Monday, May 16, 2011

DMAE (Dimethylaminoethanol)

  • Improves creativity and verbal thinking (fluency).
  • Improves the behavior and mental function of children afflicted with Down syndrome. (I can't find this study, anyone know where it is?)
  • Alleviates the behavioral problems and hyperactivity associated with Attention Deficit Disorder (increases attention span, decreases aggression, improves learning ability and sometimes increases intelligence in 70% of ADD patients).
  • Inhibits and reverses the cross-linking of proteins.
  • Decreases the incidence and severity of hangovers in people who consume excessive amounts of alcohol (subjects reported freedom from the depression or headaches associated with hangovers).
  • Increases the body's production of energy.
  • People who use DMAE supplements report that after 3-4 weeks of DMAE use, they notice a continual mild stimulation of their CNS without side effects and a possible boost energy.
  • Alleviates anxiety (subjects administered 1,200mg of DMAE per day for 5 days exhibited better control of anxious reactivity)
  • Increases assertiveness (subjects reported having a more outspoken personality).
  • Reduces apathy and increases motivation in persons afflicted with depression.
  • Exerts favorable effects on those chronic dyskinesias (including tardive dyskinesia) that occur as a result of long periods of major tranquilizers use.
  • Increases intelligence, improves learning and memory.(especially in children). Several studies have shown no memory benefit in senile dementia and Alzheimer's Disease.
  • Elevates mood.
  • Reduces the amount of sleep required by about 1 hour per night, causes dreams to become more lucid (vivid), and users experience sounder sleep.
  • Increases daytime motivation and physical energy in persons afflicted with insomnia.
  • Increases willpower (subjects who previously were unable to stop smoking reported success).
  • Increases acetylcholine levels within the brain.
  • It is a cell wall stabilizer.
  • Apparently removes lipofuscin (accumulation of toxic pigments) from cells, including nerve and brain cells (neurons), and age spots from the skin.
  • Improves free-radical scavenging of other antioxidants. Increases life span, including maximum life span, in experimental animals. Has extended life span of older animals.
DMAE (Dimethylaminoethanol) is a liquid organic compound that’s naturally produced in the brain; it’s also found in sardines, anchovies, squid and salmon. DMAE, is an important building block for choline. Our bodies turn DMAE into choline in our brains. Choline is the building block for acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter responsible for thinking and memory. Studies have shown that DMAE is effective in increasing levels of choline in the brain. 

Excerpt from
[Dr. Daniel] Amen believes boosting acetylcholine (ACh) can help with brain repair. During the course of the normal aging process, [which is accelerated in the Down syndrome population,] concentrations of ACh tend to decrease, resulting in sporadic lapses of short-term memory. Normal, non-debilitating decline in memory, referred to as age-associated memory impairment, is distinct from Alzheimer's disease, a serious brain disorder in which levels of ACh can drop by as much as 90%. Supplements such as choline or DMAE ... have been shown to produce improvements in brain-wave patterns in parts of the brain that play a pivotal role in memory and attention span. DMAE has, incidentally, also been adopted as a possible alternative to Ritalin[R] in the treatment of ADD-afflicted children, demonstrated in studies to provide similar benefits without the typical side effects. 

Commentary on Nutritional Treatment of Mental Disorders
from Willam Walsh, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Pfeiffer Treatment Center 

Phosphatidyl choline is also very effective in protecting DHA/EPA from free radical oxidative stress..... another good reason to take it. In my experience DMAE is especially effective for increasing acetylcholine levels in the brain, since it passes the blood/brain barrier & converts to choline. I like to use this for overmethylated persons who have excessive dopamine and norepinephrine levels. However, enhancing acetylcholine activity must be avoided in persons who genetically are overloaded in this NT. Choline, DMAE, and phosphatidyl choline can cause nasty symptoms in these persons (about 10% of the population).

