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Betalains are a group of reddish pigments found in some fruits where the red anthocyanin compounds (such as pelargonidin) are replaced with betalains; a major component of beetroot, it can dye the urine a reddish tint.

Our evidence-based analysis on betalains features 23 unique references to scientific papers.

Research analysis led by and reviewed by the Examine team.
Last Updated:

Things to Note

Primary Function:

Also Known As

Beet pigments, Betalain, betanin, betanidin, phyllocactin, indicaxanthin, hylocerenin, 2', O-Apiosylphyllocactin,

Do Not Confuse With

Betain (different molecule also in beets), Nitrate (also in beets), Beetroot (a major plant source)

Caution Notice

Ingestion of betalains can color the feces and urine red (medically benign)

  • Betalain consumption (particularly from beets) can color both the urine and feces red, leading to misdiagnosis of rhabdomyolysis and colon damage if assessed by the naked eye; similarly, frequent consumption of beets may be able to 'mask' the main symptom of rhabdomyolysis which is blood in the urine

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Click here to see all 23 references.