Betaine, aka Trimethylglycine (TMG): A Methyl Donor for Heart, Liver, and Cellular Health

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Welcome to our deep dive into the topic of Betaine Anhydrous, also known as Trimethylglycine (TMG). In this article, we will cover the benefits of betaine/TMG including heart and liver health, connections to mood, athletic performance, and basic cellular metabolism. So, let’s start our journey into understanding Betaine/TMG better.

What Is Betaine Anhydrous (TMG)?

Betaine Anhydrous, also known as Trimethylglycine (TMG), is a naturally occurring compound that you can find in certain foods like beets, spinach, and whole grains. The name “trimethylglycine” comes from its structure, as it’s basically the amino acid glycine with three (tri) methyl groups attached.

One of the key roles that TMG plays in the body involves a process called methylation. In simple terms, methylation is a chemical reaction that occurs in every cell of our body, helping in the performance of various functions such as DNA repair, energy production, and detoxification. TMG is often used as a dietary supplement due to several potential health benefits. Read on.

What are the Benefits of Betaine/Trimethyl Glycine (TMG)?

Here’s a list of health benefits associated with Betaine, or TMG:

  • Anti-inflammatory Effects: Research shows that betaine can also help reduce inflammation in many diseases. It does this by improving the body’s handling of sulfur amino acids, reducing activities that trigger inflammation, helping cells use energy more efficiently, and lessening cell stress and programmed cell death. These effects make betaine useful in managing health problems such as obesity, diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. [PMC5976740]
  • Heart Health: TMG may help lower levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that, when present at high levels in the blood, is associated with heart disease. By participating in homocysteine metabolism, TMG might contribute to maintaining heart health. [PMC8224793]
  • Liver Health: TMG is known for its potential role in protecting the liver. Some research suggests that it may help combat fatty liver disease by promoting the elimination of fats from the liver. [PMID: 30689994]
  • Athletic Performance: There’s some evidence that TMG could enhance exercise performance, particularly in terms of strength and endurance. It might do this by promoting muscle oxygenation and helping in the recovery process. [PMC9404903]
  • Mood and Wellbeing: Preliminary research suggests that TMG could play a role in mood regulation, due to its involvement in the production of a chemical called S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe), which has been linked with depression and other mood disorders. [PMC4303396]
  • Metabolism and Energy Production: TMG is involved in a process called methylation, which is essential for many bodily functions including energy production. As such, TMG supplementation could potentially help support overall metabolism.

How Does Betaine/TMG Function in Methylation Pathways?

Betaine plays a crucial role in the methylation pathway by serving as a primary methyl donor. It helps convert homocysteine to methionine, which is a key amino acid involved in various bodily functions, including DNA methylation. Methylation is a critical biological process that regulates gene expression and maintains DNA integrity. By participating as a methyl donor, betaine supports these essential cellular functions, impacting everything from DNA repair to the regulation of inflammation.

How Do Homocysteine Blood Levels Relate to Methylation?

What Lab Tests Can Be Used To Determine a Person’s Methylation Status?

  • Methylation Panel: Comprehensive tests that include various markers related to methylation such as amino acids, vitamins, and other cofactors. Doctor’s Data offers a Methylation Panel available in the NutriScape Lab Shop.
  • Homocysteine Test: Measures the level of homocysteine in the blood, which can indicate whether you’re overmethylating or undermethylating. Available at your local lab: Homocysteine Test.
  • SAMe to SAH Ratio: Measures the ratio of S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe) to S-Adenosylhomocysteine (SAH) to assess methylation activity. The SAMe to SAH ratio is included as part of the Doctor’s Data Methylation Profile.
  • Serum Folate and Vitamin B12: Low levels may indicate poor methylation, as these vitamins are co-factors in methylation processes. Available at your local lab: B12 & Folate.
  • Genetic Testing: Specifically, the MTHFR gene test can show if you have mutations that might affect your methylation processes. See options are available in the NutriScape Lab Shop.
  • Complete Blood Count (CBC): While not directly a methylation test, patterns in a CBC can sometimes provide clues about methylation status. A Complete Blood Count (CBC) showing elevated levels of mean corpuscular volume (MCV) could suggest a deficiency in folate or vitamin B12, which are vital for proper methylation. Low red blood cell count or hemoglobin levels might also indirectly point to methylation issues, as methylation is crucial for the formation and function of blood cells. More specific tests like homocysteine levels or SAMe to SAH ratios should be considered if these are low. Available at your local lab: Complete Blood Count (CBC).

You’ll need to consult with a healthcare provider for help with the interpretation of lab results and personalized medical advice.

Is Betaine/Trimethyl Glycine (TMG) Safe?

Betaine supplements, also known as TMG, are considered safe for most people when taken within the recommended dosages. It’s a compound naturally found in foods like beets, spinach, and whole grains, making it a familiar component of the human diet. Many studies have shown that betaine is well-tolerated with minimal side effects, which are usually mild if they occur at all.

Medication Interactions with Betaine Anhydrous (TMG).

Here is a list of potential interactions between Betaine Anhydrous (TMG) and certain nutritional supplements:

  • Antacids: TMG’s absorption might be affected by medications that alter stomach acid levels.
  • Diuretics: These medications can alter electrolyte balance, which might interact with TMG’s osmoprotective properties.
  • Antidepressants: Specifically SSRIs or other medications that affect serotonin levels, as TMG is involved in the methylation pathway that affects neurotransmitters.
  • Blood Thinners: Such as Warfarin, due to TMG’s potential impact on homocysteine levels, which could affect blood clotting.
  • Anti-seizure medications: TMG’s impact on neurotransmitter levels could potentially interact with these medications.
  • Medications for high blood pressure: TMG can affect blood vessel dilation, potentially interacting with these medications.
  • Chemotherapy drugs: Methylation processes influenced by TMG could potentially interact with the effectiveness of these drugs.

Here is a list of potential medication interactions with Betaine Anhydrous (TMG). Please note that this is not exhaustive and it’s crucial to consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist before starting any new supplement regimen:

  • Folic Acid: TMG can donate methyl groups, as can folic acid, potentially affecting homocysteine levels.
  • Vitamin B12: Works synergistically with TMG to reduce homocysteine levels.
  • Vitamin B6: Involved in the same metabolic pathways as TMG for homocysteine metabolism.
  • SAMe (S-Adenosylmethionine): Both TMG and SAMe serve as methyl donors; combining them could affect methylation processes.
  • Creatine: TMG can be converted into creatine in the body, so taking both might affect creatine levels.
  • Choline: Both are involved in methylation processes; taking them together could impact choline needs and methylation.
  • Methionine: Another methyl donor that interacts with TMG; could affect methylation and homocysteine levels.
  • Zinc: Necessary for the enzyme that converts TMG to dimethylglycine; supplementing with zinc could affect this process.

Food Sources of Betaine Anhydrous (TMG).

Here’s a table listing some of the primary food sources of Betaine Anhydrous, or TMG. Please note that the exact amount can vary depending on specific growing conditions, preparation methods, and other factors.

Food SourceApproximate Betaine Content
Spinach (1 cup cooked)144-157 mg
Beets (1 cup cooked)175-200 mg
Whole grain wheat bread (1 slice)38-45 mg
Shellfish, Shrimp (3 oz cooked)93-100 mg
Spinach (1 cup raw)60-70 mg
Wheat Bran (1 cup)230-250 mg

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Betaine TMG by BrainMD

Mood and Methyl Support* Betaine TMG provides betaine, also called trimethylglycine, which occurs naturally in the body and provides methyl groups that support genetic, epigenetic, and numerous metabolic life functions.* Betaine also can supplement the metabolic actions of SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine). Betaine TMG is a component of the comprehensive brain program developed by leading clinical neuroscientist Daniel Amen, MD. Enhances mood benefits of SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine)* Rich source of metabolically essential methyl groups* Supports metabolic recycling of homocysteine* Important protectant for cell water balance*

Suggested Use: Take 2 capsules daily between meals, to a maximum 6 capsules daily.

Amount Per 2 Capsule Serving
 … 1000mg (Trimethylglycine)

TMG by Bio-Nutritional Formulas

TMG is a natural source of methyl groups. The process to detox homocysteine is called methylation, which depends on the presence of sufficient methyl donors. TMG donates one of its methyl groups to convert homocysteine to methionine, leaving beneficial Dimethylglycine (DMG) for energy support.*

Suggested Use:

Use 1 to 3 scoops (provided) daily with or between meals.
1 level scoop = 500mg
5 scoops = 1 teaspoon.

Food First!

Although this article discusses supplements in detail, don’t forget that we are absolutely committed to the “Food First” approach to nutrition. When it comes to your health, the totality of your eating habits far surpasses the impact of individual nutrients or any single supplement you consume. Even though this article doesn’t delve into the broader picture of your overall diet, it’s crucial to keep this element at the forefront of our minds. Your food needs to provide all the vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals to nourish your body systems down to the cellular level.

Food choices, rather than supplements, are the most critical factors for a healthy gut microbiome. These trillions of tiny inhabitants in your gut affect your brain waves; they orchestrate your immune system. They possess the power to create molecules that can switch genes on or off and are even capable of synthesizing neurotransmitters. Opting for organic foods and steering clear of plastic packaging (including those labeled BPA-free) is a smart move to limit toxin exposure. The sum of all these parts leads to a powerful conclusion: the ultimate key to your health lies in the quality and balance of the food you consume. Supplements are secondary.

To Sum It Up

Betaine Anhydrous (TMG) holds a remarkable place in the world of health supplements due to its diverse potential benefits. From promoting heart health to enhancing athletic performance, its capabilities are vast and well-researched. As we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of natural supplements, TMG remains a popular choice for many. Remember, if you’re considering to add this powerful supplement to your wellness routine, ensure to buy Betaine Anhydrous TMG supplements online from reputable sources. It’s always important to invest in high-quality, trusted products for your health. Thank you for journeying with us through this comprehensive exploration of TMG.

This Article is Not a Substitute for Medical Advice

Dietary supplements are not designed to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The Supplement Sciences website seeks to provide comprehensive access to the most relevant supplement information along with convenient online ordering. We do not provide medical advice and cannot guarantee that every product suggested is completely without risk. Since each person is unique in their health history and medication use, it is important to discuss supplements with your personal physician. Specifically, pregnant women and individuals being treated for cancer or liver or kidney problems must consult their physician about every nutritional supplement they plan to take. People taking medications for the treatment of HIV or with a history of organ transplant must not take supplements without consulting with their physician.

About the Author

Stephanie Figon, MS, RDN, LD

Creator of Supplement Sciences and NutriScape.NET. As a dietitian since 1992, Steph has had experiences in consulting, 15 years in clinical, and has operated a private practice nutrition counseling office for since 2011. Log in to comment and save this article on your board or send your comments to

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