Betaine hydrochloride is a chemical substance made in a laboratory. It is used as medicine.
Betaine hydrochloride has an interesting history. Betaine hydrochloride used to be included in over-the-counter (OTC) products as a "stomach acidifier and digestive aid." But a federal law that went into effect in 1993 banned betaine hydrochloride from use in OTC products because there wasn't enough evidence to classify it "generally recognized as safe and effective." Betaine hydrochloride is now available only as a dietary supplement whose purity and strength can vary.
Betaine hydrochloride is also used to treat abnormally low levels of potassium (hypokalemia), high levels of the compound homocysteine in the blood, hay fever, "tired blood" (anemia), asthma, "hardening of the arteries" (atherosclerosis), yeast infections, diarrhea, food allergies, gallstones, inner ear infections, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and thyroid disorders. It is also used to protect the liver.
Don't confuse betaine hydrochloride with betaine anhydrous. Use only the FDA-approved betaine anhydrous product for the treatment of high levels of homocysteine in the urine (homocystinuria). This is a symptom of some rare genetic diseases.
How it works
In the stomach, betaine hydrochloride separates into betaine and hydrochloric acid. The hydrochloric acid increases stomach acid.
Not ProvenAnemiaAsthmaDiarrheaFood allergiesGallstonesHay fever"Hardening of the arteries" (atherosclerosis)Increasing stomach acid.Inner ear infection..Low potassiumProtecting the liverRheumatoid arthritis (RA)Thyroid disordersYeast infectionOther conditions
Betaine hydrochloride is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken as a single dose. There isn't enough information to know if betaine hydrochloride is safe when taken in multiple doses. It might cause heartburn.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of betaine hydrochloride duringpregnancyandbreast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Peptic ulcer disease: Betaine hydrochloride can increase stomach acid. There is a concern that the hydrochloric acid produced from betaine hydrochloride might irritate stomach ulcers or keep them from healing.
Betaine hydrochloride increases stomach acid. Antacids are taken to decrease stomach acid. Taking betaine hydrochloride along with antacids might reduce the effects of antacids.Medications that decrease stomach acid (H2-blockers)
Betaine hydrochloride increases stomach acid. H2-blockers are taken to decrease stomach acid. Taking betaine hydrochloride along with H2 blockers might reduce the effects of H2-blockers.Medications that decrease stomach acid (Proton pump inhibitors)
Betaine hydrochloride increases stomach acid. Proton pump inhibitors are taken to decrease stomach acid. Taking betaine hydrochloride along with proton pump inhibitors might reduce the effects of proton pump inhibitors.