Heart health – Betaine, the latest 'B vitamin'

Dr Paul Clayton 2003

Betaine, sometimes known as Vitamin B10, is increasingly in the limelight. Elevated levels of homocysteine in the blood (homocystenaemia) are strongly linked to increased risks of heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis and other diseases(1). Vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid are often used to lower homocysteine levels, but this combination is not always effective. However, when betaine is added to the other Bs, homocysteine levels fall by up to 75%, and there are immediate improvements in clinical condition(2).

When the B plus betaine combination was given prophylactically to patients with homocystenaemia, the incidence of heart attacks was reduced ten-fold, which was hugely significant(3). In another study, betaine was administered to subjects with coronary artery disease, and here it produced major improvements in their plasma lipid profiles(4). Studies in rabbits showed much the same findings(5).

Betaine is already universally used by vets to help maintain the health of a variety of animal species – and yet, the medical profession remains resistant to (or ignorant of) the charms of this valuable micronutrient. Go one better, and help stay out of the doctors’ clutches longer by including betaine in your own diet.


1 Boushey CJ et al, JAMA, 274:1049-1057, 1995

2 Boushey CJ et al, JAMA, 274:1049-1057, 1995

3 Wilcken DEL, Wilcken B, Ann NY Acad Science, 854:361-370, 1998

4 Lester M, Morrison MD, Amer J Dig Dis 381-384, December 1952

5 Panteleimonova TN, Zapadniuk VI, Farmakol Toksikol, 46:83-85, 1983