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How Long Does It Take Betaine HCL to Work?

How Long Does It Take Betaine HCL to Work

Betaine HCL has long been used as a form of medication that can be used to treat low levels of stomach acid, a condition that can lead to several conditions and complications. But how long does it take betaine HCL to work?

As Betaine HCL has a composition similar to hydrochloric acid, there are certain safety precautions that come into play when taking this product. Medical supervision, proper dosage, and use according to instructions are a must.

What is Betaine HCL?

According to PeaceHealth, betaine HCL, or betaine hydrochloride, is an acidic form of betaine. Betaine is a naturally occurring substance within the body. It can also be acquired through eating certain foods.

Food sources naturally rich in betaine include spinach, crustaceans, beets, and grains, among others. Functions of betaine include regularizing liver function and other metabolic processes.

It can also aid in both muscle growth and fat loss as well as help prevent heart disease and other cancers.

On the other hand, betaine HCL is a man-made compound that helps include stomach acid. It is usually used as a digestive aid which can help increase the acidity of the stomach.

Betaine HCL helps in digesting foods and extracting nutrients from them. It also aids those with GERD and has been known to help those with certain allergies. However, its main function is to treat hypochlorhydria.

What is Hypochlorhydria?

Hypochlorhydria is a condition that is, according to the Cleveland Clinic, described as a deficiency of stomach acids. This condition can cause a variety of negative effects on the body.

These include indigestion, growth of harmful bacteria, as well as malnutrition caused by the body not being able to digest food properly and absorb the nutrients found in these foods.

Hypochlorhydria can be caused either by disease, medication, or bacterial infection. Old age, stress, excessive use of antacids, and previous surgeries affecting the digestive tract can also cause this disease.

How Long Does It Take Betaine HCL to Work?

Betaine HCL is a very potent compound. A study in 2013 showed that the effects of betaine HCL can take effect in as little as 6 minutes.

Its effects, in turn, will often last for about an hour after ingestion of the product.

When managing conditions such as SIBO, or Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth, doctors may recommend taking betaine HCL for around 1 to 2 weeks, although rarely longer than that duration.

Dosages of betaine HCL may vary, ranging from a minimum of 250 mg up to a maximum of 3,000mg per dose. It should always be taken with meals, preferably one containing protein and contains at least 500 calories.

Results may depend on the amount of the compound ingested. However, it is recommended that you do not take too much of this product and only take it as prescribed and instructed by a medical professional such as your doctor or physician.

Best Betaine HCL Products

You can find many supplements that contain Betaine HCL as well as other ingredients that aim to improve gut health.

From the various products available, here are just some of the best that we have found based on reviews.

1. BiOptimizers HCL Breakthrough

BiOptimizers HCK Breakthrough contains 500 milligrams of betaine HCL and it comes in capsule form. It is 100% and does not use dairy or gluten.

The product has a blend of other enzymes that further help in digestion. These include amylase, cellulase, and lipase, among others.

BiOptimizers HCL Breakthrough is also GMP certified, so you are assured that you are getting a quality product.


  • Only one capsule to get an ample dose of Betaine HCL
  • Has other ingredients for better digestion support
  • Perfect for vegans and those with allergies


  • Some have reported that it made their acid reflux worse
  • Can cause some bloating and gas based on some reviews

2. Doctor’s Best Betaine HCL Pepsin and Gentian Bitters

Each capsule of Doctor’s Best Betaine HCL Pepsin and Gentian Bitters contains 650 milligrams of betaine HCL. The product also contains pepsin so that you can metabolize protein more effectively.

The addition of gentian bitters also helps in the production of enzymes necessary for the body to absorb nutrients better.

Doctor’s Best Betaine HCL Pepsin and Gentian Bitters are guaranteed to be non-GMO as well as gluten-free.


