Natural Health Journals

DMAE (Dimethylaminoethanol)

WHAT IT IS This substance occurs naturally in the brain, and plays a key role in the synthesis of acetylcholine.

REPORTED EFFECTS Though much of the evidence is still anecdotal, many people have reported success with DMAE as a cognitive enhancer and mild stimulant.

HOW IT WORKS In the brain, DMAE combines with phosphatidyl serine and vitamin B5 in helping to produce acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter essential for learning and memory.

THE EVIDENCE Though well-established in a number of human studies as a mild stimulant, most of the evidence supporting DMAE as a cognitive enhancer comes from animal research–and that leaves a lot of physicians and researchers skeptical, for the time being, about its memory- or cognitive-enhancing effects on humans.

CAVEATS DMAE can be over stimulating for some people, and may cause muscle tension or insomnia. Also, DMAE has been known to exacerbate epilepsy or bipolar depression, so patients with these conditions are better off avoiding it. At least one physician has pointed to studies in which DMAE was shown to shorten life span in laboratory animals, but according to Ward Dean, M.D., coauthor of Smart Drugs and Nutrients (Health Freedom Publications, 1991), this study appears to be isolated and unsubstantiated by further research.

DIETARY SOURCES Like many other brain foods, DMAE is naturally found in fish, especially anchovies and sardines.

WHERE TO FIND IT Available as a supplement in health foods stores, dosage for DMAE is about 50 to 100 mg per day, though some people report successfully taking up to 1000 mg daily.


COPYRIGHT 1998 Weider Publications
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