Betaine Hydrochloride Information

Betaine is a vitamin-type compound found in grains and other foods. Betaine hydrochloride is the acidic form of betaine. Betaine hydrochloride is primarily prescribed as a supplemental source of hydrochloric acid for people who have difficulty digesting due to a lack of stomach acid.

Lower than normal levels of gastric acid secretion in the digestive track increases the likelihood and severity of certain bacterial and parasitic infections in the intestinal track. Most people have enough gastric acid to destroy bacteria. Those that do not have enough hydrochloric acid in their digestive track can suffer from bacterial colonization of the stomach.

Dosage and Administration

Betaine hydrochloride is the most common health supplement containing hydrochloric acid. Depending on your the condition of the patient, some doctors recommend taking one or more tablets or capsules, each 5 to 10 grains (325-650 mg), with a meal that contains protein. Occasionally betaine (trimethylglycine) is recommended to reduce blood levels of a substance called homocysteine, which is associated with heart disease. This form of betaine is different from betaine HCl.

Side Effects

People should not take more than 10 grains (650 mg) of betaine HCl without the recommendation of a doctor. Individuals with a history of peptic ulcers, gastritis, or gastrointestinal symptoms-particularly heartburn-should see a doctor before taking betaine HCl. Too much betaine HCl can burn the lining of the stomach. If a burning sensation is experienced, betaine HCl should be immediately discontinued. Betain should not be taken in conjunction with any other gastrointestinal drugs or products.