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What Is Betaine Anhydrous?

By Meshell Powell
Updated May 17, 2024
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Betaine anhydrous is a naturally occurring chemical found in the human body and is responsible for lowering homocysteine levels. This chemical is found in foods such as spinach, beets, and seafood and is also available in the form of a nutritional supplement. Medical conditions that may be treated with the use of betaine anhydrous include elevated blood homocysteine levels, congestive heart failure, and some types of liver disease. Side effects of this nutrient may include mild to moderate digestive disturbances such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Any specific questions or concerns about the potential use of betaine anhydrous in an individual situation should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.

The primary use of betaine anhydrous is the reduction of homocysteine levels in the bloodstream. Homocysteine is an important amino acid, although too much of this chemical in the bloodstream can increase the risks of developing cardiovascular problems such as blood clots, heart attack, or stroke. If routine blood tests detect abnormally high homocysteine levels, betaine anhydrous may be prescribed or recommended by a physician.

In some cases, betaine anhydrous may be used to treat medical issues such as congestive heart failure, depression, or osteoarthritis. This nutrient may also be useful in treating some forms of liver disease and may help guard against the development of intestinal tumors. Betaine anhydrous may not interact well with some prescription medications and may not be recommended for those with certain medical conditions, so a doctor should be consulted before beginning treatment with this supplement.

The use of this supplement is considered safe for most people, although any negative symptoms that develop after beginning treatment with this product should be reported to a doctor for further evaluation. Mild nausea is relatively common, but severe or persistent vomiting or diarrhea should be evaluated by a physician to make sure that complications such as dehydration do not occur. Severe abdominal pain or cramping, especially if accompanied by a fever, should be treated as a medical emergency.

An allergic reaction to betaine anhydrous is unlikely, although it can be potentially fatal if it does occur. Swelling of the face, tongue, or throat may indicate the development of a severe type of allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis. Chest pain, difficulty breathing, or a partial or complete loss of consciousness may occur as well. Without immediate medical attention, anaphylaxis can cause permanent brain damage or death within a matter of minutes.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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