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Page moved[edit]

I've moved this page from Betaine because Betaine as Trimethylglycine is far more common usage. This plural use is from the IUPAC [1], but if there's a better name, I won't object. Micha 08:40, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

And now we should move it back to betaine as trimethylglycine got it s own page... ChristianB 12:13, 25 September 2007 (UTC)


According to Nickon, the correct pronunciation is "BEET-a ene", not BAY-tah ene or beh-TAYN. (Sorry, I don't know wiki-preferred orthographic symbols.) The term derives from the vegetable beets, not from the Greek letter beta (β). The trimethylglycine betaine was isolated from beets, hence the naming. See: Organic Chemistry, the Name Game: Modern Coined Terms and Their Origins by Alex Nickon and Ernest F. Silversmith. Pergamon, 1987. ISBN-10: 008034481X , ISBN-13: 978-0080344812 AdderUser 17:41, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

The only issue with this pronunciation is that the Latin Beta is something like "bey-tah," (the e having the sound of e-ai-gu) and having it pronounced it as the english "beet" would require the spelling Bita, which looks more Italianate than Latin. E in "properly" pronounced Latin never takes an "ee" sound. In reality, the Latin pronunciation of Beta is exactly as the Greek pronunciation of the letter Beta. I'm guessing those authors aren't exactly classical scholars... :) --♦♦♦Vlmastra♦♦♦ (talk) 16:40, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
The point is that betaine is not pronounced like the letter beta (in either Latin or Greek) since it did not come from beta the letter. Betaine IS pronounced BEET-ah-ine (or beet-uh-een), because it comes from beets, not because it comes from Latin. Beta vulgaris is usually said BEET-uh vul-GARE-iss, not because people are trying to say it like Latin scholars would (BAY-ta wul-GAR-eeze), but instead like English people pronoucing Latin words that happen to be roots of English words. You get some license in this, as in veni, vide, vici not weni, weedi, weechi. Nobody knows how the Latins said a lot of things anyway, as it's a dead language.

Interestingly, beta for beetroot is one of the first Latin loan words to appear in Old English, and the speculation is that the ultimate origin is Celtic, sort of like the Latin word for beer cervesia, which might also be Celtic. Most etymological dictionaries give this Latin word a long ē, inasmuch as the Germanic words that follow have one (Old English bete, German beete). This a word possibly caught in the great vowel shift even if it was Latin. [2].SBHarris 18:19, 23 June 2012 (UTC)

You did not qualify what you mean by how something "IS" pronounced. Do you mean this in a normative sense (i.e. the most common pronunciation)? In that case probably BEE-TAH-EEN is correct, but the pronunciation BEE-TAYN is the only pronunciation I have ever heard in my life (it must be a common enough pronunciation, hence the reason it is even addressed in the article) and cannot be rejected on normative grounds. If you are supporting pronunciation on the basis of derivation, obviously betaine comes from the Latin "beta" and not the English "beet." OED: [3]. BTW: There are certain aspects of Latin pronunciation that are beyond doubt; the evidence is greater than for most ancient languages since so many descendants survive: since you have referenced the Great Vowel Shift you should feel bad for even suggesting the possibility that e was ever pronounced "ee" in Latin when that was obviously a product of this shift. And when a Latin dictionary gives a vowel as long, it has little to do with the "long" vowels of English. It is literally a temporal lengthening of the vowel for Latin, as for almost all languages in which this terminology is used except for English. (Vowel length) --♦♦♦Vlmastra♦♦♦ (talk) 01:06, 24 June 2012 (UTC)


Cocamidopropyl betaine is the main ingrediant in Johnson's baby wash. This article should mention that. Mathiastck (talk) 20:47, 21 November 2007 (UTC) Alkyl betaines are, being amphoteric surfactants, often used in shower creams. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bubicicica (talkcontribs) 21:59, 22 June 2008 (UTC)

Methyl Donor[edit]

The article states that it "is a methyl donor of increasing significance". Do we have references for this (not that I think we *need* references for this, just examples reactions where it can act as a methyl donor (is this original research? Probably not if the reactions themselves are referenced) I do know that in autism research, various methylation processes are a subject of great importance though. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:28, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

Please add[edit]

How, and from what, are betaines usually made? I understand that they were formerly made from sugar beets, but now from petroleum. This should be made very clear in the article. Badagnani (talk) 01:16, 3 May 2008 (UTC)


I removed this chunk because I suspect it refers to trimethylglycine, than betaine in general. I'll come back to it at some later point, but if someone else can verify and fix it first, that will be best. --Rifleman 82 (talk) 04:01, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

==Sources of Betaine==

Betaine can be obtained from the following dietary sources: wheat germ, wheatbran, shrimp and spinach.[1]

In mammals, it is also formed as a product of choline oxidation in the mitochondria through the activities of choline dehydrogenase and betaine aldehyde dehydrogenase.[2]
  1. ^ Zeisel SH, Mar MH, Howe JC, Holden JM (2003). "Concentrations of choline-containing compounds and betaine in common foods". J. Nutr. 133 (5): 1302–7. PMID 12730414.  Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  2. ^ Chern MK, Pietruszko R (1999). "Evidence for mitochondrial localization of betaine aldehyde dehydrogenase in rat liver: purification, characterization, and comparison with human cytoplasmic E3 isozyme". Biochem. Cell Biol. 77 (3): 179–87. PMID 10505788.