  • No unpleasant aftertaste
  • Special formulation helps prevent gas and bloating
  • Only product with Gentian root


  • Contains gelatin, not good for vegans
  • The size makes it difficult to swallow

3. NOW Supplements Betaine HCL

Each vegan capsule from NOW Supplements Betaine HCL contains 648 milligrams of Betaine HCL. It also contains non-animal-based pepsin which is good for vegans.

Aside from this, NOW Supplements Betaine HCL does not contain any dairy, eggs, nuts, or soy. It is also non-GMO certified.

The product is made by a family-owned company that has been operating since 1968. As such, this is one product that can be trusted.


  • Vegetarian formulation pepsin
  • Certified Halal and keto-friendly
  • Good price


  • Contains magnesium stearate additives
  • Capsules are 1-inch long and can be hard to swallow

4. Nutricost Betaine HCL + Pepsin

Nutricost Betaine HCL + Pepsin comes in capsule form and contains 650 milligrams of betaine HCL and 140 milligrams of pepsin complex.

The product is gluten and soy-free. It is non-GMO certified and is vegetarian friendly as all ingredients are plant-sourced.

Nutricost Betaine HCL + Pepsin also comes in smaller capsules so it is easier to swallow.


  • Very affordable price
  • Potent formulation
  • Vegan friendly


  • Some may find a single dosage to produce too much acid
  • Hair loss can be a possible side effect for a few people

5. Berg Gallbladder Formula Extra Strength

Dr. Berg Gallbladder Formula Extra Strength was created by renowned doctor and Youtube personality Dr. Eric Berg. It is specially formulated to promote gallbladder health, but it does contain some betaine HCL, around 40 milligrams per serving. It

The capsules also contain different enzymes like ox bile extract, pepsin, pancreatin, and other ingredients that are sourced from both local farms and abroad.

Dr. Berg Gallbladder Formula Extra Strength is also one of the few products of its kind that has a 30-day guarantee so you can return the product if you are not satisfied with it.


  • Comes with a 30-day guarantee
  • Keto friendly
  • Good for overall gut health, not just for low stomach acid


  • The cost may be an issue for some
  • Does not contain a lot of betaine HCL

6. Horbaach Betaine HCL with Pepsin

Horbaach Betaine HCL with Pepsin is a vegetable-based betaine HCL supplement that comes in tablet form. Each serving brings 650 milligrams of betaine HCL as well as 300 FCC units of pepsin and ginger root extract.

The plant-based formulation makes Horbaach Betaine HCL with Pepsin good for vegans. It is also certified to be non-GMO and free from allergens such as gluten, wheat, milk other dairies, and yeast.

The product is also laboratory tested and has all naturally sourced ingredients.



  • Affordable price point
  • Can cause some fatigue and nausea

7. Standard Process Zypan Enzyme Digestive Support Dietary Supplement

Standard Process Zypan Enzyme Digestive Support Dietary Supplement has a proprietary blend of ingredients that contain beneficial compounds such as betaine HCL, pepsin, pancreatin, bovine spleen, and ovine spleen, among others.

These ingredients all help in supporting macronutrient digestion and support nutrition absorption. The tablets are free from the usual allergens such as soy, grains, dairy, and gluten.

Most ingredients are sourced from the company’s own farms. They also utilize natural compost and use only the freshest ingredients to ensure maximum efficacy and potency.


  • Family-owned company and farm
  • Most ingredients are freshly harvested
  • Certified organic


  • Very expensive
  • Taste and smell can be a bit unpleasant
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Written and Researched by

SupplementsYouCanTrust is made up of passionate health writers dedicated to providing reliable information on supplements and vitamins. With backgrounds in nutrition, medicine, and research, our team brings a diverse range of perspectives and expertise to the table.
Dr Wasim Khan

Medically Reviewed by

Dr. Wasim Khan’s areas of expertise lie in understanding the role of dietary supplements and vitamins in healthcare. His in-depth knowledge allows him to provide comprehensive advice and help you make informed decisions about your nutritional intake and supplement usage.