• N, N, N- trimethylammonioacetate (IUPAC)
  • N, N, N- trimethylglycine
  • Glycylbetain
  • Glycine betaine


Deliquescent, colorless crystals


301 ° C (> 300 ° C decomposition)

  • Well in water (611 g · l-1 at 19 ° C ) and methanol
  • Poorly in ethanol, very bad in diethyl ether

830 mg · kg -1 ( LD50, mouse, i.v.)

Template: Infobox chemical / molecular formula search available

Betaine (from the Latin beta = turnip, beet ) is an oxidation product of choline. Betaine is a quaternary ammonium compound having three methyl groups and is in addition to S-adenosylmethionine is an important methyl group donor in the organism in transmethylation processes represents (inter alia the synthesis of creatine, methionine, lecithin, carnitine ).

It is a derivative of the amino acid glycine.

Similar zwitterionic compounds are grouped together under the group name betaines. Amino acids are at the isoelectric point as zwitterions (inner salts).


One finds betaine in many parts of plants ( broccoli, spinach) and beet sugar molasses, in addition to mussels, crabs as well as in extracts from Dornhaimuskeln. The name is derived by the presence of betaine in sugar beet ( Beta vulgaris Latin ), there to win it as a by-product of sugar production. Betaine is found in halophilic organisms that can accumulate it, to limit their water loss. With betaine (in this context the term glycine betaine is usually used ), is a compatible solute.


Betaine is obtained by extraction from beet molasses. It is also synthesized by nucleophilic substitution of chlorine acetic acid with trimethylamine accessible.

Health-related use

Together with the vitamins folic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12, betaine is intended to be able to lower elevated homocysteine ​​levels in the human blood. This is considered protective against atherosclerosis and its sequelae such as hypertension, peripheral arterial disease, heart attack, stroke. The state of improvement in overt fatty liver is considered to be unsecured, since clinical tests are available only in rats and humans at ten selected persons.

Medicinally, betaine is used to support the treatment of homocystinuria rarely occurring, a congenital metabolic disorder.

In a study of cyclists a daily intake of 2.5 g of betaine has led to an average performance increase of 5.5%.

Trade names

Betaine is in Germany as medicines under the name Cystadane ®.