Betaine
Description Betaine, (or N,N,N-trimethylglycine) was named after its discovery in sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) in the 19th century. It is a small N-trimethylated amino acid, existing in zwitterionic form at neutral pH. It is now often called glycine betaine to distinguish it from other betaines that are widely distributed in microorganisms, plants and animals. Many naturally occurring betaines serve as organic osmolytes, substances synthesized or taken up from the environment by cells for protection against osmotic stress, drought, high salinity or high temperature. Intracellular accumulation of betaines permits water retention in cells, thus protecting from the effects of dehydration (Wikipedia). Betaine functions as a methyl donor in that it carries and donates methyl functional groups to facilitate necessary chemical processes. In particular it methylates homocysteine to methionine, also producing N,N-dimethylglycine. The donation of methyl groups is important to proper liver function, cellular replication, and detoxification reactions. Betaine also plays a role in the manufacture of carnitine and serves to protect the kidneys from damage. Betaine comes from either the diet or by the oxidation of choline. Betaine insufficiency is associated with the metabolic syndrome, lipid disorders and diabetes, and may have a role in vascular and other diseases (PMID: 20346934). Betaine is important in development, from the pre-implantation embryo to infancy. Betaine is also widely regarded as an anti-oxidant. Betaine has been shown to have an inhibitory effect on NO release in activated microglial cells and may be an effective therapeutic component to control neurological disorders (PMID: 22801281). As a drug, betaine hydrochloride has been used as a source of hydrochloric acid in the treatment of hypochlorhydria. Betaine has also been used in the treatment of liver disorders, for hyperkalemia, for homocystinuria, and for gastrointestinal disturbances. (From Martindale, The Extra Pharmacopoeia, 30th Ed, p1341).   Source
Synonyms (Carboxymethyl)trimethylammonium hydroxide inner salt; (Trimethylammonio)acetate and 29 more synonyms used to describe this biomarker that Amplion uses in its algorithms.

Associated Biomarker Indications

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