Fact-checking ‘wellness guru’ sister

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November 27, 2018 - 10:34 AM

Dear Dr. Roach: I started taking betaine hydrochloride for my digestive health. I have had some ongoing issues, and my sister, the wellness guru, has been sharing some things she has learned and suggested this to me. In the first week I have noticed a difference. My wonderful partner, who is always skeptical, is wondering if there is true value with this supplement, so we are turning to you for some insight. — J.Y.

Answer: Betaine hydrochloride has several purported uses. One is to improve athletic performance; however, the data are mixed about whether it is effective at improving muscle strength and endurance.

It also is used to relieve symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease and “functional dyspepsia,” a nonspecific term encompassing several types of stomach upset.

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