Betaine, also known as trimethylglycine (TMG), is a compound found in beetroots, broccoli, spinach, fresh legumes and forages, eggs, fish and liver. Beets are the richest, most concentrated source of betaine.
In the plant root, betaine plays a critical role in osmosis, regulating the diffusion of water into cells. Betaine serves as an osmolyte, which means it attracts water and protects cells from dehydration. Osmolytes are substances that are soluble in the solution within a cell and they play a role in maintaining cell volume and fluid balance, protecting from drought, high temperature, high salinity and other osmotic stresses.
In the horse, an osmolyte such as betaine attracts water and protects the cells of the body from environmental stresses and dehydration. Osmolytes such as betaine are important for a horse?s electrolyte balance and overall health. The accumulation of betaine in the horse's cells permits cellular water retention and protects from the possibility of dehydration.
Betaine has many other benefits, which include being a mood food (providing a relaxing effect on the mind). It also has the ability to donate substances (such as methyl groups) that encourage the repair and maintenance of bodily tissues.
Salt should be consumed at the rate of approximately 1 oz daily for a horse's body to stay optimally balanced.