DMAE passes the blood-brain barrier and converts to choline in the brain. Therefore it has cholinergic action & enhances formation of acetylcholine. As a result DMAE is generally very useful in treatment of high dopamine (low histamine, overmethylated) persons, but can seriously harm low dopamine, high histamine, undermethylated persons. We've seen more than 1,500 bipolar patients and confirmed that DMAE is generally effective for the overmethylated phenotype (25% of bipolar cases), but causes great worsening for those who are undermethylated (40% of bipolar cases). DMAE definitely should not be used indiscriminately for persons with serious mental illness. (Aug 15, 2003)

The most common DMAE claim is that it improves memory, concentration and intellectual function. According to the NYU Langone Medical Center, however, there aren’t any clinical studies that support this claim. DMAE has been used successfully to treat patients with ADHD, but was deemed unsuccessful in treating patients with Alzheimer’s disease or Huntington’s chorea. A 1995 study found, however, that rats that were given DMAE showed improvements in working memory performance.

In a blog post, Andrew Weil, M.D. was phlegmatic on the benefits of DMAE, writing, “DMAE may be safe, but I currently see no evidence that taking it will do anyone any good.”


Source Naturals DMAE -- 351 mg - 200 Capsules

Be sure to get $10 off your first VitaCost vitamin order.


Dosages start at 100mg per day and extend up to 600mg per day as needed. Clinical studies of DMAE have used up to 1,600mg per day with no reports of side-effects and is believed to be relatively nontoxic.

Start slowly. DMAE can over-stimulate the nervous system and cause headaches, tense muscles, or insomnia, although these side-effects are uncommon. Drowsiness has also been reported. Begin with a low dose and see how you respond before gradually increasing the amount you take. If side-effects develop, stop taking the supplement for a day or two and begin at a lower dose.

For ADHD, memory problems or Alzheimer's, the recommended dose is 100 to 300mg, taken orally twice a day.

Overdosage can produce insomnia. Take in the morning to avoid this. Take DMAE with meals for best absorption. To help jump-start your day, open the capsules and pour the contents into a smoothie or fruit juice as part of your morning routine.

Although DMAE may help produce brain chemicals needed for mental sharpness, drowsiness and cognitive impairment have been reported in some people. See how it affects you before you drive or handle heavy machinery.

If you have kidney or liver disease, consult your doctor before taking DMAE. These conditions can affect levels of the supplement in your body.

Expected Outcome; Side-Effects; Counter-Indicators and Warnings

Effects of supplementation are not immediate but should begin to be felt within several weeks.

Most people taking DMAE do not experience side-effects. However, isolated adverse reactions have cropped up in different studies. Drowsiness, confusion, and high blood pressure have occurred in people with Alzheimer's who were taking this supplement, particularly when high doses were used. DMAE can be over-stimulating for some people. Headaches, irritability, and tense muscles may result, including tightness in the jaw, neck, or shoulders. Weight loss and insomnia may also occur. Lucid dreams have also been reported. These effects should disappear when intake is lowered or stopped.

At the time of writing, there were no well-known drug interactions with DMAE.

DMAE should not be used by epileptics or those with bipolar disorder (manic depression). Maximum safe dosages for children or for pregnant or nursing mothers have not been established.

Video on DMAE


Jope RS, el al. Dimethylaminoethanol (deanol) metabolism in rat brain and its effect on acetylcholine synthesis. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1979 Dec;211(3):472-9.
McDaniel MA, et al. "Brain-specific" nutrients: a memory cure? Nutrition. 2003 Nov-Dec;19(11-12):957-75.

Studies on DMAE and Cognition

Dubois B, Zaim M, Touchon J, Vellas B, Robert P, Murphy MF, Pujadas-Navin├ęs F, Rainer M, Soininen H, Riordan HJ, Kanony-Truc C.
J Alzheimers Dis. 2012;29(3):527-35.
PMID: 22330824 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Blin O, Audebert C, Pitel S, Kaladjian A, Casse-Perrot C, Zaim M, Micallef J, Tisne-Versailles J, Sokoloff P, Chopin P, Marien M.
Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2009 Dec;207(2):201-12. Epub 2009 Sep 16.
PMID: 19756528 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Dimpfel W, Hofmann HC, Prohaska A, Schober F, Schellenberg R.
Eur J Med Res. 1996 Mar 19;1(6):283-90.
Russell RW, Jenden DJ, Booth RA, Lauretz SD, Rice KM, Roch M.
Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1990 Dec;37(4):811-20.
PMID: 1982696 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Sergio W.
Med Hypotheses. 1988 Aug;26(4):255-7.
PMID: 3173167 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] 

Marsh GR, Linnoila M.
Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1979;66(1):99-104.
PMID: 120549 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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