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NUTRITION

Betaine and Fertility*

Will Betaine Help You Get Pregnant?

 

Introduction

Found in everything from turkey to shrimp, beef to brown rice, betaine has long been studied within the athletic community based on its ability to enhance body composition and performance. Being a source of methyl groups, betaine helps prevent the build-up of homocysteine, an amino acid linked to heart and circulation problems, skeletal complications, and potential fertility issues.

What Is Betaine?

While betaine is produced in the body, it is also found in plants, animals, and microorganisms.

Betaine is an amino acid that was first discovered in the juice of sugar beets. Shown to help fight against heart complications, build muscle mass, and improve body composition, betaine promotes protein synthesis. Not only does betaine help metabolize homocysteine, but it’s also involved in liver function, cellular reproduction, and helps make carnitine, an amino acid involved in energy production.

Also known as trimethylglycine, betaine is a derivative of choline. This means that choline must be present for betaine synthesis to occur. Betaine also functions closely with folic acid and vitamin B12. Composed of the amino acid glycine, which is attached to three methyl groups, betaine has two major functions:

  1. It acts as a methyl donor and is a critical component of various physiological processes. In this case, it helps convert harmful levels of homocysteine into methionine.
  2. It acts as an osmolyte, creating fluid balance inside and outside cells. That is why betaine is often found in high concentrations in plants facing drought.

How to Identify a Betaine Deficiency

One reason a betaine deficiency is not overly common in Western nations is that betaine is present in fairly high levels in wheat products, which are a staple in the majority of people’s diet. It is also synthesized from choline in the body. A low dietary intake of betaine may contribute to high levels of homocysteine, which can lead to significant health and fertility problems. In this case, high homocysteine levels are a potential warning sign.

How Betaine Affects Fertility

Since high homocysteine levels can have a negative impact on both male and female fertility, it’s important to address even moderately high levels. Betaine’s ability to decrease plasma homocysteine in human adults has been published in multiple journals. One study found that supplementing with betaine for six weeks lowered homocysteine levels.1 Lower levels of homocysteine support a more optimal reproductive process, particularly in relation to sperm concentrations, oocyte quality, and overall fertility.

Betaine has also been specifically studied in relation to male fertility, focusing on betaine’s role as a potentially useful tool for improving reproductive traits in response to stress. After all, stress plays a key role in both sperm function and motility, as well as cell quality and overall fertility. Studied in roosters, it was found that betaine may increase semen quality, fertility, and welfare of breeder males exposed to chronic heat stress.2 Similar results were shown in another study, as betaine supplementation reduced homocysteine concentration in boars while increasing sperm production.3

Betaine-Rich Foods

The levels of betaine present in foods vary depending on growing and osmotic stress conditions. Found in high concentrations in both wheat bran and wheat germ, betaine is also found in spinach, beets, quinoa, sweet potato, shrimp, broccoli, crackers, and other wheat-based products.

Betaine supplements are manufactured from the byproduct of sugar beet processing. When taken in supplement form, betaine should be taken with vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and folic acid, all present in Impryl. This combination has been shown to lower homocysteine levels, which again, can lead to fertility complications, as well as an increased risk of miscarriage.

If You’re Trying to Conceive, Impryl Can Help

Fertility is a highly complex topic, and no two couples are the same. There are a lot of variables to consider when struggling to conceive, which is why you need to address your personal lifestyle and diet. Consuming a varied, balanced diet can help prevent a number of deficiencies, many of which increase your risk of fertility issues. In addition to working with a fertility specialist and nutritionist, there are dietary supplements available to support you and your partner’s reproductive health. However, not all supplements are created equal.

If you are concerned that you’re deficient in betaine, as well as critical micronutrients like zinc and betaine, Impryl offers a dietary supplement that provides all of the above. Learn more about the ingredients used here.

While you work alongside your doctor, addressing any potential fertility concerns you may have, Impryl can support your reproductive health. This applies to both men and women, as approximately 35 percent of subfertility/fertility issues affect both partners. Education is so important during this stage of your life, which is why you need to remain mindful of how your reproductive and overall health influences your ability to become pregnant.

Learn more about how Impryl can improve your reproductive health today!

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*NOTICE: The contents of this website are for informational purposes only, and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a potential medical condition.