Principal Proposed Uses
Trimethylglycine (TMG), also called betaine, is a substance manufactured by the body. It helps break down another naturally occurring substance called homocysteine.
In certain rare genetic conditions, the body cannot dispose of homocysteine, resulting in its accumulation to extremely high levels. This, in turn, leads to accelerated cardiovascular disease and other problems. Oral TMG is an FDA-approved treatment for this condition. It "methylates" homocysteine, removing it from circulation.
Note : TMG is similar chemically to betaine hydrochloride, but it has entirely different actions.
TMG is not required in the diet because the body can manufacture it from other nutrients. Grains, nuts, seeds, and meats contain small amounts of TMG. However, most TMG in food is destroyed during cooking or processing, so food isn't a reliable way to get a therapeutic dosage.
Optimal therapeutic dosages of TMG are not known. Common recommendations range from 375 to 3,000 mg daily.
TMG has also been suggested as a less expensive substitute for SAMe in other condition for which SAMe is used (such as osteoarthritis and depression ). However, there is no evidence to show that it is effective.
The only known safety issue with TMG is regarding cholesterol profile, as already mentioned. People with high or borderline-high cholesterol should use TMG only with caution.
Maximum safe dosages for young children, pregnant or nursing mothers, or those with severe liver or kidney disease have not been established.
- Reviewer: EBSCO CAM Review Board
- Review Date: 08/2013 -
- Update Date: 08/22/2013 -