What Is Betaine & What Foods Can I Find It In?

3D-model of Betaine (src)

Betaine is an osmolyte and methyl donor.

It means that betaine protects cells, proteins, and enzymes from environmental stress and participates in the methionine cycle.

Betaine is a non-essential amino acid, found in microorganisms, plants, and animals and is a significant component of many foods.

We obtain betaine from foods that contain either betaine or choline-containing compounds.

Table of Contents

Betaine Is Important For Our Health

Betaine is a modified amino acid consisting of glycine with three methyl groups. (source )

Betaine has several unique roles in maintaining our health.

Betaine is normally present in the plasma because of dietary intake and endogenous synthesis in the liver and kidneys. (source )

Benefits Of Betaine

Betaine is needed for improving the overall nutritional status of the body.

Benefits of Betaine are not well known, but are believed to be:

You can find some benefits of consuming betaine in Betaine: 3 Research-Backed Benefits .

Betaine, Used As Treatment

Betaine is a nutrient used as a functional food ingredient.

For example, it is known that a betaine salt is useful as a digestive agent.

Betaine is also known to be effective in treating various diseases.

Betaine can be used, for example as a supplemental nutritional product for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia, hyperlipidemia, or obesity.

Betaine is also used to treat the rare genetic causes of homocystinuria. (source )

Dietary Intake Of Betaine

We obtain betaine through dietary intake, but it’s can also be formed in the body from choline.

Most of the foods we eat contain varying amounts of choline, choline esters, and betaine. (source )

Foods You Can Find Betaine In

You find Betaine mostly in cereal grains and pasta, American Indian and Alaska native food, vegetables, and breakfast cereals.

Examples of food sources include

Foods in our nutrition tool

You can find regularly updated top-ranked lists of foods for over 200+ nutrients in our nutrition tool.

If you are interested in what foods contain the most Betaine, we recommend you visit our tool.

Here's our top-ranked list of foods that contain Betaine.

Sara Niemelä

co-founder Care Omnia, Head Content Creator

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Nutrition is my passion. I've spent thousands upon thousands of hours reading, analyzing, categorizing and comparing research studies.

I’m a wife and a mother of three. I enjoy the outdoors, cooking, and spending time with my family.