Betaine is a zwitterionic quaternary ammonium compound and is mainly present in animals, microorganisms and plants. It is one of the main constituent of several food items like wheat, shellfish, spinach and sugar beets. It is also termed as trimethylglycine, lycine, glycine betaine and oxyneurine. Betaine is a methyl derivative of glycine. It has a molecular mass of 117.2.
Betaine monohydrate has been used:
• in the preparation of KLA buffer to perform polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
• to study the its effects on Km and Vmax of human aldose reductase
• to study its effects on the growth of A549 lung cancer both in vitro and in vivo
Betaine, as an osmolyte helps to guard the cells, proteins and enzymes from environmental stress. It also acts as a methyl donor to involve in the methionine cycle.