are several studies that link Betaine HCl use for the treatment of osteoporosis, hives, eczema and as well as vitiligo.
There are no known side effects with the use of Betaine HCl, but there are overdose effects of this non-essential nutrient as well. Overdose can lead to a painful burning sensation in a person’s stomach, followed by either nausea or vomiting or both. It is important to get medical help as soon as possible for the treatment of a Betaine HCl overdose.
Betaine HCl supplements are not yet tested for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers and it is therefore wise to consult your doctor if you want to use Betaine HCl supplements for your illness.
It is important to note that if you want to purchase Betaine HCl supplements, you should only buy from reputable dealers and retailers. Always look for pure Betaine HCl supplements that do not contain harmful chemicals or additives that can actually do more harm than good to a person’s body.
If you want to use Betaine HCl supplements for any ailment, it is better to seek medical advice first before taking any supplements so that you may be able to find out what your exact dosage should be.
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan