Definition of betaine in US English:



  • 1A crystalline compound with basic properties found in many plant juices.

    Chemical formula: (CH₃)₃N⁺—CH₂CO₂⁻

    • ‘This high activity is mainly attributable to the use of 1 M of betaine as a stabilizing cosolute in all preparation and assay media.’
    • ‘Many of the changes due to dehydration stress in plants include the accumulation of a variety of sugars, proline and glycine betaine in addition to changes in protein levels.’
    • ‘The second pathway, present only in the liver and kidney, uses betaine as the methyl donor and is catalyzed by betaine homocysteine methyl-transferase.’
    • ‘After donating its methyl group, betaine becomes dimethylglycine.’
    • ‘Normally, doctors treat the disorder by giving vitamins [B.sub.6], [B.sub.12] and folic acid supplements, followed by betaine and a diet low in the amino acid methionine if the vitamins haven't helped.’
    • ‘Significant effects for supplemental pasture betaine and supplemental feedlot betaine were observed; however, no interactions were present for any trait measured.’
    • ‘Treatment approaches that address these etiologies are reviewed: betaine, magnesium, and vitamin E.’
    • ‘They also supply betaine - the methyl donator, which the body uses for rebuilding joints and protecting the liver from a variety of chemicals, including alcohol and steroids.’
    • ‘Extracted from the sugar beet, betaine can lower serum cholesterol and increase serum phospholipids to fight atherosclerosis.’
    • ‘It is assumed that the accumulation of osmotically active compounds, such as sugars, proline and betaine is accelerated, leading to water efflux from the anther wall and thus triggering dehiscence.’
    • ‘Many plant species accumulating betaine inhabit saline and arid areas and accumulate the compound in response to drought and salinity.’
    • ‘The physiological characterization of transgenic plants suggested that betaine might accelerate protein synthesis de novo during recovery from stress.’
    • ‘To decrease the possibility of abnormal peptide production from foods, protein digestion can be improved by supplementing with digestive enzymes and betaine hydrochloride (HCl).’
    • ‘Rawles is investigating ways to increase the combination's palatability by adding fish solubles, betaine, or other ingredients.’
    • ‘That this approach may be successful is demonstrated by the addition of genes to give increased production of the metabolite glycine betaine, resulting in improved drought tolerance.’
    • ‘Adding DMSO or betaine, or using higher reaction temperatures, did not improve sequencing quality.’
    • ‘How about betaine hydrochloride, 600 mg, one tablet with each meal?’
    • ‘The supplements also included betaine, which can help bypass any enzyme defect.’
    • ‘In the Duke experiments, pregnant mice that received dietary supplements with vitamin B12, folic acid, choline and betaine (from sugar beets) gave birth to babies predominantly with brown coats.’
    • ‘And while GPC does counteract urea, there is yet no consistent evidence that is a better stabilizer than betaine.’
    1. 1.1 Any zwitterionic compound of the type represented by betaine.
      • ‘He recently described the simultaneous analysis of underivatized sugars, polyols, proline analogues, and betaines in plant extracts by HPLC although the method suffered from interference by amino acids.’
      • ‘There are anionic, zwitterionic (such as betaines), cationic and non-ionic species which may be admixed with the primary surfactant.’


Mid 19th century: formed irregularly from Latin beta ‘beet’ (because originally isolated from sugar beet) + -ine.