Betaine HCL is a naturally occurring chemical in the stomach that assists in the digestion of foods by breaking up fats and proteins. In particular, Betaine HCL is necessary for adequate absorption of protein, calcium, vitamin B12 and iron. Betaine HCL has an important role in the stomach’s digestive process. As an acid, it helps establish the proper pH for digestion. Important digestive enzymes can only be activated by HCL and it helps to kill harmful microorganisms on food. Our CHF #94, Betaine Plus is a stabilized form of hydrochloric acid mixed with other ingredients. These are papain, beet (root), licorice (root), rhubarb (root), lactase, apple pectin and mint (extract).
As we age, production of all digestive enzymes and HCL decrease at rates that vary from person to person. This may lead to sluggish or poor digestion. Some people may have a “comfortable” or “settled” feeling in their stomachs when taking CHF #94 Betaine Plus at the beginning of their meal. It is not recommended to take at the end of a meal as heartburn may result. Low stomach acid symptoms can be, but are not limited to, bloating or belching, especially after eating, fullness or heaviness of the stomach, especially after eating, indigestion, bad breath, diarrhea or constipation, weak or cracked fingernails, skin break outs or acne, iron deficiency, chronic intestinal parasites and chronic infections.
Betaine functions very closely with choline, folic acid, vitamin B12 and a form of the amino acid methionine known as S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe). All of these compounds function as “methyl donors”. They carry and donate methyl molecules to facilitate necessary chemical processes. The donation of methyl groups by betaine is very important to proper liver function, cellular replication and the detoxification reactions.
The University of Maryland Medical Center states that “new studies have suggested that betaine, along with other nutrients, helps to reduce potentially toxic levels of homocysteine (HCY), a naturally occurring amino acid that can be harmful to blood vessels thereby contributing to the development of heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease (reduced blood flow to the legs and feet).”