Definition of betaine in US English:



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

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

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Extracted from the sugar beet, betaine can lower serum cholesterol and increase serum phospholipids to fight atherosclerosis.’
    • ‘After donating its methyl group, betaine becomes dimethylglycine.’
    • ‘Treatment approaches that address these etiologies are reviewed: betaine, magnesium, and vitamin E.’
    • ‘Significant effects for supplemental pasture betaine and supplemental feedlot betaine were observed; however, no interactions were present for any trait measured.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The physiological characterization of transgenic plants suggested that betaine might accelerate protein synthesis de novo during recovery from stress.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This high activity is mainly attributable to the use of 1 M of betaine as a stabilizing cosolute in all preparation and assay media.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Rawles is investigating ways to increase the combination's palatability by adding fish solubles, betaine, or other ingredients.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘Many plant species accumulating betaine inhabit saline and arid areas and accumulate the compound in response to drought and salinity.’
    • ‘To decrease the possibility of abnormal peptide production from foods, protein digestion can be improved by supplementing with digestive enzymes and betaine hydrochloride (HCl).’
    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.