BETAINE ANHYDROUS Overview Information
Betaine anhydrous is a chemical that occurs naturally in the body, and can also be found in foods such as beets, spinach, cereals, seafood, and wine.
Betaine anhydrous is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treatment of high urine levels of a chemical called homocysteine (homocystinuria) in people with certain inherited disorders. High homocysteine levels are associated with heart disease, weak bones (osteoporosis), skeletal problems, and eye lens problems.
Betaine anhydrous is also used for treating high blood homocysteine levels, liver disease, depression, osteoarthritis, congestive heart failure (CHF), and obesity; for boosting the immune system; and for improving athletic performance. It is also used for preventing noncancerous tumors in the colon (colorectal adenomas).
Topically, betaine anhydrous is used as an ingredient in toothpastes to reduce the symptoms of dry mouth.
How does it work?
A form of betaine called betaine anhydrous helps in the metabolism of homocysteine, a chemical involved in the normal function of many different parts of the body, including blood, bones, eyes, heart, nerves, and the brain. Betaine anhydrous prevents the buildup of homocysteine seen in people who have problems with its metabolism from birth.
- Lowering homocysteine levels in the urine.
Possibly Effective for:
- Topical use in toothpaste to help with dry mouth.
- Lowering homocysteine levels in the blood.
- Liver disease not due to alcohol use. Developing research suggests that betaine anhydrous might improve liver disease.
- Preventing the development of noncancerous tumors in the colon and rectum (colorectal adenomas). Some research suggests betaine anhydrous might not lower the chance of developing colorectal adenomas.
- Weight loss. In one small study, adding betaine anhydrous to a low-calorie diet did not produce extra weight loss in obese adults.
- Other conditions.
BETAINE ANHYDROUS Side Effects & Safety
Betaine anhydrous is safe for most people. It can cause some minor side effects. These include nausea, stomach upset, and diarrhea.
Betaine anhydrous is also available as a prescription drug in the U.S. Prescription betaine anhydrous is standardized, which means it contains a set dose of active chemicals.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of betaine anhydrous during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
BETAINE ANHYDROUS Dosing
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
- For a condition called homocystinuria: A maintenance dose of 3 grams is usually taken twice daily in both adults and children. In children, the dose usually starts low and is gradually raised to this level. For children under three years old, the starting dose is 100 mg/kg per day; the next week the dose is raised to 200 mg/kg per day for the week; the following week, the dose is raised to 300 mg/kg per day for the week, and so on until the maintenance dose is reached. All patients can receive dose increases until the level of homocysteine in the blood is very low or too low to measure; sometimes doses up to 20 grams per day are needed to achieve this. Dissolve the powder in water immediately before taking.