DMAE

(dimethylaminoethanol)

Nonessential Micronutrient

OVERVIEW

Summary

DMAE is used to enhance mental functioning because it’s been shown to improve focus, concentration, and mental alertness. It’s often combined in formulas with other nutrients believed to help enhance brain functioning, including Ginkgo biloba, phosphatidylserine, and inositol. It also appears to be a mild “brain stimulant” and may help increase sustained energy levels.

Other names for DMAE

dimethylaminoethanol, 2-dimethylaminoethanol, deanol

Where to find DMAE

DMAE itself is a liquid, but as a supplement, it’s found most commonly in the form of bitartrate. Interestingly, it was once only available as a prescription drug by the name of Deaner.

PERFORMANCE BENEFITS

Why athletes use DMAE

Shown to improve learning, elevate mood, and help increase intelligence, DMAE is often found in products created to enhance cognitive functioning. But it may also enhance physical energy as much as it improves mental functioning.

Ways that DMAE can enhance Mental Functioning:
  • Boost mental functioning by increasing levels of the chemical messengers choline and acetylcholine
  • Improve alertness and mental clarity by improving nighttime sleep and as a mild “brain” stimulant

HEALTH BENEFITS

Signs of DMAE deficiency

No deficiency conditions are known to exist.

Potential uses for DMAE

Research indicates that DMAE may be useful in the treatment of:

  • Attention deficit disorder (ADD)
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Tardive dyskinesia
  • Hyperactivity

DISCUSSION

More about DMAE

Little is known about DMAE, and more research is needed to confirm the claims that it might reduce age-related cognitive impairments or enhance the activity of chemical messengers in the brain. Nonetheless, it’s already become of interest for its potential ability to enhance mental functioning.

What does it do?

Basically, once consumed, DMAE is transported to the liver, where it’s quickly metabolized (converted) into choline. And from there, a minute amount is converted into the popular “brain transmitter” acetylcholine. As the theory goes, DMAE would then increase brain levels of these two neurotransmitters, which have been shown to help boost cognitive function and enhance memory.

In addition, acetylcholine helps conduct nerve impulses in the brain. And, choline is converted in the brain to another form of choline called phosphatidylcholine, which protects and rebuilds cell membranes within the brain.

What’s significant about DMAE is that it appears to actually cross the blood-brain barrier faster than choline — going straight to the brain where it can enhance cell protection and repair. Simply put, DMAE may help our brains work better and create positive behavior changes in many people.

Pre-workout boost

Athletes and other active individuals have also discovered DMAE may help enhance focus, concentration, and mental alertness. And since the brain is the strongest muscle in the body, this may lead to improved performance — due primarily to mind-muscle connections. Plus, greater concentration may lead to better exercise form, potentially reducing the risk of injury.

In addition, DMAE has a mild stimulating effect in the brain — sort of a “wake-up” call. Many athletes report they prefer the stimulation of DMAE to that of, say, coffee because instead of a quick lift, DMAE seems to have a milder, more sustained effect. It has also been reported to actually make people more alert during the day because they enjoy deeper sleep at night. Others even report their dreams are more vivid, and they need less sleep.

Therapeutic uses

DMAE is being researched a great deal for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related brain disorders, although evidence is still inconclusive. It has also shown promising benefits in combating attention deficit disorder.

In conclusion

While this unique nutrient is most commonly thought of for its cognitive-enhancing effects, it may prove to be quite valuable for its potential “brain-stimulant” effects. If you want to improve your ability to find your car keys in the morning, enhance focus before a workout, or increase alertness throughout the day, DMAE is certainly a nutrient worth considering.

NOTES ON USAGE

Amount

Typical ranges are from 100 to 400 mg of DMAE taken daily in 2 to 3 divided doses.


Timing

DMAE may be more effective when taken on an empty stomach.

Synergists of DMAE

DMAE may work well with other cognitive enhancers, such as L-tyrosine, Ginkgo biloba, phosphatidylserine, and inositol.

Toxicity of DMAE

No known toxicity.

Bans and restrictions

None reported.

RELATED RESEARCH

  • Casey, D.E., and Denney, D., “Dimethylaminoethanol in Tardive Dyskinesia,” N Engl J Med 291 (1974) : 797.
  • Ferris, S.H., et al., “Senile Dementia. Treatment with Deanol,” J Am Ger Soc 25 (1977) : 241-44.
  • Fisman, M., et al., “Double-Blind Trial of 2-Dimethylaminoethanol in Alzheimer’s Disease,” Am J Pyschiatry 138.7 (1981) : 970-2.
  • Sergio, W., “Use of DMAE (2-Dimethylaminoethanol) in the Induction of Lucid Dreams,” Med Hypotheses 26.4 (1988) : 255-7.