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What Is Trimethylglycine?

Trimethylglycine can be found naturally in red meat.
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  • Written By: L. Roux
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 15 July 2014
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Trimethylglycine (TMG) is an organic substance that is naturally found in the body. It helps break down homocysteine, an amino acid in the blood; is involved in balancing the tonicity of some cells; and can help stabilize the structure of protein in some circumstances. Trimethylglycine may be included in the daily diet by consuming various healthy foods, and can be found in various nutritional supplements.

In addition to that produced by the body, trimethylglycine may be found in various foods such as nuts, seeds, and red meat. In the body, it can be formed from the breakdown of the element choline in the liver. Choline is a water soluble ammonium salt, and it is essential to the body. It helps to support cell membranes and also plays an important role in cholinergic neurotransmission.

Homocysteine is an amino acid in the blood. Too much homocysteine in the blood plasma can be an indicator of health conditions including cardiovascular disease; although trimethylglycine has been shown to lower homocysteine levels, there is no clear proof that this has any impact on cardiovascular health. Homocystein levels in the body are mainly influenced by a combination of the daily diet and the body's genetics. There has also been some suggestion that artherosclerosis patients may also benefit from trimethylglycine.

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It has been suggested that trimethylglycine may help to support athletic performance. TMG is converted in the body to dimethylglycine (DMG), which is commonly used as a performance enhancer. Studies are currently still being conducted to measure its effectiveness. Trimethylglycine may be found in various sport supplements taken by bodybuilders and athletes.

Trimethylglycine may also help to protect the liver against damage caused by excessive use of alcohol. It may help to stimulate the production of S-Adenosylmethionine, a chemical found in the body that naturally supports liver health. It may also be helpful to remove non-alcoholic forms of fatty acids from the liver.

The recommended dosage for trimethlyglycine is between 500 milligrams (about 0.5 grams) and 3,000 milligrams (about 3 grams) daily. It may be taken with meals to increase its absorption. It is not recommended for children without consulting with a healthcare practitioner first. Common side effects may include symptoms such as a dry mouth, nausea, and headaches.

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